In Purulia this past month we suffered many short but powerful storms of wind, rain and hail, thunder and lightning. One of them was so severe that it killed three people in the village next door. In Dabar, gusts of wind from the same storm actually blew over one of the walls enclosing our Community Centre. It damaged the front of our own home too. Happily, the buildings inside the Centre itself were not damaged.
However, we need to repair the damaged wall very soon, before the heavy monsoon rains start in July. Otherwise we will risk more serious damage to the soil base, the front gate and even to the main Hall itself. We’ll add more substantial foundations, supported by metal beams, and a drainage system to keep rain water from undercutting the base of the wall again in future. We took estimates and need to find INR103,000 to pay for the work. This is converts to US$1,610 or AUS$2,150 or UK Sterling £1,250. Please click below for more information and photographs…
Recently we have been stretched financially and so we don’t have this amount of money, mainly because we have been committed to finishing our projects at Nabakusthashrum, the lepers’ village. So we need to ask your help. We know we can’t expect that one person or group should be able give us this amount of money. However, we very much hope that enough of our friends and supporters can each contribute a small amount which will help reduce or cover this burden.
What the Community Centre has come to mean to us
After just over one year, our Community Centre has quickly become very important to people both here in Dabar and its surrounding villages. I’d like to give you some background information about it.
The story starts in 2015, when we got the chance to buy the land opposite our school campus at a very reasonable price. We considered several possible options, but finally decided that the best one was to build a Community Centre on the plot. Thanks to the generosity of outside donors, we finished the building work in April 2016.
The new infrastructure comprises a main hall, a temple, a pond and a drinking water station which serves passers by on the road outside. It’s now been going for only just over a year now. Yet the Community Centre has already been used for a great variety of purposes.
In the first month we staged a Kirtan music and dance festival and competition. Teams from all over Purulia District and beyond came to perform over the four days.
Next we staged the first of many Baul folk music concerts. The people of West Bengal and Bangladesh very much cherish these singers and musicians. Some perform at concerts and have a settled home life but many others eke out a living as travelling minstrels. We’ve gone on to stage more Baul conerts plus addition music and dance workshops.
A team of police officers came to visit the women of Dabar and our surrounding villages. They came to introduce a new special women’s protection unit for Purulia. Such a unit has now been organised in every District of India. Their principal focus is to protect and give support to victims of domestic abuse and rape, counsel against child marriage and combat child abduction and abuse.
The hostel boys train regularly in Chhau dance outside and the older ones are now temporarily using the Hall as a dormitory.
We have also been catering for marriage ceremonies.
There have been other events and we expect to use the Community Centre for many more in the future
Our thanks to all of you for your continued support. We’re accomplishing a lot because of it
Sanjay Kumar Mahato