Blog for 30th January 2015

In our last blog we told you about some of the work we did last year. There were some ups and downs but in the end the year 2014 turned out to be a good one for PAF and PAI.

I’d like to invite Robin Atkinson, Shivanii, Robyn Ramsey and any other PAI members to send us material for our blog. If there is anything you would like to share or discuss then please do send it to us so we can publish it.

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In our last blog we told you about some of the work we did last year. There were some ups and downs but in the end the year 2014 turned out to be a good one for PAF and PAI.

I’d like to invite Robin Atkinson, Shivanii, Robyn Ramsey and any other PAI members to send us material for our blog. If there is anything you would like to share or discuss then please do send it to us so we can publish it.

In this posting I’d like to tell you about our hopes for 2015. We love to weave dreams. This is probably better than setting out goals so I’ll tell you of our dreams instead. Time will tell whether they will actually come true. But for this coming year we hope:

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1] To run the boys and girls hostels successfully. As part of this we hope the kids will be able to pay more attention to their studies.

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2] To run a second session of our computer skills class. We aim to give each individual student proper guidance and advice. We want to do what we can to care for the needs of each student.

3] To plan and begin preparing the infrastructure for a clean water management and sanitary system which will benefit everybody in the village of Dabar.

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4] To continue taking on more outsourcing work doing a variety of activities. We want to earn money to meet our regular monthly costs such as medicines, electricity, repairs and salaries. Our financial responsibilities have been increasing just as PA Foundation has been growing. We have started out by taking on bookkeeping work, arranging visas, passports and travel itineraries and typing and editing texts. Our Chhou dancing team has now started making regular public performances  so we and the boys receive income for that too.

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Some news from this month
Boys Hostel

The hostel work has been progressing very quickly. The boys should be able to move in during the month of February. Our heartfelt thanks to Laura and Nick, to Robert, Robyn Ramsay, Cherie and Gary, Paul Williamson , my mother Shibanidi, all the other members of PAI, our friends in Maleny and the PA Foundation team for their support in making it possible to build this hostel.

All the boys are very excited about staying there. We hope they can move in before March.

Tusu festival

Tusu festival is the biggest folk festival in rural Purulia. There are a number of different stories about its origins. The festival takes place at the end of the Bengali month of Pous, which is the middle of January in the modern calendar. One ancient story relates how the Goddess Ganga, of the holy river Ganges, blesses all rivers and waters on these particular days. If people bathe in rivers and ponds during this time, all their sins will be cleaned away. For this reason this day has become a holy festival day.

A different story tells how the king of this area had a very beautiful daughter named Tusu. When a Turkish army [before Mughal] invaded this area the local soldiers deserted to fight with the other side and as a result there was no army to fight off the Turks. So the Princess Tusu led the women to confront the Turks. But they were defeated and the Princess took her own life by throwing herself into the river. To commemorate the heroism of Princess Tusu we bathe early in the morning of this day, eat various types of cakes and then make our way in procession to the riverside. We build a chariot called a Choudal out of paper and sticks to carry the image of the Princess. Groups of singing women bear this Choudal to the riverside where they cast it into the water.

This festival is also related to new rice. On this day farmers make vatities cakes with the newly harvested rice. After eating this we go to the fields to celebrate the festival.

Saraswati Puja

At this time we also celebrate Saraswati Puja at our school. Saraswati is the Goddess of knowledge. All the student, staff and teachers celebrate this day.  We also join in with the celebrations, which last for two days. On the second day we take a statue of Saraswati to be immersed in the pond to the accompaniment of singing, chanting and dancing by all.

 

 

Indian Independence Day

The 26th January is Republic Day in India. We mark this day at our school with a flag raising ceremony.

Navodaya School asked our Chhou dance teachers to teach some of their boys. They learned very quickly and even went on to win a statewide cultural competition. The School was very proud of this accomplishment and grateful for the wonderful training their boys received. So we were invited to attend the School’s end of year awards ceremony to honour their boys and mark their achievement.

Sanjay Kumar Mahato
Secretary

One thought on “Blog for 30th January 2015

  • Friday, 30 January , 2015 at 1:25 pm
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    Nice work..The posting relted Tusu is really informative..carry on posting…

    Reply

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