Hello everyone from a desperately hot Bihar, the monsoon is late and stiil some time away and if you do not mind may I bring your attention to our new appeal to help fund our efforts to save lives during this heawave
We have asked a village woman from one of the villages to comment on the programme for this report. This is (unedited) what we she had to say
Hello my is Diya Kumari (we have changed the name) and I am a mother living in Dadpur village. I am being interviewed for my thoughts about my life and the meal program and I am very happy to share some things of of my life with you. I am about 32 years of age but I am not sure as I have no birth certificate, nobody has in my village which is isolated and very poor.
Very few of us here actually own the land we work on and we get only a small daily wage . I have three children one boy and two girls aged all aged between about fourteen and ten years of age .Our village comprises mainly of mud dwellings with straw or tiled roofs and has a population of about 1000 people and we all are poor. The main road is several kilometers away but we saved up for years and we now have a cycle. My husband Jagdish works as a daily laborer too and we might earn between us about 400-500 rupees (about $8.00) a day ,but due to seasons and the growing times we may not always have work . There is no doctor or electricity in our village but there is a people first school and their health team visit regularly to check on our children's health.
But we are not just mute takers of help, the women are learning about how to give birth in a clean and hygienic way and health things and we are forming self help group so we can give save a little bit of money every month and maybe get a loan. I have learnt sewing skills at a people first sewing centre and I might get my very own sewing machine so I can make my own children's clothes and maybe sell some at the weekly market some 8 km away.
But it is the healthy meal that our children get which really helps our children be stronger. It is cooked by village women here in the village and is a real community event . it makes all the difference here where Dal (Lentils often the village peoples only source of protein) is so expensive for us now and our children don't get the vitamins they need . So I would like to thank you all on behalf of all village women for your help in supporting this programme. you are all very kind and we are all very grateful to you.
Hi I am Neelam the Nurse on People First community health project.
I hope you are all well.
If you were to visit the village here in Bihar you would see quite lush fields of crops although water is in short supply which is why the deep water pump provided by another fully funded GlobalGiving appeal is so important but you may wonder why can’t they grow their own food. They can to a certain extent, but the problem is they do not own the land they farm, in fact the landlord is often far away. It gets worse , often in return for loans taken from the landlord for sickness or a marriage the interest rates are so high they can never pay it back and become “bonded labour” . It’s a form of slavery and it’s not legal. These problems are not going to be solved overnight and in some cases the government have granted land to landless families.
Cases are in the courts but they can drag on for years and in the meantime children go hungry. But not in this village, thanks to you.
Here is one villagers comment concerning the nutritious meal scheme.,
I want to say how much we appreciate the hot nutritious meal we receive from People First.“We have very little land, it is difficult for us to grow enough food for our family. I have two young sons and a daughter aged six. The meals are just so tasty and full of goodness. There is no electricity in our village, and no doctor either , but the Health Team from People First have started a village health scheme here with a local volunteer health worker, and have trained the village midwives to help safe deliveries. This has helped my family and other villagers a lot. But I want to say before the meal was provided there was much hunger here, and many malnourished children Due to help of others this is no more, our children are growing well. We also want to help ourselves and People First have started a village group for loans (micro credit scheme) for village women which I have joined, and although I can afford only 25 rupees a month ( about 50cents) I hope to get a loan to buy a couple of goats and rear them for milk. Thank you so much. Life is hard here but we know people do care about us and are helping us a lot”
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