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November 2023 Update

Dear All,


Today is 'Diwali' or 'Deepavali', an auspicious day for us when we celebrate victory of good over evil. It is the festival of light. A special lunch has been organised to mark the celebration for the people at Nabakusthashram today and also for the boys in the hostel.

Key updates from the ground -

1. School: The morning school is drawing more and more pupil. It has become popular with the children of Dabar and at least 3 nearby villages from where some pupil are also attending the school. We are providing them with daily "tiffin" (a small morning snack to start their day), and study materials as always. Presently there are 3 teachers however, if the flow of students increases, we may look at inducting one more teacher in due course.

2. Hostel: Presently there are 10 boys in the hostel. One of them will be writing the Boards (Standard X) this year and hence, we have ensured that the teacher pay special attention to him. The boy (Badal) has opted to stay over at the hostel during holidays over visiting his village so that he could get better prepared for the exams to be held in February next year. All the expenses of the hostel boys continues to be borne by PAF. 

There is a low capacity generator sitting idle at Tinku's house. We have arranged the same to be transferred to the community hall ground (opposite School) to cater exclusively to the hostel boys. It is in process and will get operational by end of this month.  

Kalawati Bauri, the cook appointed for the hostel boys, cooks delicious meal which is loved by the boys!!

3. Nabakusthashram: We have lost 4 residents in the past few months, all due to old age. We were able to take two of them to the nearby hospital when they felt very sick, but the other two left suddenly. You would recall Vaduri particularly who used to play the 'pakhwaj' i.e. the drums.

We have repaired some buildings at Nabakusthashram in the gent's side particularly. Mostly the roofs had to be repaired and in many rooms we had to repair the doors/ windows which have been eaten away by the termites. The kitchen roof is in a very bad shape and we need funds for a permanent solution. The rainy season has just ended and it was really difficult to cook in the kitchen during the rains as the water kept flowing down from the roof.

Our nurses are regularly attending the people at Nabakusthashram. A few new ones have come on board during the past months as well. 

As you know, Gangamani, 94 the oldest resident of Nabakusthashram fell down and broke her left femur bone. At her age and health condition the doctor has ruled out any surgical intervention and therefore we are taking care of her in Nabakusthashram itself. Some of the her fellow neighbors are really kind and are taking good care of her.  


We are encouraging the residents in animal husbandry and pisciculture (farming fish). Recently we have arranged for dredging of a large pond inside the Nabakusthashram premises and once it got filled by the rains, we have put in a large number of fish. Our staff along with a few able bodied residents at Nabakusthashram have taken up the responsibility of feeding and protecting the fish who have grown in numbers. We are expecting to have the first catch to happen during the winters. It will be used for internal consumption of the residents and excess, if any will be sold in the market with proceeds going to them. 

Winter is round the corner and it gets pretty cold during the months of December & January. We are arranging fresh sets of warm clothes for the residents, new trunks for keeping their belongings, etc. Some we are funding ourselves and some through through generous local people.

4. Medical Center: We have tremendous response for the free medical center with people coming in from far flung places to get the treatment. Currently the doctor has limited patients to 50. Given the response and the need of the people, we have to increase the number of patients to at least 100 a week and we are trying to work it out in consultation with the treating doctor and others.  

5. Other activities: The Dance class and the Sewing class is being conducted on a regular basis with good response. The library is being used by the local village people routinely and there has been significant additions to the books through donations. We are looking out for computers to restart computer training for the village children. All the existing computers are not operating and are all beyond repairs (or would involve larger cost).

6. Guest House: The guest house did not have any visitor of late but we are expecting some guest during the months of December to March as this period happens to be the tourist season at Purulia. We are putting in efforts to reach out to potential tourist through social media platforms like Facebook etc.    

7. CSR Funds: We are also trying to bring in CSR funds for repairing of the Nabakusthashram buildings some of which are in very bad shape and can give away any moment resulting perhaps in casualties. As the response at the free medical clinic is very encouraging and is growing gradually, we are also planning means to serve and help more patients from the neighborhood which now covers nearly 20 sq. kms around Dabar. We are trying to obtain CSR funds for expansion of this activity. Recently, a school friend of Tinku who is an engineer and works with the State Government kindly arranged for survey of the buildings at Nabakusthashram to understand the extent of repairs that they would require and estimated cost. The visiting engineers also had a look at the community hall and the free medical center building and are working on the fund requirement for repairing/ expanding these as well.

8. Remembering Robert: People at Dabar remembered Robert on 23rd October and offered prayers. We also organised a community lunch in memory of Robert on that day which was attended by more than 300 people. 

That's about all from Dabar for the time being.



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