Village Learning Centers for 5000 Beneficiaries

 
$300
$130,700
Raised
Remaining
Jan 24, 2008

Survey Details

Mohallas (Enclaves) 1. Gujjar Patti 2. Hajam Mihalla 3. Qazi mohalla 4. Lumbardar Mohalla 5. Doli Mohalla 6. Pal Mohalla 7. Bringi Mohalla 8. Bhat 9. Razmarg Mohalla 10. Chak Mohalla 11. Ham Khal 12. Loan Mohalla 13. Astan Mohalla 14. Kachi Mohalla 15. Sothpather 16. Mutt Mohalla 17. Mutt Mohlla Payin 18. Shikari Mohalla 19. Matoo Mohalla

Rehbar E Taleem School In Shikari Mohalla there are about 40 households and it is here that the Rahbar Taleem School with 80 students is situated. We saw about 40 children in the meadow with parents herding animals. School functions in a rented room and has no furniture. The children posses no books and have no shoes. Since there is dearth of furniture they sit outside on dirt. Two teachers, young and seem frustrated with the entire scenario.

Sitaharan Middle School The Sitaharn (Middle) School in the meadow is a brick building complex of threestructures. Single story. #00 students , 5 teachers including the head master (Bashir Mazhami). Mazhami tells that need is for ten teachers, 2 peons, laboratory equipment, a rich library, black board sand books in English There are no physical education courses taught at the school. Majority of the students have very poor personal hygiene. School provides midday meals.

School population

Grade Boys Girls 8th 11 x 7th 22 6 6th 20 5 5th 15 12 4th 11 7 3rd 12 3 2nd 19 4 1st 20 15 Pre 37 18

Government grant for each student is Rs 800. Schooling after 8th class is in Drung, which is another village located far from Sitaharan.

Medical Facilities There is one dispensary in the village. No medical officer is on duty. The owner of the building in which the dispensary is housed says he has not received any rent since 1975 from the government. Villagers say that medical officer does not come. The entire village as per the locals is treated by unlicensed medical shop and pharmacy owners. In our visits to Sitaharan we never saw the medical officer on duty and half the school staff was on “leave” on every visit.

Main Occupation Sitaharn has not produced any college educated person so far. There are only two persons who are employed from the village; one is a police constable and another pastry cook at a hotel in Srinagar. Subsistence farming and manual labor are the main sources of employment. The extreme deforestation apparent around the village is a testimony to the illegal timber trade that the villagers are involved in. They admit to this openly saying they have no other means to fall back on. Nearly half the trees of the adjacent forest are gone; bare stumps are left as a stark reminder of the trade that is ongoing .

Jan 24, 2008

DISPATCHES FROM GROUND

Dispatch I: July 24, Wednesday, New Delhi Collaborating with Global-READ Met with representatives of Read INDIA, Indrani Sharma. Indrani Sharma, on behalf of the Global READ, parent organization of Read INDIA is very willing and eager to help work with KER to establish a library Reading room in Kashmir. We discussed the need to have hands-on grass root efforts were the community is not only eager to do the program but must take the lead in identifying the program and taking a lead in establishing and running the program. One of the requirements for Global READ is to have as part of the initial program project a sustainability element; meaning that part of the program is to identify the income source for operating the program.

Notes of meeting with Ms Sharma

1. Interact with villagers, education platform. 2. Sustainability project –Routine costs Rs 10,000 per month , income needed to run the project. 3. Land to be provided by the community 4. Library committee to be a-political 7 or 8 members or even 10. may be school master, businesswomen, Housewife. Implementation Cost running a library Rs 4,000 librarian, Book list, 21 day library program, about Rs 10,000 per month. Funds 15% local, 35% other 50% global read.

Dispatch II: July 30 Monday, Srinagar, Kashmir Meeting with Usmaan Raheem and his team at Mercy Corp International

Criteria for selecting a place for KER phase three operations 2. Apparent need 3. Must have good, reasonable access 4. Willingness of the community to participate (imitative) 5. Feasibility 6. Ecology, topography, 7. Free of undue tension

Based on the working experience of the Mercy, about ten young professionals, educated and motivated places were suggested • Chandanwari , in Pahalagam area. • Palhalan area , no interaction with NGO’s , many widows. • Kangan Chartergund (wangat area) lowest litracy rate , most hard working people. • Burzahama • Dona Harwan • Rainawari (city of Srinagar) • Langanbal, Pahalgam area • Rampur (Wular) • Krashbal (on banks of River Jehlum)

KER met twice with Mercy Corp officials. Majority of the Mercy officials supported working in Kangan Valley. The area has one of the lowest literacy rates and people are hard working. Mercy provided contact names and offered to help with data collection.

KER decided to visit areas and the come back to discuss findings with Mercy.

Dispatch III: July 31 2007, Srinagar Meeting with Mr. Faroque Renzu, DC Budgam

Mr. Renzu is Deputy Commissioner Budgam District Kashmir. He also serves as Chief Commissioner of J&K All India Scouts. The J&K is a registered NGO, recognized by J&KUniversity. Many activities spread over 130 schools and 60 colleges in the State. One of the recent events was a race to Pari Mahal, a historic monument situated on a hill. The race participants were 20,000.

Mr. Renzu, suggested a location that would meet better the KER selection criteria. The site about 2 to 3 hours driving distance was Sitaharan in Budgam Tehsil. Mr Renzu offered the help of his office to facilitate our visit to Sitaharan.

Dispatch IV: from August 1 2007 onwards, Sitaharan, Budgam

Visits to Village Sitaharan Sitaharan is two and half hours driving distance from Srinagar. Two ways to go to the place one via Budgam (district commissioners office is in Budgam) . Another via Baramulla road. In both cases the last ten miles are grueling. The road is in bad state of repair and only a four wheel drive can get to the place in fair weather. From Srinagar we reach Drung; then Khag, from where there a stretch of a bad road staring at us.

The road ends in an alpine meadow; it is about two kilometers long and may be about a kilometer in width. On one side of the meadow is a depression that as per the local legend was a lake once fed by the many natural springs that are on the other side of the depression were the mountains begin. The mountain range one covered with dense forests reaches up to one of the historic high meadow of Kashmir Tos Maidan.

Village Satharn is at the base of the mountain. Some four kilometers by four kilometers. There are some 450 house holds. Unlike a traditional Kashmiri village in Satharan the houses are scattered , each cluster of homes within the agricultural plot. More like a Gujjar (nomadic) settlement except that the house architecture is more like a traditional Kashmiri home, sloping roofs with gables.

The village Sitaharan is made up of 10 neighborhoods. Most of the homes are relatively well built, brick and tin roofs. However, the village has no roads; not even an approach road, municipal services are near zero. There are natural springs that provide water. There is no electricity and few households have solar lights. There is one one government run school in the meadow, and one room elementary schools. There are no medical facilities, no recreational spaces within the village. We visited Sitaharan to do a basic survey and start immediate relief work in the village, after it was identified as a project village. Our first meeting was with the DC of the district Mr. Farooq Renzu and the Molvi (cleric) and Teacher of the school. We kept broadening our support and resource base by meeting with Lumberdar (village supervisor) who arranged our visits to the different mohallas. In our subsequent visits we distributed supplies to school at Shikari Mohallas and middle school, which we identified as immediate relief for children. Our project coordinator along with the other staff will be carrying out other programs that have been outlined in our earlier objectives. The needs and requirements expressed by the village Representatives reflected the already set objectives of KER mission for the project, including demands for Health Care/Dispensary, Generating Employment, Community Center and Recreational programs for children, vocational centers etc.

Oct 18, 2007

KER Team Kashmir Trip - 2007

KER TEAM SURVEYING THE AREA
KER TEAM SURVEYING THE AREA

KER Team Kashmir Trip - 2007

Volunteer Names Mr. Rafique Khan Mr. Tasneem Khan Ms. Shamma Hussain Mr. Danish Renzu

Summary

Four KER representatives visited Kashmir during the summer. The purpose was to establish the location for phase three of KER program concentrating on augmenting education, health and hygiene in rural areas and small scale local micro- enterprise and entrepreneurship projects. This trip enabled identification of a rural location for establishing a local community manage facilitate – Parun Gah - that would be a after school reading room/ community meeting place for social and economic betterment of the community. KER representatives, Tasneem and Rafique spent 6-weeks in Kashmir. Their effort was augmented by two other KER representatives, Shamma Hussain and Danish Renzu for one week each. The KER representatives received help in Kashmir, in particular by Usmaan Ahmad and his staff of Mercy Core and Mr. Farooque Renzu, Deputy Commissioner of District Budgam in Kashmir.

Tasneem and Rafique Khan toured selected areas of for 32 days during the period stating July 30 2007 through September 14, 2007. They identified 4-potential locations for KER effort and began program development alternatives. In one of the potential location, Sitaharn village, KER started ground work and has tied up with local schools and village leaders. KER also provided immediate school supplies books and shoes to schools. A project coordinator and the rest of KER staff in the valley is undertaking the responsibilities of supervising other project work that has been undertaken in the village and will be in liaison with the headquarters in LA.

PROJECT VILLAGE I: SITAHARAN Sitaharan is two and half hours driving distance from Srinagar. Two ways to go to the place one via Budgam (district commissioners office is in Budgam) . Another via Baramulla road. In both cases the last ten miles are grueling. The road is in bad state of repair and only a four wheel drive can get to the place in fair weather. From Srinagar we reach Drung; then Khag, from where there a stretch of a bad road staring at us.

The road ends in an alpine meadow; it is about two kilometers long and may be about a kilometer in width. On one side of the meadow is a depression that as per the local legend was a lake once fed by the many natural springs that are on the other side of the depression were the mountains begin. The mountain range one covered with dense forests reaches up to one of the historic high meadow of Kashmir Tos Maidan.

Village Satharn is at the base of the mountain. Some four kilometers by four kilometers. There are some 450 house holds. Unlike a traditional Kashmiri village in Sitaharan the houses are scattered, each cluster of homes within the agricultural plot. More like a Gujjar (nomadic) settlement except that the house architecture is more like a traditional Kashmiri home, sloping roofs with gables.

The village Sitaharan is made up of 10 neighborhoods. Most of the homes are relatively well built, brick and tin roofs. However, the village has no roads; not even an approach road, municipal services are near zero. There are natural springs that provide water. There is no electricity and few households have solar lights. There is one government run school in the meadow, and one room elementary schools. There are no medical facilities, no recreational spaces within the village. We visited Sitaharan to do a basic survey and start immediate relief work in the village, after it was identified as a project village. Our first meeting was with the DC of the district Mr. Farooq Renzu and the Molvi (cleric) and Teacher of the school. We kept broadening our support and resource base by meeting with Lumberdar (village supervisor) who arranged our visits to the different mohallas. In our subsequent visits we distributed supplies to school at Shikari Mohallas and middle school, which we identified as immediate relief for children. Our project coordinator along with the other staff will be carrying out other programs that have been outlined in our earlier objectives. The needs and requirements expressed by the village Representatives reflected the already set objectives of KER mission for the project, including demands for Health Care/Dispensary, Generating Employment, Community Center and Recreational programs for children, vocational centers etc.

Work Accomplished in Sitaharan

1. Immediate School Supplies Delivered School supplies were delivered to needy children in form of bags, notebooks, books, pencils etc as well as shoes, in both schools. There were about 400 children in total in need of proper gear. 2. Health Care Professional Visit A lady doctor has been hired to visit the village weekly and hold medical relief camps along with two paramedics. This program will be supervised by the project coordinator and the supporting team in the valley. They will be operating from a rented room till a permanent center is established. Basic medicinal supplies will also be provided free of cost. 3. Proposed Site for Parungah (Community Center) Matoo Mohalla, is a mohalla adjacent to Shikari mohalla and it has a substantial home which is unoccupied and is in need of repairs. This property is to be rented for Parun Gah, the KER community and reading center. Work will begin on repairs and renovation in spring 2008. Global Read will be supporting with technical and other expertise for this project.

4. Micro-financing projects Working on micro financing projects which will include Fish Farming & Tourist Trek programs to Tos Maida, Dood Pather and Yus Marg 5. Liaison with District Commissioners Office The KER project coordinator is helping the villager’s liaison with the DC’s office as well as the rural development departments to ensure a proper road is constructed in the village. 6. Sports Gear The children were supplied with sports accessories to start their cricket, soccer, and volleyball teams for both boys and girls from the schools. The parents had expressed their wish for starting a JK Scouts Soccer cricket team, the gear will aid them towards that end and the DC’s office will also help them in giving the children opportunities to play outside the village. The teachers from the respective schools are responsible for maintaining the sports clubs.

Please see below some pictures of this visit and also check out the new photos in our photo gallery.

KER TEAM SURVEYING
KER TEAM SURVEYING
CHILDREN IN A CLASS
CHILDREN IN A CLASS

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Organization

Kashmir Earthquake Relief

Nigeen, Kashmir, India

Project Leader

Rafique Khan

CEO - Managing Director
LA, CA United States

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