After months of drought and weeks of severe heat, with temperatures regularly over 50 degrees Centigrade, we finally got some good rainfall. The earth, the plants and animals were all thirsting for a drop of water. Unfortunately, when the cool, moist air finally arrived it reacted with the hot earth and so the first rains came in the form of violent storms driven by strong winds. In just a few minutes we lost the roofs of two buildings at the school. Since then everything in nature has cooled down because the rain has been falling steadily, just enough each day so that the earth can absorb it without flooding. Now the land everywhere looks green and the farmers are starting their agricultural work again. Read more →
In this post we are focusing our attention on the Village Bank. This wing of our Foundation has been helping many villagers quietly behind the scenes.
In fact our Village Bank is different from the usual commercial banks we are all familiar with. Its purpose is to help local villagers with small loans when they have come to a time of crisis in their lives or else to help in starting up a new small business. Read more →
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. Read more →
Now Holi, the festival of colour is over, we would like to publish a special posting because our new Boys Hostel is finished. The original four plus seven more new boys have moved in to start living there this week. Read more →
As we have in each of the last five years, we celebrated a sports meet at our school. The kids were very excited and enjoyed it very much. It took place over two days, on the 6th and 7th February. Read more →
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. Read more →
First of all I would like wish a Happy New Year to all of our friends in India and abroad. And we at Prabhatalloi Foundation have been pleased to spend another year working hand in hand with Prabhatalloi Inc in Australia.
I would like to take this opportunity to look back over the year 2014, both to tell you what we have achieved and also about our disappointments. Read more →
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. Read more →
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.
Many of you will know already that for about two months the Chhau teachers and musicians at our primary school have also been training some of the boys at the Central School near to our village. Chhau dance was completely new to these boys when they started. Having learned a lot in a very short time they bravely decided to travel to Nalanda in Bihar to participate in a competition being held there.
There were 20 boys plus the teachers, musicians and other PA Foundation staff in the party. They left Purulia Railway Station on the 13th of November and arrived the next day in Bihar. On the 15th they performed before a huge and enthusiastic crowd of well known and respected dignitaries, teachers, children and other members of the public.
Sixteen other teams from three States performed on the same stage. We are delighted to tell you that the Nabodaya School team came first in this competition. This means that they will now travel to Delhi for a national competition. If they also come first in this competition then they will be invited to go on a tour in Japan. So hats off to our teachers and the students at INV. This a proud day for them, for our teachers and musicians and for PA Foundation.
A new Boys Hostel
Prabhat Alloi Foundation began their children’s hostel with seven children, three girls and four boys. All of them are growing up very quickly now. At present we have two rooms, one for the boys and one for the girls. But now as they are growing older we need to give them more living space. Also, it sometimes happens that boys will enter the girls’ room without knocking, which is sometimes embarrassing to both the boys and the girls. This is just one example of the inevitable problems everyone faces as young people grow up.
For these reasons we are building a new, separate hostel for the boys next door to the library. We will make it large enough to accommodate more than four boys because other local boys have asked for accommodation. Things are too crowded in their own homes so it is difficult to study. The solution is that they can sleep at the new hostel but continue to eat their meals at home with their families. They will then have much more space to work on their studies at the library. We have started to buy the bricks and other materials we need and are actively seeking additional funding for this urgent project.
Preparing the Land for Onion and Potatoes
This year we had very much less rain than usual during the monsoon season and as a result our villagers’ harvests have been very poor. So we are doing our part by cultivating vegetables in the school garden in those parts where the soil is good. We tilled and prepared the soil and have now planted potatoes and onions.
Painting the Guest House
We are using the walls of the school buildings as a place to display traditional local paintings. The first step is to decorate the walls of the guest house..