People First Educational Charitable Trust

People First aims to work closely with oppressed and disadvantaged communities and vulnerable individuals in breaking the centuries - old cycle of ignorance and oppression by providing opportunities for education. The trust believes the best way to achieve long - term positive social change is through education and we work in the areas of greatest need where no other education is available to the poor and oppressed. Our mission is the bringing of educational opportunity and to promote health and social rights to those to whom such opportunities have previously been denied due to poverty family circumstances or oppression. The Trust aims to work with the most marginalized me...
Jul 21, 2010

NO MONSOON AGAIN HOW CAN WE PLANT OUR RICE?

Washing the  pots in the only available water
Washing the pots in the only available water

Ths quote from Pramila Devi, mother of four from a desperately poor village near Gaya in Bihar illustrates the anguish of many poor families. Already with so many children suffering from malnutrution with no rains and irrigation canals empty our nutruitous meal programme is more important than ever. As part of a comprehensive health care programme it plays a vital part in helping to restore childrens health.What we give them is a Lentil and rice mix with sunflower oil, as any kind of oil is completly missing in thier diet, with eggs.We also give vitamins.

We hope you will consider supporting this programme and hep us feed these malnourished and hungry children.

The following article is from the Guardian Newspaper in the UK and is reproduced from our monsoon newsletter. If you would like a copy please e-mail us at india_peoplefirst@yahoo.com with please send newsletter!

This article from the guardian newspaper dated 14th July illustrates the misconception that India a developing country with double digit growth does not have terrible poverty. Where we work in Bihar, far away from the metro and flyovers of Delhi little has changed. MORE OF THE WORLDS POOR LIVE IN INDIA THAN IN ALL OF SUB SAHARAN AFRICA SAYS STUDY There are more poor people in eight states of India than in the 26 countries of sub-Saharan Africa, a study reveals today. More than 410 million people live in poverty in the Indian states, including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, researchers at Oxford University found. The "intensity" of the poverty in parts of India is equal to, if not worse than, that in Africa. When the vast central Indian Madhya Pradesh state, which has a population of 70 million, was compared with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the war-racked African state of 62 million inhabitants, the two were found to have near-identical levels of poverty. The study is based on an innovatory "multidimensional poverty index", or MPI, developed by specialists at Oxford. To be used for the first time in the authoritative and influential United Nations Human Development Report when it is published this autumn, it will replace a simpler method of calculating poverty introduced over a decade ago. The index uses 10 major variables including access to good cooking fuel, schooling, electricity, nutrition and sanitation. "[It] is like a high-resolution lens which reveals a vivid spectrum of challenges facing the poorest households," said Dr Sabina Alkire, director of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative and a co-developer of the index. "Before, you might know a person was poor but did not know if their children went to school, if they had a floor or if they cooked on wood." The survey found that in Madhya Pradesh poverty levels were higher because of malnutrition. In Congo, access to schooling was a problem. The study's conclusions will reinforce claims that distribution of the wealth generated by India's rapid economic growth – recently around 10% year on year – is deeply unequal. The Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, has repeatedly said he wants to see "inclusive" development. Poverty has long proved difficult to define. The World Bank bases its definition on household income and estimates that a quarter of the developing world lives on $1.25 (85p) a day or less. However, relying simply on money "excludes everything that is outside the cash economy and doesn't look at issues such as housing [or] access to safe water" said William Orme, a spokesman for the United Nations Development Programme in New York. "The new index gives us a much fuller portrait." To compile the index, researchers analysed data from 104 countries with a combined population of 5.2 billion, 78% of the world total. About 1.7 billion – a third - live in multidimensional poverty, they found. This is 400 million more than are estimated by the World Bank to be in "extreme" poverty. The new index is also designed to track variations within countries much better. So while the poverty rate is more than 80% in the rural state of Bihar, it is about 16% in the southern state of Kerala. Some countries have dropped steeply down the poverty rankings in the new list. Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan and Morocco were found to have much more poverty under the new index than when using simple household income. Others, such as Tanzania, Nicaragua, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and China were found to have less. China was ranked 46 out of 104, three places behind Brazil. India came in 63rd, just after Togo but ahead of Haiti. "In many cases, it is probably linked to previously high levels of social investment," Alkire said. "It shows that a low per capita GDP income doesn't necessarily mean high poverty."A second index to gauge poverty in developed nations is now planned.

Thank you for your Help. Please visit our emergency appeal for watwer pumps on Glbakl Giving as this is also vital to Childrens Health. ,

Jul 15, 2010

ANOTHER YEAR AND FLOODS AGAIN

God Help Bihar.

With Drought in the South and Floods in the North, freezing winters and red hot summers the state does seem to get the worst of all weathers. Huge improvement works are needed in flood relief schemes and embankments are needed, obvouisly engineering on a scale way beyond the capacity of a NGO. But can we can do is help to relieve the suffering by providing animals to families, to help strengthen and raise thier houses, to give loans for tea stalls and small shops so they can provide for thier families, And help villagers defend thier homes and communities by building ditches and earthbanks. We can give medicine to children, we can provide clean water to help stop the spread of illness and your support can help so much as it is used directly and immediately in the affected communities.

This press report is from today July 15th

Thousands of people in Bihar fled their homes on Wednesday as floodwaters entered over 100 villages and threatened to inundate many others. Nearly 100 villages in Aurai, Katra and Gaighat blocks of Muzaffarpur have been inundated since Monday. Water also entered dozens of villages in Bagaha district after levels rose in all the major rivers

According to the Central Water Commission, the water level in major rivers Kosi, Gandak, Budhi Gandak, Kamlabalan, Adhwara and Bagmati has increased in the last 48 hours.

"All the rivers are in full spate following heavy rains. Some rivers may cross the red mark late Wednesday or Thursday," an official said. Reports reaching here said people were fleeing their homes in Muzaffarpur, Bagaha, Saharsa and Purnea districts. Heavy rains reportedly damaged embankments in Muzaffarpur and Bagaha. The district officials have initiated the move to check erosion," said an official of the water resources department

More water is expected to enter the villages as the embankment of the Bagmati river in Muzaffarpur and the Gandak in Bagaha have been threatened. The rising water level in rivers is putting pressure on embankments. "All engineers have been directed to be ready with necessary equipment and boulders to face any situation and to protect the embankments," an engineer said. In 2008, more than three million people were rendered homeless in Bihar when the Kosi river breached its bank upstream in Nepal and changed course. It was said to be the worst flood in Bihar in the last 50 years.

Jul 8, 2010

Prolonging the Agony

It has been a long time since the district saw any significant rain. Ground water levels are falling, traditional wells are becoming contaminated.The need for deep water hand pumps is more than ever and the effect of just one water pump for the whole village in terms of improved health and quality of life is huge. Thank you for your support for this important appeal. The following is a press item from today,

Will drought haunt Bihar farmers again? 2010-07-07 14:10:00 It's a different year, but little has changed. Farmers in many Bihar districts are a worried lot as scanty monsoon rains have badly affected paddy sowing and triggered fears of a drought - just like last year. Maheshwar Singh, a farmer in Aurangabad district, fears he will not be able to complete paddy sowing owing to parched farms. 'We are facing a lot of problems because it's not raining. Cracks have developed in the land. Only the rain god can save us,' he said. Suhail Khan, a farmer in Gaya district, said there was fear that their paddy seeds would become dry if it didn't rain soon. 'We are praying for rain to save our livelihood,' Khan said. Singh and Khan are two of the thousands of paddy and maize farmers in the districts of Gaya, Aurangabad, Jehanabad, Arwal, Nawada and parts of Patna who are worried and helpless as lack of rains have triggered fears that they may face another drought. 'These districts may be headed for another drought,' Bhagwan Bhaskar, a Left activist said. To make matters worse, farmers are complaining that there is no water in the canals for irrigation. A large part of central Bihar is irrigated by water from Sone river and regulated through canals. Monsoon normally hits the state between June 12 to June 14. While the rains have begun, they have been scanty. The state has received 134.4 mm of rainfall against its requirement of 202.8 mm. The districts of Gaya, Aurangabad, Arwal, Jehanabad and parts of Patna have received nearly 33 mm of rainfall against 95 mm till date. Official sources said paddy sowing was badly hit in the 26 districts declared drought-hit by the state government last year following poor rains. According to the meteorological office, Bihar has recorded a rainfall deficit of 34 percent so far. 'A bad sign for the state and particularly for districts that faced drought last year,' an official said. Last year, the state government declared 26 districts, including Gaya, Aurangabad, Jehanabad, Arwal and Nawada, drought hit following a rainfall deficit of 29 percent.

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