With the financial support of several groups in Wertingen, our Indian partner organization GRAVIS runs the school center “Bal Vikas”. The school is visited by about 60 children. The education is holistic and includes not only regular lessons but also extra-curricular activities and education on environmental, hygiene and nutrition issues.
The measures are coordinated by a GRAVIS educator and supported by an external team. The project will allow teachers to be paid, school materials purchased and activities (such as workshops or health checks) to be funded. Through the project, these children can attend school, which otherwise would not be possible.
The Thar Desert is a region of Rajasthan that is underdeveloped and whose inhabitants are affected by poverty. The area is affected by drought due to infrequent and unpredictable rainfall. The average rainfall is between 500mm in the east and up to 100mm in the west. Agricultural production in this area is extremely uncertain due to the conditions mentioned. In average four out of ten years, there are droughts. The area is rich in minerals. It is estimated that around 2.2 million workers throughout Rajasthan work in quarries, including around 400,000 in the Thar desert area.
The XertifiX partner organization GRAVIS has produced a study, according to which about 12% of the employees in these quarries are children. The largest number of employees is between 15 and 40 years old and only 10% are over 40 years old. The conditions are pathetic: there is no clean drinking water, no first aid, no medical care or hospitals, no security measures in the quarries and often malnutrition. The greatest danger, however, comes from silicosis, which is triggered by the unprotected inhalation of fine dust, which is incurable and deadly.
Gramin Vikas Vigyan Samiti (GRAVIS) strong> was founded in 1983 by a group of activist activists on Gandhi. Since 1994, the organization has been dedicated to empowering communities in quarry settlements with an emphasis on (school) education of children. For this purpose, schools were built, as well as medical measures taken and health education offered.