Thursday, 14 March 2013
Off to London right now to plan how to deliver all the experience to public and how to best show how our money goes to this amazing cause. From the Elan Valley to India and back home to the hills in time for lambing. Thank you for all those who have helped the Rangers raise money for WaterAid. ... Thank you Dwr Cymru Welsh Water customers for raising 4 million over the last 8 years. ..... all this money has made such a difference to peoples lives and built communities. ... you all make me proud.....
Wednesday, 27 February 2013
Not long onto coach to remember how beautiful and green Wales really is.
Saturday, 23 February 2013
Sakun had a bandage tied around his head and seemed a little frail. I looked into his milky coloured eyes ...... and felt the cost of his suffering. He had brought up 4 children 3 daughters and a son. They lost one young daughter to a water borne disease also years before. 2 daughters have been married. The son works in a flour mill which is contract work unusual in the slum as most employment is usually a daily struggle.
It turned out that three days before our visit the electricity had gone off and Sakun had fallen in the dark and woke in a pool of blood and had managed to get some help from someone nearby who got him to the hospital.
We discussed many more issues and then I was outside and asked what was "I feeling in the slums". I tried to talk but I could feel the emotion rising within me and the tears flowed from my eyes. I couldn't get away the glimpse at a small boy no older than 4 (just a bit younger than my daughter) squatting down in the wasteland of litter and human excrement surrounded by foraging boar and dogs. I knew many children had been bitten by snakes and died and children and women were prayed upon by men. The lack of privacy, dignity and safety was hitting me hard here. And after spending the day with the school yesterday I was reminded of the vulnerability of India's children. I thank God I have seen the good work that WaterAid and partners are doing to make the future safer for them..
The other thing I learned today was just what the partnership organisations do with WaterAid as sitting with the staff in the house it was plane to see how much they were connected with the people and just much work had been done to get to this stage. They help the people to get access to their rights and they move the government to take responsibility. ....
Afternoon at Arjun Nagar Slum
This slum has 400 houses and has been in existence for 30 years (this morning there were 300 households and the slum was 40 years old), most residents are from scheduled caste and schedule tribes. And it was a relief after this morning to see how a community with the help of WaterAid and Partner Organisations could lift a community and have it motivated and working sustainability together. You will be pleased to hear that every household has a toilet now and there is even a road. Health has greatly improved and the children are safer indoor. It is at the moment the only open defecation free slum! And has been sustaining itself for 3 years. the government are looking now to build houses in place of the dwellings currently there.
Meeting the lovely Asha and her husband Shibai was a real honor and enlightening experience. they have a son and daughter who are both at school and they proudly showed us the trophy `s won by the son Rahul. they are proud of both their children and hope they will continue with their education. Now there is a toilet in the school it is more girl friendly and girls are continuing whereas before they dropped out around puberty.
the community has its own committee to which the householders pay 20 rupees a month for the maintenance and water quality checks of the water points and to improve the community overall such as plans to build a play park hospital or community hall. People are free to dream and plan now , in fact this slum has a 5 year plan in place and even visits surrounding neighboring slums to share the fact that they too can be the same.
The community corporator was elected in the ward and is responsible for 6 slums (blue Sari), she really understands the issues and it was clearly visible the respect and love the people had for her. If there is a wedding or a birth she is always invited. The corporator we saw this morning in Shiv Nagar on reflection did not have this rapport and this may help to contribute to that feeling of despair.
Friday, 22 February 2013
The school children played an important part in the drive for cleanliness. They had morning rallies (which is the time most defecation occurs) having outdoor games at morning and even blowing whistles when seeing someone going to the toilet outside. With these children going home and campaigning for toilets in the home this was again raising the awareness. At school they were shown how to wash hands and keep clean.
There is almost 100% sanitation coverage with most houses having a toilet with only a few still being constructed.
Our welcome was lovely as always in India. We all received out mark on the forehead and a rose. A different child delivered to each supporter the rose and they told us about the committee they were on.
A group and the principal escorted us around the classrooms. The principal was so pleased that you can now open the windows as the smell was so bad it put the children off study and lunch. The children were so proud of the work that they had done and happily showed off pictures and posters. We studied the solar system and they told me pluto was no longer classed as a planet. Studying the same as my little boy last term.