Happy School Rishikesh
It seems that the flower children here are actually quite well cared for - there is one particular ashram which looks after their welfare and they are all able to go to school. Their families are poor, but they are ok. However the children in the villages don't even have the possibility of begging - if they hold out their hand to ask for some coin or food, there is no one there to give it to them. So we have decided to focus our work there.
Yesterday we visited a school high up in the foothills of the Himalayas - a long winding road an hour and a half up into the mountains - where there are 60 children at school. The teachers as well as the children need support.
They are delighted we are coming. We have full support of local mayors, dignitaries, school principal and Rishikesh ashram - which is all important in order for our success.
One of our contacts is an assistant at the school and drives there and back every day and will take our beloved Narayani with her. We will also set up a Sunday project for the flower children in Rishikesh where they can have some creative fun, yoga, fruit (which they love!) and also some extra tuition which will help them too.
The village school has a derelict building which is no longer used, but which we would like to renovate to use as a yoga hall, dance, song and story telling space for the children. We have 2 sponsors here who have offered to pay for the materials - but as there are no builders up there in the hills, we will need two lovely builder volunteers to come out and rebuild it for us. They will be able to stay in our Rishikesh ashram with Narayani or perhaps we will find local accommodation. Anyone with building or renovating experience who would like to come and spend a few weeks in Himalayan paradise rebuilding the school ... please let me know asap!
Tomorrow we are visiting a home for disabled children and the elderly ... expect more news soon!
Hearts Love Padma
PS The school is called Happy School as there is a Sunshine School already in Rishikesh. And that is the official name of the school before we came!