First of all we would like to say how much we appreciate the recent blog published by Prabhatalloi Inc in Australia. We echo all their thanks and congratulations to you all.
Here in Purulia our summer hot season is fast arriving in its full intensity. Although it is now only just knocking at the door we can already see its effects everywhere, mainly because we had such poor rainfall in July in August.
The land and the ponds are going dry and the trees are losing their leaves. If the summer turns out to be especially bad then many people, animals and nature are all going to suffer.
In fact, in Purulia town very many homes have run out water from their normal sources and are either having to buy water in or to join one of the long queues for drinking water at government water taps.
We in Dabar village are fortunate to be close to the main river and almost always have good water available. And we are very glad we dug a deep well at the school at the time we built the guest house. Because of this we can be assured of a supply of good water for the boys in the hostel and the school children who visit every day.
Although the main river is dry, as you can see from the photographs, there is still water available if you dig down about two meters. You can see the new pond we dug in the dry river bed. Prabhatalloi Foundations with the other villagers are putting into operation a plan to pump some of this river water to replenish the water in the village ponds. It is not just our village, but many surrounding villages, that depend on our ponds for day to day washing and cleaning.
We are fortunate to be blessed with such plentiful and good quality water. If we plan carefully we should be able to overcome these serious but short term problems.
The new boys are settling in well at the hostel. We are looking after the boys particularly while they are settling in during these first few weeks. The girls in their own hostel are now growing up fast and doing very well.
One of the new boys is named Sanjay. He had been studying in Class V but because his parents were so poor he was forced to work all day at a roadside Dhaba (restaurant). But he is now staying with us and has started to attend the local school in Class VI. Although the term had already started and officially it was too late to enroll, the principal allowed him to start when I went with him and Robert to the school. We have also got him books from the High School and arranged a private tutor for him.
We have appointed Manobodh Gorain to supervise the boys on a full time basis and act as a tutor twice a day. We have also taken on a house mother.
It is getting really hot now, but the boys can still play badminton in the evening. This is possible because we now have good lighting at the school and a generator to intervene if there is a general power cut.
These last two weeks we have been visited by a reporter from a local television station. He is filming and doing interviews about the primary school, the computer center and library, the health center, the sewing classes and the traditional and Chhau dance programmes. All these programmes are the products of your kind interest and support. What you have accomplished is now being appreciated not just in our village but all around the surrounding area.
Here are some photographs of the sewing class and the interviews.
The boys came up and told me they wanted to help tidy up the village each week. They want to remove plastic from the road and put rubbish in a proper place. The plastic refuse is a particular problem here. To do something about it was a noble idea that came from the boys themselves. They started work by cleaning around their own hostel. They then went and cleaned the whole of the area where the dirty water pours out. After a good session of work we went off to the local café for a special breakfast.