Saturday 3 May 2014

Pedhambali Village visit with volunteers from France with NANDINI VAN

3 of friends from France visited India for the first time to volunteer at ESI. None of them had visited any village and they had a strong desire to witness rural India. Sureshbhai (from ESI) decided to take them to
village in Nandini to offer an opportunity to explore India from a different perspective with an experience to understand work done by Nandini in rural India.
The visit starte with a graceful meeting with veteran Gandhians Vasant Dada and Kanti Dada, who have dedicated their lives in living on Sarvodaya principles. It was inspiring to have a visit of organic farms taken care by Vasant dada, who is on vegan diet since last more than 40 years.  He took around the naturopathy center, where they grow herbs and medicinal plants and offers naturopathy to villagers.
After that we headed to the village school and had interaction with children and teachers.  Following that Suresh bhai took volunteer friends to a village tour and showed newly built toilets in the village.  ESI built 25 toilets for 25 families. We interacted with families to understand their
needs and to ensure if they are using the toilets in proper manner. In late evening,we hosted a village gathering.
A documentary on sanitation was showcased. Sureshbhai shared with the villagers about the purpose of the visit of our friends from France. He shared their humble and compassionate intentions about an equanimous  society. Dr Harsit Pandit, naturopathy expert from naturopathy center run by Vasant Dada, shared his experience about good eating habits for a healthy lifestyle.The gathering was concluded at 11 PM with prayers.

Next day, at 5 : 30 AM, the day begin with Prabhat Pheri followed by cleaning of a public place by all the volunteers with help of villagers.  At 10 AM we visited the school and
interacted with students. All the seven volunteers were hosted by villagers for sumptuous lunch.

In the afternoon, village leader (Sarpanch) and village admin officer along with villagers gathered for a discussion.  It was acknowledged that sanitation is a way of life, and the village needs toilets for better hygiene and sanitation. The successful implementation of 25 toilets by ESI inspired villagers and village leaders requested to build 50 more toilets. A consensus was there that everyone can contribute in taking this collaborative effort, and ESI is instrumental in taking this effort to the next level.

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