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...
Apr 9, 2012

A letter from a Volunteer

Shaun playing carrom with boys at the remand home
Shaun playing carrom with boys at the remand home

This update is a little bit different from usual, it is a letter received from a participant in our village experience programme held every year. Volunteers get a chance to work alongside our staff in all of our projects. Shaun refers to Nick and Deepak in the letter, they are the co founders of the Charity.

Aap Kaise Hai? . . .Accha, Aaj bahut garmi hai!   ( How are you?)  (Good). (Today is very Hot)
  
Mera nam Shaun hai!    My name is Shaun

Firstly I need to apologise for taking so long in sending an email, this is down to either my hectic lifestyle at home or to me being me and not getting round to things. I was going to send it straight away but I was so overwhelmed by everything I felt I needed time to digest everything, clearly has taken me longer than I thought! I hope everyone is well and still working very hard within the group, the work you all do is honestly amazing. I have told everyone about all the wonderful things you do and how you seem to have touched everyone that came to the village experience. I want you all to know that I still often think about you and just sometimes stop and think, wow, those guys are all still so far away still doing what you do best, helping people not so fortunate than yourselves! Life over here is 100% the opposite to India, from the food to the electrics! How I just turn on a switch and its guaranteed that my light or television will turn on. Or my water I drink will always be fresh and clean with shops everywhere selling anything I need. It is very difficult to just walk around and watch people who are so god damn selfish and not have a clue as to what people around the world have to go through just to get water or food. I feel so privileged to have been given the opportunity to see with my own eyes the work you do, how conditions out there are getting better due to your hard work. I am currently sitting in my room, with a laptop, drinking English tea in temperatures of about 16 degrees listening to bob Marley. The very fact that you are reading this now so far away, probably sweating (maybe not) drinking Indian chai (maybe) and if you are lucky, having just beaten bindal at Carrom! If you are reading this Bindal then you need to know I have been missing playing Carrom with you, Surrender and Annan. To think that when I first came I didn’t even know what the game was to becoming possibly the best player every within 100 miles of Bodhgaya!
 
Rescue Junction really is a statement in itself, Gaya is possibly now a safer environment for children because of the hard work your team put in at all hours around the clock to make sure they are safe. The children at the junction all seem so happy and I get the feeling that they now have something to strive for and you may have perhaps given them a new leash of life. To think a small child that has been abandoned or lost can suddenly be put into a safe shelter, with food and water along with education and most importantly FRIENDS! I will never forget the moment you first took us all there and we sat in the reception and you told us about all the horror stories, that was the moment it hit home, I remember thinking, I wish everybody I knew was here right now to see how lucky we are.

The Health team stood out to me because this is what I am studying here in England so I felt I had a fantastic time with them. Seeing how well they work in difficult conditions and how they just seem unaffected by the things that they see as they stay so professional. If any of the wonderful health team are reading this then I want you to know I have told my teachers and health workers at home all about the work you do and that we will never actually understand how amazing you are to all of the communities around you.
 
The schools that you run are clearly run every well, with great teachers who all seem to love their jobs and teach with passion that a lot of teachers from England could do with! Naresh – I can honestly say I have never ever seen a more passionate teacher in my entire life. Just watching you enjoying helping the children and always having this great big smile on your face made me realise that if I ever am going to become a teacher this is what I needed to do. The children clearly loved it when you taught them and it was obvious that to everyone who came from England that you had your heart in your job and that is something very special. By the way, my name is SHAUN NOT SAUL! Thank you for always being there when you didn’t need to be, such as when Amy fell ill and wherever we went you met us or made sure we were always happy. This really also applies to Rakesh too, because you both were always with us and seemed to try your best to make sure we were ok. I cannot thank you enough for what you did for us all, I personally always felt safe with you two around and we always seemed to have a good time and joke about. It was very sad when we left at the train station as I felt it was a Journey that you had been there from the start right to the end, I cannot thank you anymore but from the bottom of my heart, it meant everything to me and I’m sure it did to everyone else.

It is impossible to sum up India or the experience it has given me. It was mentally and physically very difficult at times, seeing and listening to things that you would hope you never heard or seen. I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart! Nick and Deepak – I feel that you do not know how amazing you guys are, all of the people you have touched and the children you have saved. The next step is to get the government to take responsibility for what they should have done in the first place! That day will be a great day and that is when the real show gets on the road! I hope you are all well and still working hard with smiles on your faces. I always smile when I think of my time in India, hopefully I will be able to return someday. Keep in touch everyone!

‘We cannot all do great things for the world – but we can do small things with great love’

Keep the Faith!

Namaste!
MAI INDIA SE PYAR KARTA HU! ( I Love India)!

Shaun Warner

Links:

Feb 7, 2012

VISITORS OF ALL KINDS

Thank you!
Thank you!

Hello everyone.

I hope this update from People First finds you well and that the New Year has got off to a promising start for you and your family.

We have had even by our standards an exceptionally busy start to the New Year, as followers of our Facebook page ( the link is below) will already know we were honoured by a visit from the Bihar Minister of State for Labour, following increasing cooperation with Labour Department in tackling child labour and trafficking. You may also be aware Bodhgaya is the centre of the Buddhist World and organised child begging is an ever present menace. We appeal to all those who visit Bodhgaya (only 13km away from Rescue Junction) please if you want to give- donate to a recognised and reputable organisation rather than individual children. Please help spread the word.

A one day old child, a little Baby Boy was recently found abandoned in a potato field and we were able to place this boy with a caring family awaiting adoption.

He would not have survived the night if he had not been brought to us.

We are currently working with the relevant authorities trying to get trafficked children back home from as afar a field as Delhi and the Himalayas.

I just wanted to say how much we appreciate your continuing support and please look out for the next update keeping you in touch with our work.

With much appreciation,

Sunita

Links:

Feb 6, 2012

A National Shame for India

Neelam with baby boy found in Field
Neelam with baby boy found in Field

Dear Supporters,

Hello everyone and greetings to you all from Bihar, India.

For more information about the Baby Boy in our photo please visit our Facebook Page ( the link is below.)

If you are not aware of the Prime Ministers comments about the number of hungry children in todays India, I thought it would be interesting for you to see the following article from the Economic Times published recently.

NEW DELHI: India's Prime Minister called malnutrition in the country "a national shame" on Tuesday as he released a major survey that found 42 percent of children under five were underweight.
"The problem of malnutrition is a matter of national shame," Singh said at the launch of the HUNGaMA (Hunger and Malnutrition) Report, which surveyed 73,000 households across nine states.
"Despite impressive growth in our GDP, the level of under-nutrition in the country is unacceptably high. We have also not succeeded in reducing this rate fast enough," the 79-year-old prime minister added.

Singh said the findings of the report by an alliance of non-government organisations were both "worrying and encouraging" for India -- a fast-growing country of 1.2 billion people with the highest number of children worldwide.

The research found the proportion of under-fives who are underweight had declined 11 percentage points in seven years, but Singh said it remained "unacceptably high" at 42 percent.

"We cannot hope for a healthy future with a large number of malnourished children," he said.
India's economy has boomed in the last 20 years since a liberalisation wave began in 1991, with GDP growth rates of nearly 10 percent in the last decade helping to change perceptions of the country.

Foreign companies and India's powerful conglomerates have invested heavily, selling vast quantities of cars, luxury goods and Western lifestyle products to the growing middle classes.

It seems the wealth created in a country estimated to have 57 billionaires last year had not trickled down fast enough to the impoverished masses.
Measured by the prevalence of malnutrition, India is "doing worse than sub-Saharan Africa," she told AFP, echoing observations made by UN children's agency UNICEF.

This is despite the world's biggest government programme for early childhood development, called the Integrated Child Development Scheme, which is seen as riddled with corruption and inefficiency.

We see real hunger almost very day in our work in the villages of South Bihar.

I can tell you without a shadow of doubt that in the cold winter months a nourishing hot meal saved lives this year especially amongst young children.

Thanks to you we were able to provide over 250 hot meals a week, directly benefiting the very poor and underfed who needed this help the most.

Thank you for your support.

Neelam

Links:

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