An introduction to Educators’ Trust India

1 Dec

Another brief update, typed in haste before the wi-fi drops out …

So, I have learned to survive without my Kindle,  although I did have heart failure last Saturday when,  for eight nail biting hours,  I had no laptop either.

(Long story. Temporary hard disk fail. Say. No. More).

However,  thanks to the wonderful work of Digital World in Calangute (who,  should The Great Goan Novel ever get published,  will definitely be thanked in the acknowledgements bit at the front),  all was restored by 6pm and so I could breathe again.

Those of you who follow me on Facebook and Twitter may have seen my frequent references over the last week to a small, local charity called Educators’ Trust India.  I met one of their founders quite by chance last Tuesday and he invited me to visit one of the free schools which they run here for the children of impoverished migrant workers.  I ended up spending a day at the school (more on this to follow), joining them when they visited an extremely sick child with kidney failure in the Panjim hospital, spending time with the children at the beach one afternoon (here I am with the girls!) and also tagging along when they visited a slum settlement to give a basic literacy lesson and provide fruit to the children there (more on that too).

It’s almost impossible to believe how much great work these guys do for the children on virtually no money at all;  they are staffed almost entirely by volunteers from around the world and their core team includes a retired British GP and a former headmaster from a tough school in Halifax.  Their faith in the power of education to overcome illiteracy, child labour and poverty  is unshakable and I am so impressed with their passion and love for these forgotten children that I’ve offered my services to help with their new website (hence no URL provided here – yet) and their media campaign.

Here’s a few words from one of their board members, Dr Mistry,  from a email I received from him yesterday:

” … all our brothers and sisters and uncles and aunties who are involved with our ET project are all very disciplined and genuine in the term of caring,compassion and going that extra mile in helping the most vulnerable children with their family in our society.
We, the Indians are poor, but India is rich.
It is one country that I know which has a system which is so extreme, there is a law for the rich and a law for the poor.
We have a school for the rich and a school for the poor, the education standard is such that, it is almost impossible for a poor child to go through the education till age 21 to 24 yrs, this as you know, in UK it is normal for a student to go through, the primary, secondary and University level, UK, gives help at each stages.
We at ET, the Essence is to Empower these deprived children to have the same high standard as the rich, we believe we will achieve this, we obviously need help from like minded people. We welcome you in this mission and as times goes on,  we all be able to see the outcome, in these little flowers who will blossoms into excellent citizen, who in turn  will help their own people who are going through the same journey.”
 

One particularly positive piece of news that I can share is that Educators’ Trust India were able to help Jyoti,  the little girl with the injured foot whom I met in my first week here. She is now fully healed and doesn’t even limp,  thanks to them treating her at their free weekly drop-in clinic.  These people do such wonderful work for the children – I’m proud to be helping them in some small way and will write more about their projects in my next couple of blog posts.
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