1] Two women journalism students came from Kolkata with their parents to make a documentary film on Chhou dance. They stayed for two days with us in our guest house. They interviewed Robert, who did his research on Chhou dance when he was at SOAS, and Kiritida, who is an expert on Bengali culture. We also arranged an interview with the famous Chhou guru Dhananjan Mahato who lives not too far away. They also interviewed Doktor, who stays in our Hostel, who is five years old and is already a very fine Chhou dancer.
8th December 2014 Some News from Dabar
Building a New Boys Hotel
You will probably know that for four years now we have been caring for three girls and four boys in our Children’s Hostel. Now that they are older, we need to start a new separate home for the boys. The idea is that the girls can have more space and privacy in the place they have been living while the boys will have more freedom and also the adventure of moving to a new place.
We have now started building the new hostel, which will be located on the school grounds next to the library. There will be space for 14 boys plus a separate room to accommodate the housekeeper who takes care of them. We will continue to have 24 hour a day security inside the campus. The boys are now getting the opportunity to watch while the building is going on and they are very happy about it.
Distributing Copybooks and Pencils
Twice a month we provide each student at the school with three copybooks and one pencil for their studies. Because we have enough money, we are also planning to provide them all with warm clothing such as sweaters for the cold season.
Our Chhou Dance Teachers Honoured by Jahar Nabodaya School
For the last few months our dancers and musicians have been introducing Chhou Dance to the students at the Jahar Nabodaya School near to Dabar Village, which is a new, selective boarding school the Government has built for both boys and girls. Their boys worked very hard and, thanks to the good training they received from our staff, the School felt confident enough to enter them in an interschool dance competition. In the event their team won first prize. Because of this they will now go on to take part in a national dance competition to be held in Delhi. The winner of that competition will be invited to join in on a cultural tour of Japan.
The School was very pleased and proud of this success. So they congratulated their boys and thanked our teachers at a presentation before all their staff and students. Now our teachers will continue with regular weekly training sessions both at Jahar Nabodaya School and with our own team.
Special Medical Checkup for Leprosy Village
Both Chaina and Shanta are qualified nurses and make fortnightly visits to the Leprosy Village to dispense medicines, give advice and address any new problems which may arise. Our staff are always warmly welcomed when they come.This month we arranged a special medical check for all the villagers, checking blood pressure and looking for any telltale signs of the early stages of diabetes and other serious illness.
Sanjay Kumar Mahato