Jagriti Yatra | D +7

Day 8 (31.12.2014) My morning started with searching for my lost tooth brush for quite some time, which was lost forever. By the time I got ready and just managed to gargle with fellow yatri’s mouthwash, We were informed that we were nearing our destination for the day. By the time we finished our breakfast, we were at Brahmapur,Odisha (a.k.a Berhampur) railway station.

As usual we board our busses, this time we were headed to Mohuda village, where our role model of the day is located. The climate was awesome that day, I think it just stopped raining, but it was still breezy and drizzling, just felt light moving through those country roads. Shortly, we reached Gram Vikas office.

‘Gram Vikas’ which literally means ‘village development’ is a non-governmental organization that works with rural and tribal communities in India & Africa. Gram Vikas partners with rural-communities to address their critical needs of education, health, safe drinking water, sanitation, livelihoods and alternate energy in a manner that is sustainable, socially inclusive, gender equitable and empowering. source : http://www.gramvikas.org/

We are lucky enough to have Mr Joe Madiath, Founder of Gram Vikas to address us. He is one, who spent most his life towards bringing safe water and basic sanitation to the needy. He also strongly advocate against open defecation and helped many villages to build toilet on their own through Gram Vikas. Inspiring isn’t it. His, below ted video might inspire you more.

Post lunch, we visited a nearby village, But couldn’t look around due to the weather and time constraints. Then, we headed to Gram Vikas Kerandimal M.E school, as the name implies, it’s a school run by Gram Vikas itself. After a brief introductory session about the school, the kids presented us an awesome cultural show, filled with songs and dances. While evening tea and snacks was served, few of us played with the kids on the playground and I decided to roam around the school. I randomly entered their art room and was amazed to see what those kids were into. They were painting fabulous posters and greeting cards to welcome the new year. Out of the room, I bumped into Mr Joe Madiath himself. As I was aware that he was an alumnus of Loyola College, I asked him about his life at Chennai and he surprised me with “Eppadi Irukeenga, Tamil Konjam Konjam Theriyum” (How are you, I know Tamil a bit) in his broken Tamil.

That’s for the day, back to the bus and then back to the station. I also managed to get a new replacement for my lost toothbrush few meters away from the station :p. The day isn’t over yet as you think, It’s the new year eve and we did celebrate and had lots of fun. To know how, wait for my next post.

To Be Continued…

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