Started the day at the “Indian Computer Centre” where we picked up some nice desks for the new computers that we have installed in the poor school in Sawai Madhpur. I went by jeep and was told to wait 5 minutes – 5 Indian stretchable minutes later (half an hour) the guys arrived and put the desks plus one new computer on the jeep and off we went.
Until now the computers have been on rickety tables so we have tidied
things up and created a Computer corner in the school which should prove to be a great place for the school kids to learn and make use of the 3 computers. I am very pleased with it all.
Computer Corner Now
Not only was I pleased with the look of the new computer corner but even more pleasing was the way the children went up to the computers and started using them and were obviously comfortable with it.
When I installed the first computer there over a year ago, those kids had never seen or touched a real computer before and now they all look so proficient with it all. It put my mind at ease and was a very satisfying moment for me as there had always been a doubt in my mind as to whether the computers were beneficial to the children and whether they were being put to good use. It all seemed so worthwhile and those who have donated can now know that their generosity has made a difference to these kids. Amazing, incredible.
I went back to the hotel and returned with my latest group. They thoroughly enjoyed the visit to the school.
It was really cold in Ranthambore and I know the villagers struggle to keep warm so I went to the market to buy some warm clothes for the children at the school in the old town and the mother and child unit run by UNICEF. A guy from the hotel drove me there and on the way back to the hotel asked me if I would like to drive the car. Those of you who know the Indian roads would understand why I declined this kind offer though I have to admit I did consider it.
Clothes for UNICEF
Tracy sent 40 white shirts for the school kids. I managed to pack them in my suitcase. The kids were delighted with them.
After an early morning safari and a late breakfast we head off to visit the school in the Old Town. I have worked with this school for years now and have put one desktop computer here. The school is basic and lacks resources. The children are happy to see everyone and we come armed with gifts – pens, sweets, shampoo, soap.
Everyone is moved by the school children and how poor the school is. It is very difficult to get anything done here and it is very frustrating trying to improve things.
We then do to the Unicef mother and child unit.
We all hear about the booming economy in India, however over 300 million people live in poverty with no clean water. Village life is extremely basic and in the cities slum life is even worse.
Education is one key to solving India’s many problems but most state schools are badly equipped and lack resources.
We also visited the mother and child unit sponsored by UNICEF.
Giving computers to two poor Indian Schools and seeing the children’s faces was better than seeing the Taj Mahal. I have been working on this for months and originally wanted to give used laptops to the schools, but after Paul Hughes of Standard Wool, Huddersfield donated £1000 to buy new computers, I did the research and bought two laptops from the UK and one desktop in India. I have also paid for a teacher to teach computing to the teachers at these schools as they have also never used a computer before. I honestly believe gaining computer skills or even just learning how to use a keyboard could really make a difference to the future of these children and give them more prospects of employment.
Classroom in India
India’s literacy rate in many states is only 51% and I truly believe the key to improving the lives of many and cutting the poverty is in education. Thanks to Vipul Jain, a park ranger I work with in Ranthambore, I have been able to take my groups to several village schools in India. These schools are poor and badly equipped with just one or two small classrooms for 90 children, who have to sit on the floor. We as a group have collections and then Vipul buys chairs, pens, uniforms and other basic items for the school. I am hoping to take some used laptop computers out to these schools on my next few trips to India. It’s not enough, I know, but every little helps.
My 2011 groups gave generously and in December, I was able to see what had been bought with the money. Uniforms for one school, tables and benches for another. We also had enough left to buy books and school bags for a third school. In fact I took my December 2011 group to that village school and my clients gave the books and bags out to the kids. It was really lovely.
Kids with School Bags
Kids at School
Indian School Children
Two of my clients had the idea of twinning Indian schools with British schools. Hopefully it would benefit both British and Indian school children and the teachers. The clients, after a lot of searching, found a British primary school ready to be twinned and get involved. 2 weeks agao, I headed of to India for my last tour of 2011 Continue reading
Many of my clients have asked me, at the end of an India Tour, how they can help India’s poor, especially the children. I also felt that I wanted to help, so did some research and got into contact with a NGO (Non Government Organisation) in the city of Jaipur, capital of the state of Rajasthan.
The NGO is I-Indiaonline (website www.i-indiaonline.com ).
The founders Prabhakar and Abha Goswami, Continue reading