Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
The people who had one or two trees at the courtyard have cut down the trees to sell cheaply in order to survive. We also saw women wailing over the situation of their houses as they were trying to still settle down within the tents made of tarpaulin sheets. All people had tarpaulin sheets, although it was not adequate. Importantly, the children were all playing in the dirty and muddy water that had gathered along the temporary shelters, exposing themselves to various ailments. Besides, there was absolutely no sign of any sanitary facility. It will be too dangerous and it is too steep for people to go down into the Ganges for anal cleansing. So, they may have to do with the water collected around their shelters due to the rain that has been mercilessly pouring each day. I also inquired if the children are going to school. And the people said "yes". There is a Government primary school close by.
Finally, there is a danger of further breach at a distance of 100 meters if the water continues to rise, as the river has dangerously got too close to the approach road. We saw that the Government has arranged for some boulders to be thrown into the river in order to contain erosion. But it is going to be a very long drawn battle, as the approach roads are in very bad shape after the rains and the erosion.
As for any relief measures : the families are dependent on daily labour as there is no cultivable land in the vicinity, and many of them work in the mango orchards that are away from the village. But, due to erosion, and the need for setting up temporary shelter, many men have not gone for work. However, they said that they will return to work soon, if there is not much rain. The dangers involved are in terms of people taking heavy loans to maintain families and fear of diarrheal outbreak. So, we would propose the following : Assistance in setting up of temporary toilets with basic facilities. To do some awareness on diarrhea and other water borne / vector borne diseases. Make ORS and bleaching powder available in sufficient quantity. To arrange for testing of the ground water quality in the affected area.
Stop Press : Reports of more erosion along the river Fulahar are coming from other parts of Malda district, specially from Bhaluka and Uttar Bhakuria. I shall visit these places with Ms. Bimala Baru (a Staff of SWI), and Ms. Meghan and Ms. Jamie, of Western Washington University.
Monday, July 21, 2008
The organization had done a scrutiny of applications based on the need element, such as orphan children and children from most backward families getting preference over others. Among the 300 students, 178 are girl children; and 75 students among the 300 study in Catholic Mission supported schools, and other beneficiaries come from Government colleges and schools. The Finance Support was contributed by Gruppo India, Italy and Social Welfare Institute, Raiganj
Friday, July 18, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
It was also my final evening in Seattle. Dinner was arranged at the family of Andrea. Her Mom, Dad and Brother along with Andrea had prepared some delicious dinner for us. It was so nice that Jeremiah and Devin joined us along with Scott, Erin, Steve, Sean and Shannon. We had a very long dinner and said farewell to one another. It was a moment of joy and pain at the same time. How much these people have done for me over the last ten days! Each of them went beyond their capacity to support me. Thank You Friends!