Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Rait and the progress of its Vika Centre

It’s now a couple of months that I landed in India. First experience in this incredible big Country.

My new home for the following months is Rait, a village situated 20 km from Dharamshala, in Himachal Pradesh, the State in the North West of India. The town is quite nice, every morning I can have my breakfast facing an incredible view of the Himalayan Chain, I can hike along the river as well as walk throw the wheat fields. Such an amazing location!
There is just one thing I like more of the extraordinary nature in Rait: its inhabitants.

It’s incredible how the people living here are very kind and always ready to help for everything you need. Of course we are the foreigners coming from all over the world, so they are curious about us, about our families, our countries, but it’s not only that. If you need any help, no matter what, you will find at least one person ready to help or support you to come out of the situation.

One example that shows the kindness of these people happened just few days ago:
During the last weeks the team focused its energy on the VIKAS Center. VIKAS has a double meaning : in Hindi means development and, at the same time, is the acronym of  Village Knowledge, Awareness and Sustainable development. The idea is to create a proper space built for the needs of the community. The Center may include several facilities, which the more important will be : an Education and career Resource Centre, an ecoStore / REstore, a public health assistance and First Aid centre…  In the long term, we hope that these ViKAS Dev Centres can be run directly by the village communities where we work in, as a platform to help them address some of the social, environmental, educational and health issues in their own communities.

Following this mission we are renovating the space, where the VIKAS Center will soon open. Our priority was repairing the wall of the center with the plaster and then coloring it. The people were really interested in and often they stopped by. They love talk with us, have a chai together, try to help in every way they can. The community or at least the neighbourhood  were really helpful. They borrowed us brushes and spatula and they also gave us suggestions. Even the children wanted to give their contribution on helping us to paint. It was really funny!

Painting with the children from Rait
What can I say…within the village I feel at home: smiles and good friends! I’m very glad to be part of this supporting community, always ready to welcome the new entries. 

Thank you to our helpers!

Andrea Putelli - Italy
Centre Administration Coordinator and Forestry Project Manager in Rait

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