Lakshmi Devi Academy (LDA), KHEL’s school for underserved children in Dehradun, is on summer break. To celebrate the end of another successful school year, faculty and staff spent an afternoon at Sahasradhara, a popular swimming beach near Dehradun. Beni, KHEL’s General Manager, hosted this event to honour his wife, Kamli, who is a former KHEL employee; please join us in congratulating Kamli on her reelection to the post of City Councilor!
We said goodbye to our 8th graders and LDA is closed for the summer, but KHEL’s work continues:
We are upgrading security at LDA to deal with numerous break-ins; so far, nothing of value has been stolen. We’re adding grills to all the lower level windows and replacing doors that won’t close properly. This is a costly project estimated at rs80,000 (US$1,800) and we would appreciate any donations. In addition, we need to hire a night security guard to discourage further break-ins, which will add at least rs3,000 (US$70) to our monthly expenses.
After the security upgrade is completed and thanks to a generous donation from Gopal D. of Trinidad, we will be upgrading our computer equipment. This will greatly enhance the education of our students, and will make it easier for Manohar, KHEL’s Community Outreach Coordinator, to keep accurate records.
Our experimental Medical Aid Program is in its third month. We have committed rs5,000 (US$110) per month to help students and their families become healthy so that they can participate in their own success by studying or working. More details about this aid will be on KHEL’s website and Facebook page soon.
Another generous donor, Mohini P., has made it possible for us to improve the drinking water at LDA. We’re in the early stages of designing a ‘greener’ system so that water run-off will nourish the plants at LDA; we’re looking forward to providing clean drinking water to the kids while teaching them about water conservation, which is a serious issue in India.
Data collection is an important aspect of KHEL’s work. Without complete information on the families we serve, we can’t anticipate their needs, provide for emergencies or accurately determine who needs aid. KHEL’s Management Team – Stomya, Beni and Manohar – are working on a system to collect data efficiently to help us determine poverty, education, health and socio-economic levels in the community. Combining data with our close communication with KHEL’s aid recipients gives us a greater understanding of the challenges they face and how we can help them.
The monsoon season is in full swing in Dehradun. Flooding is a huge problem due to record setting rain fall. The LDA building had several feet of water in the downstairs and all the furniture was moved upstairs. It will be weeks before we can fully assess the damage and estimate what the repairs will cost.
When the monsoon has abated and it’s possible to do some work at LDA, tables, chairs and chalk boards will be repaired in preparation for another great school year. The kids come back July 5th and, as always, we’ll be thrilled to see them again!