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Gujarat Earthquake 

Earthquake Girl Prutha Desai's First Painting Exhibition

AT A GLANCE

Report - Aadariyana Village School Rebuilding

Report- Earthquake on schools of patdi

[ UPDATE 1] - 13 MAR

[ UPDATE 2] - 30 MAR

[ UPDATE 3 ] - 21 APR

[ UPDATE 4 ] - 9 MAY

[ UPDATE 5 ] - 8 JUNE

[ UPDATE 6 ] - 24 JULY

[ UPDATE 7 ] - 16 AUG

UPDATE 8  26 OCT 

[ Update  Zadiyana ] - 30 APRIL

[ Update Zadiyana ] - 22 MAY

Dear Friend,

Here is the current status as of 8 June 2001 :

  • About Rs 26 lacs have been spent so far in Civil Construction and related heads.
  • We have now permission to buy Cement and Steel at tax-free prices, but that quantity purchased so far we will not get a refund ( we are trying-but chances are low)
  • About 10 rooms will be ready-for-use in 11 June when schools reopen ( flooring-polishing-whitewash-blackboard-furniture-complete) but without power ( anyway, the old broken school hardly ever had power, so the students and teachers are used to it ). They will not have to use the " tent- school " .
  • UNICEF has sent 32 tents to the village, to start the schools in the cluster, distribution is going on .
  • There is a huge water-shortage in the village, the borewell has failed, the new bore they dug using some Govt and some village funds also has failed ! We get water for civil construction from several kilometers away, at a price. Hundreds of village women come to the school site and take two or three " matkas " of water everyday, we can't say no, in fact we positively encourage it. But what's the long-term solution ? Many funders are giving money for digging borewells, thinking this will solve the problem, but actually it makes it worse. The real solution is to work on " recharge ", but that's not an area of competence of Eklavya.
  • NIIT has kindly agreed to fund one whole wing of 5-rooms and sent in Rs 15.03 lacs, thru Kids for Kids, thanks Rosita Rabindra and NIIT family !
  • Mr. Himanshu Patel runs a large department store at Newtown, CT,USA, in Feb he put up some photographs and an appeal in his store and in the local papers, the people of Newtown gave an overwhelming response, and last week Himanshu was in Ahmedabad and gave Eklavya 2 cheques for USD 3000 and USD 1001, thanks Himanshu and all the people of Newtown, CT, we very much appreciate this.
  • Share and Care Foundation, New Jersey has sent in a cheque of USD 13,000 ( Rs 13 lacs approx) to sponsor the Science Lab which will be named after them, thanks Harit and Aruna Patel, and Share and Care,NJ members !
  • Tarun Bakshi has sent us USD 10,000 thru his friends in the US, with a commitment for the same amount every year for additional two years, thanks Tarun, this gives us an idea that once this project is over, and if it is good and everybody is happy with it, then we want to go back to all the donors of the project and request them to give us the same amount once every two years and we can make a new school every alternate year. This is within the capability of Eklavya and its staff and teachers to do without stretching and taxing itself. Of course this is only a very vague idea at present, our first job is to do this one project and do it well.
  • Bishop Leo Cornelio of the Khandwa Diocese has sent in Rs 40,000, with a beautiful letter, I wish to quote a para : Enclosed is a draft for a modest sum of Rs 40,000. As it is our people here are also generally poor and this year they are very much affected by the drought. They have scarcity of drinking water as well as food. All the same, since this amount was collected for the relief of the earthquake victims in Gujarat we send it to where it should belong. Though it is a small amount you may make good use of it for the poor. ( Thank you Bishop Leo, words fail me, I feel humbled and small, I also feel privileged for God choosing me to do this noble task, and thank you for the trust and the faith ).
  • The latest Donor List is attached for your reference, total amount received so far is Rs 118 lacs ( our target was Rs 103 lacs)
  • GE SEACO is giving us 25 regular cargo containers, 8x8x20, in good condition, converted with a door and 5 windows ( each with shade) into classrooms ! All we have to put in is a blackboard. These are metal, so they'll become hot, but the village people will cover it with cow-dung and some grass and it'll be OK. The containers arrive in a couple-of-days-time. About 6 other villages in the Aadariyana cluster, where the existing (broken) school is small-2-3-4 rooms each, can now restart in good condition ( not tents). Thanks Mr. Scott Bayman ( President & CEO, GE, India) and Cdr Pradeep Dixit, GES India Pvt Ltd. It took quite a while to get custom clearance because all containers come into India on a bond, so they have to be taken out, too, thus there is no duty on its entry. Now for these 25 containers permission is needed for debonding, etc etc. Funny, it took more than 2 months to do all these formalities, wish there was quicker ways .
  • In Aadariyana there are 3 schools- first is the boys 1-7 school which is broken and being rebuilt ( by-the-way this school was first built in 1875 ! - so its a very educationally enlightened village ), then there is a kanya-shala ( girls school, 1-7 ) which was first built in 1986, it has suffered some damages, mostly minor, they have asked Eklavya to do the repairs ( it is easy for us to do this, because cement-steel-mason-engineers, almost everything and every person needed is already there in the village on our project-site) and we have agreed, total cost is about Rs 50,000.
  • Then there is a High School 8-9-10, its run by a private trust, they too need some repairs, they also need a new largish hall as a library, we have agreed to do this , it'll cost about Rs 10 lacs, we are sure we'll get some sponsor. This will also serve as the library for the entire village.
  • There is a village called Zadiyana, 10 kms away from Aadariyana, in the same cluster, their school is totally broken, right now we are giving them 8 containers to start the school, they have requested Eklavya to build them a new 12-room school, the cost is about Rs 40 lacs ( very quick and dirty estimate). The village has a population of 2100, the school was first built in 1950, it has 230 students, 7 teachers and 8 rooms. Their teachers are anyway in the group of 2-year-training Eklavya is providing. We want to take up this school, too, its near Aadariyana so the civil construction of both are easy to supervise, its in the same cluster, and we are confident that the money will come. What do you feel, pl do let me know.
  • The mid-day meal scheme by the Government, the school cooks the food using wood, we asked them to use gas, they said wood is cheaper, since they just cut some trees and do not have to pay for it ! In the room we are making we are designing for gas, we do not know whether ultimately it'll work or not, because even if we do the capital cost, who'll pay for the monthly recurring gas-cylinder cost ? We hope to set a positive environment-friendly trend.

That's it for now

Fond regards

Sunil Handa

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