2008 Journey and Matching Grant Projects with India

A life-changing, amazing journey, that continues...the slideshows & logs

Feb. 2008, District Governor Marlene Brown & husband Earl Lewis traveled to India at their own expense to: take part in the NIDS Polio drops; the inauguration of 'Gurukulum' (a Matching Grant Project between our districts); visit Club Projects; present at Club meetings & their District Conference. View pictures & slideshows below. Read journal log. View Blog. View desks journey.

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Rotary District Governors L. Narayanaswamy and Marlene Brown inaugurate the Vocational School, Gurukulum, a matching grant project in Tirupur, India
D-3200 District Governor L Narayanaswamy & D-7150 Governor Marlene Brown inaugurate our Matching Grant project in India, 'Gurukulum' Nov. '08 Update!
Rotary District Governors L. Narayanaswamy and Marlene Brown inaugurate the Vocational School, Gurukulum, a matching grant project in Tirupur, India
Inside the building, during the inaugaration ceremony, L. to R. - Project Head, Rtn. Mathavan (Maddy), eClub President Earl Lewis, DG L Narayanaswamy, Tirupur North Club President Thamby, DG Marlene Brown
08 Gurukulum Vocational Training Center for girls and women in India, part of MG program with Rotary Districts 7150 and 3200

08 Gurukulum Vocational Training Center for girls and women in India, part of MG program with Rotary Districts 7150 and 3200
We're off and running! Part of the building houses a sewing room. Skills learned here will allow them to apply for a job at a local factory.

Coming soon, the other part of the building with the computers for women & girls training to ensure gainful employment.

Left: The permanent plaque on the outside of the building

View slideshow of Gurukulum Inauguration

DG Marlene greeted in Tirupur, India by Thamby, Maddy, Rtn. Chidambaram, Rtn. Mani, Rtn. Subramaniam, and the Tirupur North Rotary Club
Being greeted by the Tirupur North, India, Rotary Club
District Governor L Narayanaswamy greets District Governor Marlene Brown in Tirupur, India
D-3200 Governor LN takes part in the greeting ceremony

View slideshow arrival in the South of India * View slideshow of Coimbatore arrival from Cochin

District Governor Marlene Brown touring and presenting at the Adarsh Special School in Cochin, India, accompanied by Rtn. Narayan, and Rtn. Ranjin
A visit to Adarsh Special School, in Cochin, India, a project of the Cochin Rotary Club
District Governor Marlene Brown and D-3200's District Rotary Foundation Chair, Rtn. Shenoy, at the inauguaration of the new computer room at Adarsh Special School in Cochin, India
Inaugurating a computer room at the Cochin RC sponsored school, with D-3200's DRFC, Rtn. Shenoy on the left

View slideshow of Cochin, India Rotary school * View slideshow of Cochin, India area tour/Clubs

District Governor Marlene Brown, Rotary District 7150, presenting to two hundred Interact students at St. Hilda's private school in Ooty, India, accompanied by Rtn. Dr. Siva
Presenting to the Interact Club in Ooty
Rotary District 7150 Governor Marlene Brown greeting students at the Rotary school in Ooty sponsored by the RC of Ootacamund, India, accompanied by Rtn. Dr. Baju
Touring the Rotary Sponsored school in Ooty

View slideshow of Ooty, India Rotary school * View Ooty Interact Club * View slideshow leaving Ooty

Rotary District Governor Marlene Brown presents to the Alakapuram school, sponsored by the Coimbatore RC, accompanied by Rtn. Sundaramoorthy
Touring & presenting to Alakapuram, the Rotary sponsored school in Coimbatore, India

Hard to say 'so long for now...'

View slideshow of Coimbatore area & Rotary sponsored school

Meeting once again, DG LN, just prior to attending the Club Charter of the Galaxy RC, Coimbatore, India
Meeting up once again with DG LN
Rotary District Governor Marlene Brown invited to take part with Rotary District Governor L. Narayanaswamy in the CHarter Celebration of the Galaxy RC in India
Taking part in the Chartering of another Club in India

View slideshow of Meeting Dr. Bala & Coimbatore Rotary Club Charter

Rotary District Governor Marlene Brown presented a plaque by Rotary District Governor L. Narayanaswamy and R. I. rep, at their District Conference in India
Being presented a plaque at the District Conference by DG LN and the RI Gov's rep

Watching our GSE team's presentation at the District Conference, with Maddy, the two Governor's, the R.I. rep, and the GSE Team Chair Dr. Bala

View the slideshow of India Conference, District 3200 * View slideshow of Inner Wheel & last days

Rotary District Governor Marlene Brown taking part in the NIDS polio drops north of Delhi, India
Taking part in the NIDS polio drops in Delhi
A day trip to visit the Taj Mahal in Agra, India
A day trip to the Taj Mahal

View the slideshow of NIDS in Delhi, India * View slideshow side trip to Old Delhi & Agra

WATER: India faces a turbulent water future. Unless water management practices are changed soon, India will face a severe water crisis within the next two decades and will have neither the cash to build new infrastructure nor the water needed by its growing economy and rising population. India’s past investments in large water infrastructure have yielded spectacular results with enormous gains in food security and in the reduction of poverty.

However, much of this infrastructure is now crumbling. Shortfalls in financing have led to an enormous backlog of maintenance. Faced with poor water supply services, farmers and urban dwellers alike have resorted to helping themselves by pumping out groundwater through tubewells. Today, 70 percent of India’s irrigation needs and 80 percent of its domestic water supplies come from groundwater. Although this practice has been remarkably successful in helping people to cope in the past, it has led to rapidly declining water tables and critically depleted aquifers, and is no longer sustainable.

Sewage and waste water from rapidly growing cities and effluents from industries have turned many rivers, including major ones, into fetid sewers. Massive investments are needed in sewers and wastewater treatment plants to protect people’s health and improve the environment. Climate change projections show that India’s water problems are only likely to worsen. With more rain expected to fall in fewer days and the rapid melting of glaciers in the western Himalayas, India will need to gear up to tackle the increasing incidence of both droughts and floods.

LITERACY: The problem of illiteracy in the Indian context cannot be over emphasised. Basic literacy, as defined by the United Nations, is the ability to read 40 words per minute, write 20 words per minute, and do 2-digit arithmetic. In India, where one of the oldest civilizations flourished, only 52% of the population is literate (65.5% of males, 39% of females). (These figures are from the 1991 census). The literacy rate among rural women is 10%. Over half of the world's illiterates may be in India as we enter the 21st century. Every third working child in the world is in India.

For 3 million children in India, the street is their home. Various barriers to child and adult literacy exist in India, most prominent are the issues of gender and poverty. However, now as the population nears the 1 billion mark and with issues of poverty and social inequities becoming larger, it is time to face the challenges. Literacy is the key to development, health care, employment and last but not the least, it is the key to population control.

Through Rotary projects, teachers and students pair up with Rotarians to educate the community. The importance of literacy is the need for the community to be able to read. As President Wilf Wilkinson said " Literacy empowers people. It is the foundation for virtually all forms of education and an essential component of poverty reduction, social inclusion, and economic development. Despite the importance of literacy, there are more than 800 million people unable to read or write in the world today, and 64 percent are women and girls".

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