This was our last visit before the Diwali Vacation. We visited Barafpada, Palavpada and Kaspada on 22-Oct 2016.
Barafpada is the latest entrant in Suhrid foundation. The two big problems, which were highlighted by the teachers / villagers were unavailability of the water source and unavailability of any occupation after the harvesting during Diwali. We had decided to address the first problem of water at the school level first. Due to excessive rains this side, there was no issue with the ground water. We initiated a water project with help of the teacher. This involved installing the motor operated submersible pump, transmission of water to the tank and distribution of the same to various parts in the school viz toilet, kitchen and outdoor basins. Teachers got tremendous support from the villagers and within eight to nine days, they were ready with the complete setup. Team Suhrid inaugurated the project on 22nd Oct, 2016. Teachers have already showed us the cleanliness in and around the premises due to the availability of water. They have also grown some flower plants in the school compound. They would be soon growing vegetables. Team Suhrid had arranged for a visit of the farmers of our catchment area to Wada to attend a seminar on newer ways of farming. Taking a leaf out of that, we directed the farmers of Barafpada to this institute, which can guide them take second or third crop. They don’t have to leave their places after Diwali in the hunt of new jobs viz fishing, sand digging, construction labor or working at brick kiln. We also provided books and charts to the kids of Barafpada, who were thrilled to see colorful books with pearls from Indian Mythology. Teacher has promised that the kids would enact/narrate the stories during our next visit to their school.
Palavpada is a very small place. There are hardly 41 kids in the school. Though they were a bit slow starter, the school has gained enough momentum in the recent past. The kids sang traditional songs in chorus. After distributing the books and charts, we also shared our expectations with the teachers regarding kids giving individual speeches or read out the stories from the books so as to improve communication skills and develop boldness in kids. We could see major improvement in terms of health and hygiene in children. A very short eye test was conducted for the kids with relatively weaker vision. While a few kids were able to read, the strain in their eyes was quite visible. We have identified four kids for the further round of eye test. With this, we concluded our first level of eye tests at the schools. We have identified around 35 kids with weak vision. These kids would go through optometry, ophthalmic tests and finally the advanced treatment.
Team Suhrid decided to train the kids on some different art, which cant be directly learnt at the school. Team Suhrid carried lot of raw material viz ice-cream sticks, colored papers, colored clothes, threads, needle, colored stones etc to Kaspada. The kids were trained to make bookmarks using the cross-stitch method. It was heartening to see that the small girls were able to pick up the art naturally and reproduce the same effect. Even the boys were not to be left behind. They used used ice-cream sticks, adhesives, colored papers, stones and made colorful stands to keep earthen lamp during Diwali. This is a new initiative, which would go long way. We would have many more sessions like this in this school. Once done, we would replicate the model in other schools as well.
Post Diwali, we would start with completion of eye test part, which would be followed by first adult camp (after Oct 2012), wherein the ladies of Kaspada would be examined. Team Suhrid would be distributing the cycles to each school. Also, we would have to work on at least two dams this year to take care water preservation in the next monsoon.