Thursday, 7 June 2012

District 9940 Rotary clubs provide wells to impoverished rural communities in India

Yes, at first glance this could just be another of the many requests Rotary clubs receive from needy aid organisations seeking financial assistance.  However, this one was and remains unlike other appeals for support.  This one, the Chaithanya Educational and Rural Development Society (CERDS), seized and still captures the attention and imagination because of its uniqueness, simplicity, affordability, accountability and the knowledge that it is making a genuine and constructive difference.

 What was astonishing was that a bore-well costs only 5,000 Indian rupees (approximately NZ$120 or AU$95).  That so many impoverished people’s lives can vastly be improved for relatively little money is truly an inspiration to Rotarians from two clubs on New Zealand’s Kapiti Coast - the Rotary Clubs of Paraparaumu and Otaki. Between them, three bore-wells have already been provided, and several Rotarians have sponsored bore-wells as individuals.  Another club from District 9940, the Rotary Club of Upper Hutt, will soon provide funds for two further bore-wells.

Another encouraging outcome of this is that children, who previously spent most of the daylight hours carrying water from a distant communal well with dubious water quality, can now attend school.  This is another CERDS focus.

CERDS individually acknowledges individual and organisational benefactors who have supported specific projects.  Permanent plaques are erected to acknowledge benefactors.

The provision of bore-wells is by no means the only activity undertaken by CERDS.  Other programmes which are affordable for Rotary clubs and individuals include: constructing sanitary toilets for poor disabled people, (6,750 rupees); providing sewing machines and three month vocational skill training for poor adolescent girls (5,800 rupees); providing fishing nets for very poor tribal fishermen (4,700 rupees); and sponsoring primary school educational needs for a poor child (3,400 rupees).

Further information:

Rotary Club of Paraparaumu
PO Box 199
Paraparaumu 5254
New Zealand
Mr Narra Srinivasa Rao (Executive Secretary)
5th Lane Pandaripuram
Guntur District
Andhra Pradesh
India 522616