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Archive for November, 2012

One of the things R.O.S.E encourages is that all donations are made in the form of projects.  This way, no one family comes to be dependent on tourist charity in their everyday life. Projects are prioritized for the people most in need.

Last week I visited the home of a recently widowed young woman named Ganga.  Jeevan told me that building a safe home for her is a priority for R.O.S.E because the living conditions for the family have become unsafe.

Ganga

Ganga

On October 24, Ganga received news that her husband met with an accident and died while at work.  He worked in another village transporting cargo on mules. The family has no life insurance as it is the case with most of the poorest families here.  The family lives hand-to-mouth and didn’t have enough money to pay for her husband’s funeral, so Jeevan kindly offered to cover the cost.

Ganga is a young mother of two boys, and lives with and cares for her parents-in-law and mother, as it is typical in a nuclear family in India.  Ganga’s family does not own farm land, and she works on other farms and makes a modest salary of about Rs. 1500 or $28 CAD per month.  Right now, Jeevan is helping the family but hopes that Ganga will find a better paying job in the coming months to become more independent.

Ganga's mother-in-law who lost her son on Oct 24, 2012

Ganga’s mother-in-law who lost her son on Oct 24, 2012

I didn’t talk to Ganga or her family because the loss was obvious in their faces. I wanted to tell Ganga that she has already received generous donations from my friends and family in Canada, and that she has support from people that don’t even know her. But not being able to speak the language, I didn’t want to risk being disrespectful of their mourning period.  So I quietly took photos, helped Jeevan take some measurements and got my information from him later.

Ganga's home

Ganga’s home

As in the photo below, their neighbour’s roof collapsed under the weight of the monsoon rains.  Shortcuts were taken and the house was constructed with cheap quality materials such as low quality steel rods.  Because Ganga’s house shares a wall and roof with them, it’s clear the family needs a safer place to live.

Collapsed roof

Collapsed roof with poor quality steel rods that could not withstand the recent monsoon rains.

Jeevan says land is available, and there are some raw materials like stones and sand. But cement and steel rods and other resources need to be purchased. The cost of building a new home, including two rooms and a sanitary toilet and bath, is around Rs. 267,070  (see table below for cost breakdown).

Depending on the amount collected, either a new home will be built, or the existing one with be renovated for Ganga and her family.

If you’d like to make a donation please contact Jeevan, and hopefully Ganga and her family will have a safe place to call home in 2013!

– Vidya

Computer Engineer, Canada

November 14, 2012

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