This community sub- project aims at providing a clean environment and reducing carbon emissions. Currently the village has erratic electric supply which is expensive, cooking gas is out of reach of most families, and all cooking is done on wood burning open hearths. The Sub- project envisages harnessing a combination of solar and wind power and improvement to cooking stoves.
Initially the requirement is for providing funds for domestic solar lighting sets, solar cooking sets, and effective wood burning stoves (Solar cookers do not work in cloudy weather) A demonstrator solar cooker has been provided and a smokeless wood burning stove has been designed and installed in a home stay kitchen as a demonstrator.
Wind Power is a possibility, and is being studied. It is a high cost project and can be taken up latter
Home stay Cottages
The concept of home stays as an earning module forms the core of Awake & Shine Integrated Tourism project. The idea is that a donor adopts one family and assists in building a home - stay cottage. The family will provide land and labour whilst the donor provides funding for the material. There would be a commitment to pass on percentage of earnings towards funding project Awake & Shine, and an offer of a holiday to the donor every year. There are exciting possibilities of cultural exchange by present and future generations.
Awake & Shine funded first home stay cottage linked with the Awake & Shine Pre School was inaugurated in feb 2007, It has been appreciated by a score of visitors, and has provided good earnings to the family. Three more cottages have been completed, and a fourth one is under construction. Gairi gaon now has 04 rooms and Kabi has one room. The project has assisted in creating 08 beds at gairi Gaon and two beds in Kabi village. We are now looking to provide homestays furthur afield in the yang valley.
Waste Disposal and Homestead Hygiene
Currently there is no proper waste disposal system. Due to the difficult terrain, and distances between homesteads and lack of transportation, a community waste disposal project is difficult and expensive. Homestead based waste disposal is a better alternative. Funding is required for conversion of household waste into farm manure, and building individual WCs linked to shared soakage pits.
Medical & Health Centre
The existing medical facilities provided by the government are inadequate A “dream project is the setting up of a Village medical & health centre manned by a stream of volunteer doctors / paramedics with funding from privileged communities round the world. It is an ideal project for the any medical association to take up as a challenge.
Basic Health care clinic
A “dream” project is the setting up of a Village Basic health care clinic manned by a stream of volunteer doctors / paramedics with funding from privileged communities round the world.
Following the visit of Dr Sanjeev Goel and Dr Lopita Banerjee on a holiday to Samthar in Nov 2008, The Wise Elephant group of Canada launched an initiative to provide funding and professional services for providing a health care unit at Samthar in cooperation with Project Awake & Shine.
The idea was to bring doctors from Canada by rotation along with free medicines and set up a clinic which can act as a base to provide health care to the remote region around Samthar.
The first clinic functioned for a period of 15 days from 09 Mar to 23 Mar 2009 and was manned by Dr Sanjeev Goel and Dr Priya Agarwal
- The clinic provided free consultancy and medicines to 167 out patients
- 25 house calls were made
- Medical team trekked to remoter parts of the area on three days to set up temporary field clinics in three villages catering for about 40 out patients per day
- A workshop was organized for 40 mothers in child care and nutrition,
- Health check was carried our for 45 children of Awake & Shine pre school.
More such periodic clinics are planned A well equipped and manned polyclinic at Samthar in the future could well be a dream come true.
Vegetables for the Market
The local diet is deficient in green vegetables. Despite the good demand for vegetables at Kalimpong and adjacent areas, there is hardly any cultivation of vegetables at Samthar. On the other hand at Kurseong;, Rv Father Abrahan, a Canadian missionary has demonstrated how vegetables can be grown in small plots, using improvised hot houses, organic manure and drip irrigation (to conserve scarce water resources). This also prevents top soil erosion during the monsoons.
It s proposed to replicate these innovative methods to produce a cash crop of vegetables, herbs etc. This is a low cost project with great potential. Funding is required only for plastic hot houses with bamboo frames, seedling trays, seeds and manure bins. There is scope for a family to family tie –up. A privileged family can act as benefactor to a local family to enable them to start this project.
Rain Water Harvesting
Samthar has scarce water resources on the ridges. Rainwater run off is wasted. Funds are required to provide meterial for household rain water harvesting sets, comprising roof gutters, pipes and storage tanks.
Vocational Training Modules
Aimed at empowering school drop outs and educated unemployed, this project envisages vocational training modules to train for the following vocations
- Tile layers
- Water supply and sanitation fitters
- Handicraft persons for production based on bamboo, thatch and paddy waste
- Cooks and housekeepers for home stay operations
This involves building work sheds, provision of tools and training.
A begining has been made by providing funds to build a carpentry work shed and provide power tools to a pair of young carpenters, who are providing furniture and other wood work to the awake and shine school.