Sunday, 14 June 2015

Sweet Dreams in Girls’ Club

As I look back to our first Girls’ Club meeting in March, career pathways other than teacher and doctor and the word “aspiration” appeared to be intangible concepts, too big for our girls group to grasp. Every week, we begin Girls’ Club with an icebreaker activity to get to know one another better. We also use these activities to assess their understanding of the abstract concepts that we try to present. Our first ever icebreaker activity involved sitting in a circle and asking each girl what they like about themselves. The range of 12 to 14 year olds struggled to understand the question, as their responses focused on the people and things they like instead. After noticing the difficulty the girls had with the activity, we tried to gauge which physical attributes they liked about themselves, thus, shifting the focus back onto them. When planning this activity, I anticipated responses, such as, “I like my creativity”, and “I like that I’m different.” This first Girls’ Club discussion, however, was met with “I like my hair”, “I like my eyes”, and “I like my cheeks.”

Since then, we have used crafts and games to encourage self-expression and to foster a sense of self and individuality among the group. Although on some Sundays, they can be quite restless, our attempts at building the girls’ confidence and showcasing women’s potential and achievements seldom fall short of meeting the objective.

Throughout May, the women’s empowerment interns experimented with introducing the girls to various female role models. We began this series with Savitribai Jyotirao Phule, who opened the first school for girls in India in 1848. The girls read the summarized biography of Phule, held onto every detail of her life, but they could not explain why she should be important to us all. They missed the fact that she is the reason they can get an education today. Evaluating this first role model discussion, we observed that not all of the girls were engaged, sidebar conversations took over, and in all, the interest was not there. Preparing to try again the following week, we thought, “maybe we should introduce someone more recent”, “maybe we should make the summary more concise”, “maybe this activity is too much like school”, “maybe we should highlight the points we want them to remember, by acknowledging one key detail each week.”

We began again with Mary Kom, a famous professional Indian boxer, who won a bronze medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics, and a gold medal in the 2014 Asian Games. Upon introducing Mary Kom, some girls were familiar with her story. Each week, we presented a new detail about her life: from being bullied as a child because she came from a poor family, to her father saying that boxing isn’t something a girl should do. The aim of this revised weekly conversation was to introduce the girls to influential Indian women, who faced challenges on heir path to making a difference. Unfortunately, emphasis on these different points didn’t generate the kind of conversation we hoped for. The girls were aware that Mary Kom was a successful boxer, but they were still missing why she was someone we could look up to. And when asked to elaborate on their thoughts of the way Mary’s father felt about girls boxing, not much was stated.

The next few weeks involved taking a break from the role model discussions. We facilitated more hands on activities: we talked about the environment, made bracelets, drew pictures, and we played games to practice our English. Our final Girls’ Club meeting for the month of May combined an abstract concept to a tangible activity. After our opening icebreaker, we asked the girls about their dreams. Two girls immediately expressed their dream of having long hair. Another girl said her dream is to be an IPS officer. After hearing this, the rest of the girls chimed in with more hopes and aspirations: doctor, teacher, and pilot were of those mentioned. In talking about our dreams, we introduced a brief cultural context on the dream catcher. We explained that according to Native American custom, when you hang a dream catcher above your bed, it catches your bad dreams in its net, and filters the good thoughts and dreams, which trickle down the feathers, onto you as you sleep. We shared pictures so that they could see what a dream catcher looked like. The girls greeted each photograph with a soft “wow!” We then pulled out some bangles and thread, and began making our own. Weaving the web was a challenge for some of the girls. As others caught the hang of it, they helped one another make their dream catchers. Because we couldn’t find feathers in any of the local shops, we embellished our dream catchers with beads instead. A photo session was soon in tow, as the girls showed off what they made.

Besides a cool ornament to hang in their rooms, I can’t really say how much was taken from the activity. But to see the progress these girls have shown from March to now is a reward in itself. The first time we ever talked about careers, their most immediate thoughts were teacher and doctor, but now, these girls are expressing dreams to fly, hopes to help others and make a difference.

Alanah Grant, USA
Women's Empowerment Project Manager - Rait

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

The First Girls Club in MJD

 Since March, the Naddi Young Women’s IDEA team have been running English Lessons for teenage girls from the MJD community. These lessons are not only educational, but provide a key platform for community engagement. After spending time getting to know some of the girls in MJD, building relationships and gaining their trust, we raised the idea of setting up a girls club.

Some of the girls had heard of the Shenni girls club and were really excited about the idea of having one (which they were clear they wanted to stay separate and just their own) as soon as possible! On the 23rd of May we held the first MJD girls club at the ECRC, which five girls attended.

We explained that the girls club in Shenni provided a safe space for the girls to discuss anything they wanted to with us, and we could talk about the things they felt were important. Then we asked what they thought girls club should be, allowing them to have some input into nature of their girls club and to make it their own. For the first session we wanted to start by discussing their dreams and aspirations. We thought that this topic would be interesting, allowing us to get to know the girls better and developing trust with them so that we can move on to covering more personal topics in the future, if they want to talk about these issues.

Their dream jobs ranged from singer to bank manager to police woman. In a society in which women’s primary duties tend to be domestic, even if they have received an education, we hoped to encourage these young women to pursue a rewarding professional life through talking about their plans for the future.

We brought along a map of the globe and everyone chose the place they would most like to visit in the world. Some were close, such as Delhi or Chandigar, while some of the girls wanted to travel far further away to Australia or Brazil. Sakshi then explained her dream of having a scooter, so she would have the freedom to go anywhere she chose to, which all of the girls agreed would be amazing.

While we carried on talking about how we would like our lives to be and listening to their favourite songs, we showed the girls how to make dream catchers. They were all really engaged in the activity, even though it is slightly complicated and some of them struggled to weave the web at the centre of the dream catcher. They all seemed to enjoy the session, so hopefully attendance will be high at the next girls club!

Lily Pollock, UK
Women's Empowerment Project Manager - Naddi

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Cultivating Community Projects: What’s Really Involved

This blog is usually used to communicate, celebrate and reflect on EduCARE’s successes; be it a successful health project, a significant milestone in community relationship building, or the start of a village-wide environmental awareness campaign. We love to share the photos of smiling interns side by side with satisfied community members, and recount that special feeling of achieving something amazing together. This blog is usually a record of the fruits of our labour.

In this post I have no grand event to report, no milestone to reflect on and no photos of a crowd of community members with EduCARE staff snapped after a long but fruitful day. This post contains no fruit at all, only carefully prepared soil and the first suggestions of a fresh green shoot.

Every morning and afternoon, our landlord, a seventy-something year old man with a neat moustache and gravelly voice, helps us tend our garden at the Rait intern house. With one of our main centre goals being to maintain a sustainable house project, the veggie garden is very important to us interns. With years of agricultural experience, “Uncle” demonstrates how to prepare the soil, explains where and when to plant each crop, and diligently monitors the watering schedule. We are all very excited with the prospect of soon cooking and eating our own home-grown vegetables;perhaps, a little too excited and a little too quick to throw seeds into the unprepared soil of a new garden bed just in front of the veranda.

Our Uncle just shakes his head at this, patiently gets the shovel and instructs us to loosen the soil in the small plot of land. “Do we plant the seeds now”, we ask, Uncle shakes his head and smiles. The next day, he brings a bag of cow manure, directs us to scatter it across the small plot of land and then work the nutrient-rich goodness into the soil. “Do we plant the seeds now”, we ask, Uncleshakes his head and smiles. The next day, he brings three huge bags of dried leaves, scatters them over the plot of land and leaves them there. We don’t ask about seeds this time, we just watch and wait. The leaves stay there for days, weeks even, getting no attention other than the occasional watering. As I write, we still haven’t planted any seeds in that plot of land in front of the veranda. We realise now that there’s more to gardening than throwing seeds into the dirt and hoping for the best.

Similarly,there is more to community development than just throwing a project at the community and hoping it will take root. When the Rait centre first initiated its figure-head women’s empowerment project in March, the Young Women’s Association, it was assumed that a range of other projects would inevitably shoot off, including skills development and training programs, self-help groups and micro-enterprises. Things are never that simple.

The women’s empowerment team in Rait has learnt the importance of leg-work, liaising with stakeholders, comparing options, exploring new avenues and finding creative solutions to unexpected challenges. Take our mushroom farming project, for example. The project design involves training a group of women in the art of mushroom cultivation, providing a small interest-free loan to help with training and start-up costs, and helping the women source materials and equipment to start their own mushroom micro-enterprises at home. Sounds simple enough, right? Hold on, don’t throw those seeds in that hard, compacted dirt just yet.

We’ve spent the last two months travelling to agricultural research institutes and universities, communicating back and forth with professors and mushroom experts, learning about mushroom cultivation techniques, preparing cost analyses, and comparing training options. Only once all of this behind the scenes legwork was done could we go to the women, who expressed an interest in growing mushrooms, to tell them the good news. But wait, you may have broken your back turning that soil, but you haven’t introduced the manure yet!

The women of Rait live diverse and complicated lives. Their time is split between domestic duties, child care, social and community obligations, and a diverse range of income-generating activities. There is a diverse mix of living and housing situations, from large multi-roomed complexes, which house entire extended families, to simple two room structures, and single rented rooms that are shared by each family. The diversity of these women’s experiences poses some interesting challenges for designing a project suitable for each of their living situations, schedules and needs. From difficulties with finding two consecutive days to attend a training course,to identifying a suitable spot in the house to allow the sensitive young mushrooms to grow, communicating with each of the women requires multiple visits to their homes (and lots of cups of chai). The language barrier poses another problem and we often have to enlist the aid of a native-speaker. Every visit presents a new challenge and requires some creative problem solving. It may not be so glamourous, but this is what community development work really looks like.

It takes time and a lot of back-breaking labour to get the soil primed and ready for sowing.
We’d love for this blog post to be about the success of our first mushroom farming training workshop, or to include a photo of a smiling woman proudly presenting her crop of home-grown oyster mushrooms. In the future, we hope to bring you these things, but for now all I can share with you is the nitty-gritty of what community development really looks like. We’ve put a lot of effort into laying the foundation of this project, anticipating and solving challenges in creative ways, and tailoring solutions to meet the individual and the collective needs of the women of Rait. We are currently putting together individual contracts for each of the women, to ensure the micro-credit process is both transparent and specific to each woman’s needs. We plan to hold our first training workshop in early June; our first mushroom crop should be ready by late July or early August.
We might not have anything to show for our efforts just yet, but with such rich and carefully cultivated soil, we are bound to have a successful crop soon enough.

Katherine Woolnough - Australia
Women's Empowerment Project Manager, Rait

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Coping with Chaos

This past week, the Bikaner cluster had to say a tearful goodbye to a wonderful intern who has been staying with us over the past four months, Lachlan Alexander. A spunky Australian with a wonderful personality, great beard, mind full of creative ideas and wisdom and a huge heart. While Lachlan has been here, he has been working on the MPAT survey (a survey created by IFAD) helping our cluster measure the levels of poverty in the migrant community of Gajner, Indra Colony, to help better our on-going projects taking place within the community and also to help us learn what new programs and projects could, and would, benefit the community. His research and work with the survey has led him to building strong relationships and adorable friendships with many of the families in the colony, specifically the young boys living there.

There are more than 250 children living in Indra Colony and somehow Lachlan found a way to meet almost all of them, and remember their names! This has been extremely beneficial for our after-school program, ASP, which runs in Indra Colony on Wednesday’s around five o’clock in the afternoon. During this time, all the interns in the Gajner center engage children of the migrant community to play games such as cricket, soccer or Frisbee. Our overall goal with ASP is to integrate children from all the colonies of Gajner, no matter what class, caste, religion and gender, and engage them in fun and innocent activities where they can all interact with one another. And so far, we’ve been extremely successful in doing so.

Lachlan’s last day with the cluster was May 14th and as a gift to the community, he decided to throw a huge bash and invite all the families from Indra Colony and those he’s been working with from all around Gajner. Together we would spend one last evening dancing and laughing in the vacant lot next to the intern house and enjoy a huge feast cooked by our favorite Chef, Manoj. Although, from experience, we know when we plan something it usually doesn’t go as smoothly as we hope but some how, although the day was extremely chaotic, it worked out to be the most perfect send off for Lachlan.

Here’s how it all started: Wednesday morning, we all awoke early to welcome our new intern, Laure, and Michelle from the human resources department who was coming to meet with all us interns and learn more about our projects and HR needs. While Mathilde and I attended the Young Women Association’s, YWA’s, morning English and Hindi class, Lea and Lachlan welcomed Laure and Michelle after a long night aboard a train from Pathankot (which was five hours late…as usual). Unfortunately YWA was cut short that morning due to an angry dog biting into Jazzmine’s flesh while accompanying a young one into her home. While Mathilde and Jazzmine rushed off for emergency rabies shots at the hospital, Lachlan and Michelle toured the community gathering those who were part of Lachlan’s survey project to head over to the ViKAS center, our office, for a presentation of the survey results.

Manoj began preparing the feast in the late afternoon, with the help of Mathilde and Lea, while the rest of us participated in the afternoon’s ASP activities in Indra. Now, the first part of ASP is to round up the kids (which can sometimes take an hour in itself). The colony is a giant square measured at about three kilometers in length and width. There are three separate paths we usually take to enter the community, with rows and rows of houses on each with tons of children to gather. On average there are about 3 – 4 children per home therefore making the “round up” the most challenging part of Wednesday’s ASP. We all split up gathering as many children as we could and with luck on our side,we were able to bring out a crowd of about 30. Lachlan led a cricket match with some of the boys, Michelle led a Frisbee game and Laure and I led a dance-a-thon/tickle fest with the little ones, which turned into an epic game of Simon-Says; a game where before each action you call out, you say “Simon says”. The children are to follow suit for every action unless you make a command without saying “Simon says”. If they follow the action when you haven’t said, “Simon says” they are out. Unfortunately this was a little hard to explain in broken Hindi so it just turned into the “Do Everything that Jazzmine says” game, which is exactly how we managed to get all 30 kids from Indra Colony to walk, run and dance all the way to our home at the other end of Gajner, about a 3-kilometer walk in the blistering heat.

As we approached the house, while the kids chanted “Lachy! Lachy!” (their adorable nickname for Lachlan) I started to think “man, I’m thirsty…and so are these thirty kids!” I sat the kids down outside our house and grabbed a small metal jug from inside our kitchen. Lining up the children, I poured water into their cupped hands as they raised them up to their lips and sucked the water spilling into their palms before it all dripped through the cracks of their fingers. After about five trips to the kitchen tap and back outside, I yelled over to Manoj “Manoj-ji, khana kitne budji hai?” Manoj, what time is food? “One hour,” he responded. Uh oh! Thirty kids verses four interns for another hour…what to do?!I busted out the Bollywood tunes. The girls immediately broke out into dance while Lachlan led the boys to the Panchayat field to start another cricket match. As more kids joined us, we moved into the back area of Manoj’s shop, spread out some blankets on the ground and opened a few boxes of puzzles. Michelle, Laure and I spent a whole hour saying “bahut accha!” “very good!” to every child that found two pieces that connected. It was quite hilarious.

When food was finally ready, Manoj helped bring out the dining table from our house and a few benches from inside his shop. While Lachlan, Pradeep, a friend of ours from Gajner, and I coordinated where all the children would sit, grouping them in sets of 3, 4 and 5, the rest of the interns helped bring out huge platters of chana, dal, chawal, paneer, chapatti and papadumfor each group of children. The children literally feasted while music played and laughter and giggles filled the air. The integration of the children was a huge success for us as a cluster as well, having such a large range of kids from different social and religious backgrounds come and eat, play and laugh together all due to the relationships built between them and the intern team, especially “Lachy”. We couldn’t help but smile while we ran around replenishing plates, patiently handing out sweets to thousands of hands reaching out at us and pouring water on sticky, gooey hands and little faces as they said their goodbyes and headed home to sleep off all the excitement.

After another couple of hours of hosting more families, Lachlan opening gifts from the community and saying goodbyes, we collapsed into our chairs around the dining table laughing, smiling and reminiscing about how truly chaotic but incredible the day had been. We hadn’t expected everything to work out the way we wanted too and I think we wouldn’t have been prepared to do so even if we had. But somehow, seeing the smiles on those kid’s faces, and Lachlan’s, helped us push through a very sweaty day of cooking, dancing, running and cleaning. On that day, we truly learned how to cope with chaos. We loved it and we succeeded.

“Do you work this hard everyday?” – Michelle Fujisaki

Jazzmine Lawton - Canada
Cluster Coordinator, Gajner

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Good Encounters: English, Mushrooms, and Marriage

Though being invited over for chai may be custom, it isn't an everyday "thing" to be stopped on the road and asked for English lessons.

Enthused and eager, a local woman who works at a fabric shop, located on the main road, did just that. Calling Katherine over, this woman expressed great interest in wanting to learn English. Raadha Devi is a forty-two year old mother of two, and is certainly a woman unlike any other. Her husband is a bus driver; her daughter, a twenty year old nursing student, and her eighteen year old son is preparing to join the army.

Upon inviting Katherine into the fabric shop, she called her daughter, Shivani, to act as an interpreter between the two. Because they were excited to learn that there is more than just one foreigner living in Rait, they walked Katherine home, and spent some time with the rest of the interns. Within this brief visit, you could see Raadha's lively and jovial personality radiate throughout our back veranda. She made bracelets with us, taught us a few Hindi words in exchange for some English, and as a gift, she gave us two bags of mushrooms. It was then that we learned that Raadha grows and sells mushrooms and works at the fabric shop to help her husband bring money into their household. Before leaving, she invited us to her niece's wedding, which was just weeks away. Her laughter and warm presence was a reassurance, in lieu of our Young Women's Association's stagnancy.

We make frequent visits to the fabric shop where she works to say hello, look at the clothes, and practice English. Because Raadha was the first person to inquire about lessons, we used the lessons we prepared for our YWA members to introduce conversational English to her. This was helpful in assessing the quality of the lessons we've created. We spent about an hour going over salutations, introductions, and role play with miniature dialogues. Making small mistakes, Raadha caught on quite fast and can now introduce herself or someone else in English.

Early one Tuesday morning, we traveled to Lunj to attend her neice's wedding. We assume that because there were five foreigners on board, the bus driver mixed some pop music into his Himachali playlist, serenading us with the sounds of Akon and One Republic. Once there, we were fortunate to be part of all of the traditions taking place on the last day of the marriage. We met the bride, watched and participated in the haldi ceremony, and ate some incredibly delicious food. Raadha's relatives were excited to converse with us, asking about our work with EduCARE, as well as how we were enjoying our stay in India. Her family spoiled us with sincere Indian hospitality, reminding us that in Indian culture, "a guest is god." Supplied with endless sweets, one relative bought us chocolates and took us to the river, as another took us to the Masroor Rock Cut Temple.

Once the celebrating began, Raadha and her daughter proudly showed us off to everybody as their guests. We received about as much attention as the bride and groom-- so many people wanted to take pictures of us and with us! We laughed and danced the night away and were asleep no later than one in the morning. Unfortunately, we couldn't stay awake long enough to see the bride and groom off, but in all, our time with Raadha's family was an unforgettable experience.

You don't meet too many people, bold enough to stop you on the street and ask for English lessons; many will stare and some may respond to your "namaste." I find myself in awe of Raadha's bold personality. Though we've only known Raadha a month, I've taken so much from our time together: her charisma, her initiative, and her family's hospitality. Everytime I pass by the fabric shop, I anticipate her bright smile, warm laugh, her heavy-accented "hello," and her inviting "bato" (sit down). Learning of the microenterprise potential at-home mushroom cultivation has for women, mushroom farming is a project we plan to begin with a few of our YWA members in May.

Alanah Grant - USA
Women's Empowerment Project Manager, Rait

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Naddi Health Camp

Last Sunday, April 26, marked a greatly successful event in Naddi center. Realizing the community’s needs for access to regular health care service, EduCARE India had organized a free health checkup for girls and women in Naddi with the participation of Fortis Hospital in Kangra.

Since the morning of the health camp, every team member was busy with a few last preparations for this big event. ReStore team was making juices to be served to doctors and patients. Another team was in the health clinic making sure everything was in place while others were running around handling logistics. Certainly we all hoped that the health camp would run smoothly.

A team of doctors and nurses from Fortis hospital arrived at around noon. We were honored to welcome Dr.Anu Namgyal, a gynecologist, and Dr.Sumeet Badhwar, a general practitioner, from Fortist Hospital.

In the waiting room
Women waiting to see the docor

The first group of women soon arrived and we all got to work right away. The women first were welcomed to a waiting room where free and health juices were served, their basic information collected, their weight measured, blood pressured and sugar level checked. Each woman then took their number and went to see the doctors.

While Naddi interns continued to assist with the whole operation, three girls from Shenny community also eagerly participated in this event. They were talking to women waiting, collecting information needed, talking to doctors, etc.
Dr.Anu Namgyal

Dr. Parveen Kumar
EduCARE team, Fortis team and Shenny community members
After nearly four hours of the event, fifty plus women had come to the health checkup. We received very positive responses from the communities and from Fortis Hospital. We were all so happy to see the event was a great success and our efforts had finally paid off.

For me, as a cluster coordinator, I could not be happier to see how much the communities were engaged and how much teamwork the Naddi interns showed. Moreover, not only did the health camp provide women with access to quality health care service, but it also raised awareness of health issues among community members.

At the end of the health camp, a young girl from the Shenny community said that she wanted to be a doctor. Dr.Anu Namgyal said: “If only one doctor comes out of this event, it will be already really successful.”

This reminds me of why I find my work so rewarding. It is not just about creating sustainable development within communities but also creating opportunities and exposures for women and young girls.

Hanh Lam, Vietnam
Cluster Coordinator - Dharamsala

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Quarterlies: Cleaning the Streets of Rait!

This February 2015, quarterlies took place combined in Naddi & Rait. Quarterlies is a coming together of all 4 centres of EduCARE India: Naddi, Punjab, Bikaner and Rait. During such a week project managers are able to discuss achievements and challenges with managers of the same projects from different centres. Furthermore, a week like this is filled with workshops, discussions, brainstorming, sports, good food and fun, much. fun. A combined quarterlies was possible since both the centres Naddi & Rait are situated near Dharamsala. Naddi in the Himalayas, Rait 30 kilometres towards Kangra. The week started off in Naddi with presentations of centres regarding their centres, the communities they work in, and implemented projects. It ended in Rait with a big clean-up.

Rait is a relatively new centre, and its projects are very young or even not yet existing. This quarterlies was an enormous opportunity for EduCARE India to make its presence known in the village. A good connection has already been established with the closely by situated ‘South-East’ community, yet we still are the unknown ‘outsiders’ for many people in this +/- 2000 heads counting village. For me, Bruno; manager of SWASH in Rait, this quarterlies brought the opportunity to turn this around, and to create a positive change regarding waste awareness in Rait.

In the afternoon of Sunday the 5th of March 2015, two formed groups left the Rait intern house. 30 people armed with empty bags planning to make the Indians mind dazzle. As waste is defined to be filthy and gross, people cleaning it are associated with the lowest of society, and ‘people from the West’ often is being looked up to as ‘wealthy’, western people picking waste would surely create one huge contradiction.

We split up in 2 groups: one going into the ‘South-East’ community, the second heading for the main street and shopping area. The mission was not necessarily to pick-up as much waste as possible. The core-idea of this clean-up was to smile, laugh, and namaste our way through Rait: People had to see us, people had to start gossip about us!

As I was in group number one I was walking through the South-East community. This community is the one that our intern-house is situated in, and the one which we for example celebrated Holi with, a couple of weeks ago. A similar path was chosen to the one that we walked together with the community during this event. While separating waste in ‘soft plastics’, ‘recyclables’, ‘paper & cardboard’ and ‘general waste’, we encountered a lot of people. Striking was: most of these were smiling and greeting us. However with a questioning face -what in the universe name these crazies were doing -. As far as I could understand people did not directly disapprove. They still might have disapproved anyway. They might have started the rumor: “have you seen them doing that?”: perfect

Now the question might have occurred by you: reader of this blog-post, if this is the approach that EduCARE India is striving for: 30 people walking through a village picking up waste yet there much more is to be cleaned and picked up. The answer is no. This walk was a perfect opportunity to create awareness amongst them who questioned what we are doing here. SWASH: waste management in Rait aims for creating a sustainable, community-owned household/shopkeeper level system for reduce, re-use and recycle of waste. This in close cooperation with people themselves. EduCARE India tries to create responsibility under people, hoping to one day leave a Rait which has the ability to maintain a waste disposal system itself.

Has this community clean-up been effective? Yes. Whether I extremely badly want to see this, or this is actually happening; I have the feeling more shopkeepers have put bins outside their shops. A shopkeeper showed me a sign on his bin saying: ‘waste disposal’ in English and Hindi. He mentioned he put it there after he saw us performing the clean-up. Another shopkeeper actually grabbed a bit of plastic and put it in a bag during the clean-up. Best for last: one day after this event an interviewer came to the Rait intern house asking whether he could write an article about EduCARE India and its activities in Rait.

See you in a cleaner Rait!

Bruno Lauteslager - The Nethelands
SWASH Project Manager, Rait