2021 Project # 338
Dekyiling submitted a request for assistance in replacing their outdated office computers.
“Today, I am here to make a special request for the administration section that we are running our office works mostly from the desk of the Manager and the Accountant/Secretary for the daily administrative and welfare work of the Society. Dekyiling Tibetan Handicraft Society was established in the year 1982 in the northern Indian town of Dehradun with the aims and objective to promote Tibetan traditional Arts & Crafts and its preservation. The society has been successful to live up to the expectations of the people with very kind support from our donors/supporters without which it had not been at this stage now. So we express our sincere gratitude to all those who have extended their valuable support for children’s education, grannies, welfare and projects at the time of need.
Coming to the proposal, the administrative working computer set (desktop) of both the Manager and the Accountant/Secretary are quite outdated models of 2012 which often creates problems causing loss of saved data/documents resulting in administrative obstacles and disturbances. Hence, we request you for funding of 2 desktop computers which are costing around Rs.46,100 X 2 sets= INRs.92,200 as of today if the cost does not fluctuate. We are sure that your good office will look into our proposal favourably and help us for a better working of our office.”
The CTA is no longer funding admin costs for the small settlements in India. As you can imagine handicraft sales are a way down due to the COVID pandemic so they did not have the available funds for this purchase.
TRAS was able to fund this project – $1,626
Dekyiling reported in December 2021 the successful installation of two computers.
2020-2021 Project # 329
TRAS is a long-time supporter of the Munsel-ling School in the Spiti Valley, in northern India, since it opened in 1996.
In 2018 the School constructed 12 dry toilets with urinals for the boys. The toilets were very useful during the winter but during the summer they created a dreadful smell around the school and campus.
Early in 2020 Munsel-ling School approached TRAS for help with building a permanent block of flush toilets for girls and boys. The Indian Government is now very active in working towards the health and sanitation of the students in the schools. So with TRAS promising half the needed funds , Munsel-ling was able to obtain the other half from the government, and construction started when the road to the Valley opened in the early spring. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic all construction has been stopped, and the project was on hold until at least later in the spring of 2021.
Construction restarted in 2021 and a large block of toilets were built incorporating the flush toilets for use in milder weather and the dry latrine toilets for use in the freeze of winter.
TRAS raised $5,000 to cover the funds sent in 2020 and an additional $3,970 when the building restarted. The project was completed in 2021.
Library Maintenance Project:
Libraries have been opened in 20 villages bringing books, periodicals and newspapers to villagers for the first time. Children and youth are making good use of these, many adults are showing a keen interest in learning to read, and the libraries are becoming a hub for village meetings and discussions. Children’s ‘book clubs’ have started, and school attendance has improved. Government school teachers are using the library books for teaching their classes.
The good news is that registered card holder numbers have increased, and now 1,252 children and adults are using the libraries. Some of the increase is attributed to word of mouth advertising and also to the relocation of two libraries within their villages, making them accessible to nearby villages as well. TRAS promised to support the libraries for three years, to pay for new books, newspaper subscriptions and the librarian honorarium. This support ends December 31, 2016, and is fully funded for 2016. Already some libraries are run by the villages, it is hoped more will soon be independent, and a scheme to collect gently used books from nearby towns is in hand.
TRAS is a long-time supporter of the Munsel-ling School in the Spiti Valley, in northern India, since it opened in 1996. This has included desks for classrooms and greenhouses for growing food during the long winters, as well as sponsorships to support the education of individual children, and more recently supporting post-secondary students through the TRAS Scholarship Fund.
Munsel-ling wrote to ask for TRAS’s support in building laundry facilities.
TRAS board member Dr. Videsh Kapoor visits Spiti regularly as part of her work with the UBC Global Health Initiative, and she was able to get a more detailed understanding of what the needs are. The key problem is water availability.
The population of the town of Spiti is only 200 people, while the school has up to 600 students. This leads to possible conflict over water usage.
Currently, the students have been using a gray-water pond to wash their clothes. This pond is also used by the villagers for irrigation. When the students use it to do laundry, the soap and grime often flow into the villagers’ fields, causing conflicts with the school.
Moreover, when the students are unable to clean their clothes, they can develop worrisome health issues including scabies.
The Munsel-ling school has four sources of water, including two surface springs and two wells. One of the wells supplies the hostels and the kitchen, the other is shared with the villagers.
Of the two surface sources, the “north source” is a government source, shared with the entire village, including farmers, and governed by traditional norms (more for old people, less for new people).
Finally, the “south source” is the target for the laundry project. It’s also a government source, but the villagers don’t use it. It connects to solar water heaters. Currently, there is no reservoir, so the water is wasted.
One question we had was where the water would come from in the winter. The two surface sources are not available in the winter, but the population of the school is also much smaller. (From mid-January to March, senior students continue studying in Dharamsala, and Munsel-ling has started sending teachers to villages to continue running mini-schools.)
TRAS agreed to fund the building of a large water storage tank to collect clean water from a surface spring which is not used by the villagers, two outdoor laundry stations and a soak pit to strain the soap and grime out of the water before it reaches the farmers fields. Construction in the Spiti Valley is limited to the few summer months, so Munsel-ling School forged ahead, and by the end of August the children were washing their clothes in the almost-completed facilities. They are simple but effective, and large enough to cope with the school population of over 400 children.
Funds needed for 2019: $17,695 of which $12,034 has been raised.