Local people in Purulia District donate food and basic medical supplies on a regular basis, particularly during festival times. These contributions are enough to sustain the villagers. However this village was established in 1884, and has been neglected by the government since the 1980’s. Locals have not been able to find the money or the initiative to make substantial building repairs or take on water projects. That’s where we come in.
SO FAR THIS FUNDRAISER ALONE HAS RAISED $935 USD or $60,279 rupees.
Projects in Need of Funding
Building Repair: Men’s Quarters Assistance Needed – Urgent
The men’s quarters are in rough shape, and the danger of having a roof collapse is worrisome. This is critical as most of the men are residing here. We expect the total cost of this project will be $900 USD. We have currently raised $125 USD for this project but we still need help!
In February a mixture of cement and sand was applied to some pillars as a temporary fix. We only had the funds to do half of the building in this manner, to the great disappointment of other residents. To guarantee that repairs will last, we need to properly replace some of the pillars as well as replace the roof. If we are able to achieve funding for both, then this project will happen now during the dry season. This is critical because the monsoon comes in July and poses a greater risk to the structural integrity of the building.
Update 4/16 Old tin has been collected from old buildings to be used on the roof. Bricks are also free for the village as they can be collected from the old buildings, as is sand for cement as it is taken from the riverside. The majority of the cost is purchasing cement and labor – which means that money goes right back into the local economy.
Building Repair: Women’s Quarters Assistance Needed – Urgent
The quarters where the women are living are not as bad as the men’s quarters.. but they’re not good. The government recently allocated funds to replace the roof of the main women’s building and repair damaged walls, which they have begun.
The storage building (where three women also live) is in dire need of repair. The end walls have now separated from the side walls. When it rains, water pours in and everything gets soaked. As we enter the dry season it’s not as pressing, but come monsoon season in July this will be a major problem.
To repair both of the buildings in the women’s quarters properly will take approximately $600 USD.
Ongoing Support: A Designated Cook Assistance Needed
Currently there is no one designated to cook, so residents switch off and chip in where they’re able. However cooking every daily meal for 40 people is a challenge. Some of the women find it too difficult to walk to the kitchen area, especially in the 100+ degree heat, so they pay 10 rupees a month to have one of the men carry their food over. While that’s a very small fee, they have no source of income, so even the ten rupees can be difficult to manage. They have told us that sometimes they go without. We are looking for ongoing support to provide a cook for all of them, who will also make sure everyone eats a square meal. This ongoing service will cost $100 USD/month.
Day Labor Assistance Needed
We would like to have someone visiting regularly to help with lifting and moving things. Many of the villagers have lost fingers they so can’t grip things, especially if they are heavy or bulky, and they are getting older. The visiting workers can do the heavy planting work, move irrigation pipes, and so on. We’d like to clear some of the overgrowth that has appeared between the men’s and women’s compounds because it is a shelter for snakes and vermin. A very good rate of pay for a labourer here, a “mistry”, is about $4 a day.
New Beds Assistance Needed
Items like bedding and clothing are available from donors locally. They cost very little. However, we would like to replace many of their beds. Each would cost about $15.
Harvest Labor Assistance Needed
When rice is harvested here in the Fall, women go and work in the paddies all day for $2-$3 and they are really pleased to earn the money. Many men would be glad to go to the leprosy village to work, especially if it turned out to be regular work. An extra and regular extra income of $2 a day makes a great difference to households here. It is worth noting that benefits of paying for labor are two-fold, as it also employs other members of the community in Purulia District.
Projects Funded by this Fundraiser Alone:
Kitchen Building Repair Funding Achieved!
In January we began repairing the kitchen building. Funds from this effort accounted for the majority of these repairs as well as a fresh coat of paint. Additional artwork was paid for by a local donor. This cost about $300.
Television Funding Achieved!
$300 USD / 20,000 rupees for the television, plus installation fees. The subscription fee of 400 rupees / month will be provided for locally for the 3 channels they are interested in: Bengali news, discovery channel, and a cinema channel. We are also providing a USB drive full of Bengali films, as well as videos of local folk dance and song.
We began this fundraiser in order to raise money for a television after some of the women here had brought it up. Now, of all the important humanitarian assistance we could offer, why in the world would we choose a luxury item such as a television? Glad you asked! The breaking news is this: The Indian Government has recently permitted the village to connect to the main electricity supply! Only 20 residents know how to read, and still more have poor eyesight – so a television will provide ageing residents with a form of excitement, entertainment, and community engagement.
The funding for this project is now complete! After much controversy about where best to keep the TV, residents have decided to put it in the middle of the men’s quarters. Until now this room has been used to keep the goats safe from thieves at night, but now it is being plastered and cleaned to become a recreation room. The goats will be relocated.
Painting Projects & Minor Building Repairs Funding Achieved!
Once building repairs are completed we will be painting buildings to bring some color and optimism to everyday life. Life here used to be quite good for villagers despite their conditions, but since the early 90’s they have had some difficult experiences. In 1992 a flood washed away substantial land, causing building collapse and the death of 12 villagers. A wave of Malaria killed 20. Three people have attempted to commit suicide in an old well. One of them succeeded. Fresh paint is inexpensive but can completely transform a place. The temple below is a good example! Fresh paint compounded with other major improvements will help everyone’s mental state.
Other Projects Funded & Currently Underway
Water Project Funding Achieved!
One major project for 2017 will be to improve the quality of water at the leprosy village. We want to make it easier for people to get access to water for washing, cleaning, cooking, and irrigation. In the first week of December we began our survey by meeting with residents so they could tell us what they need and how best we should proceed. In January the water tank, stand, and pump have been installed; nearly all the pipe has been laid and tested; faucets have been installed and structural bases created.
Previous Accomplishments & Ongoing Support
Thanks to ongoing support PAF is able to provide continued medical support to residents, as well as 50 kg of rice per month. A bicycle rickshaw was donated to the village which makes it possible for residents to travel to the hospital. The addition of a water pump for irrigation makes it possible for residents to grow vegetables for their own use, and they now even produce enough that they have a little extra to sell. You can see some of their crops in this post’s picture.
If you are interested in donating but feel strongly about a certain project, we are able to allocate funds directly to one project by request. Please contact us to discuss the project you prefer.