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The VRI newsletter is printed twice a year in January and June. It is distributed to all VRI members.

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November 2016 – Science fair

The annual science fair was held on 26th November. read more..

October 2016 – Health camp

In October, a free health camp was held. 35 medical staff came from Teer Thankar Mahaveer University, Moradabad and 25 volunteers, mostly from staff and students at APK. 618 patients were seen, including 297 women, 26 girls, 228 men and 67 boys.

April 2014 – sustainability project

By the 30th April, 1112 poplar saplings, 1562 eucalyptus saplings and 54 plants of bananas had been sown on the reclaimed land where the Sadbhavna Eco Harmony Project is based. More planting will take place after the monsoon.

April 2014 – educational tour

On the 19th April, all the staff of the schools and college run by the project were taken to Hardwar on the banks of the Ganges. Many took their families with them to make the most of this enjoyable outing. One day was spent discussing concerns and issues of education and other project activities.

November 2013 – eye camp

On 22nd November, a free eye camp was held. An eye surgeon from the eye hospital in Moradabad volunteered his services and examined 450 patients (42% men and 58% women). 26 were sent on to the community hospital in the nearby town of Bilari where they were successfully operated on for cataracts.

October 2013 – health centre re-opens

On 1st October, the health centre at Amarpurkashi re-opened with a fully qualified and experienced doctor, a practice manager and two compounders.

December 2013 – a new class begins

This month, a new class in tailoring for girls was successfully launched.

October 2013 – Science Fair

On 31st October, the annual Science Fair was held. This year the theme was local agriculture and the problems of small and marginal farmers. The fair was very well attended. Many students from schools in the nearby towns took part in the competition for the best demonstration. Hundreds of villagers from Amarpurkashi and the surrounding area also came to see the fair.

August 2013 – education flourishes

The enrolment at all the project institutions continues to flourish. This year there are 209 students in the primary school, 836 in the secondary school and a record 2,255 in the degree college.

March 2013 – national workshop

On 2nd and 3rd March, the Gramodaya College at Amarpurkashi hosted a workshop to discuss a new proposal for an experiment in sustainable livelihoods for rural people. Two volunteers from the U.K. also attended.

February 2013 – Optometrists volunteer

From 21st to 28th February, five young optometrists, all of Indian origin, volunteered their services at Amarpurkashi. They brought all the necessary equipment with them and set up in the health centre. Students from the primary and junior high schools came to have their eyes tested while on Sunday, when the schools were closed, these enterprising volunteers offered their services to local villagers.

November 2012 - Eye Camp

From 19th to the 23rd November, there will be an eye camp at Amarpurkashi. Specialist eye doctors will come from the government hospital in Moradabad and give their services free. Any patients identified for cataract operations will be able to have their cataracts removed free of charge. The project will cover the costs of transport, after-care and medicines.

November 2012 - Science Fair

On Wednesday, 7th November, our partner project at Amarpurkashi held its annual Science Fair. This year, the theme was the environment. It was a very successful fair, with hundreds of visitors from local villages as well as twelve schools that sent pupils to participate in the fair and vie for prizes for the best models.

First prize went to Babu Ram Junior High School, a small private secondary school on the outskirts of Amarpurkashi. Their project showed ways to improve the environment of a rural village by having covered communal toilet blocks and different rubbish pits based specifically on recycling materials. One interesting and innovative model focused on the problems caused by plastic bags with a striking display that was accompanied by a short play against their use. Water pollution was another important issue. A group from Amarpurkashi used bricks, pebbles, a hosepipe and some physical labour to create a mini river alongside a model of a water pump and well. Other models focused on homes and particularly factories as major causes of water pollution. A special prize for the use of waste went to B.Ed. students of the Gramodaya Degree College whose ‘zero waste’ display showed a wide range of practical uses for materials that are often thrown away.

This year’s fair was sponsored by Villages Espoir, an organisation set up by Toby Whitfeld who was a volunteer with VRI in November 2006.

Volunteer Chloe Hignett has written a full account of the fair.

October 2012 Health Camp

On Wednesday, 31st October a free health camp was held at Amarpurkashi. Over 700 villagers from the local area turned up! Luckily, the medical college in Moradabad with whom we liaise for these health camps had sent an unusually large team of 30 doctors so everyone was able to be seen. All patients were given two days' medicine and told that, if they required further treatment, they should visit the doctors at their private clinics where they would not be charged any consultation fee. This camp was sponsored by Villages Espoir, an organisation set up by Toby Whitfeld who was a volunteer with VRI in November 2006.

April to August 2012

On 29th April, a sub-committee of VRI met to discuss the possible expansion of the current volunteering scheme. Another meeting was held on 8th July and the recommendations were then accepted in the AGM on 7th August.

We are now preparing details and material to include optional short-term courses in Hindi, traditional Indian cooking, yoga and Indian music.

Anti-corruption fast December 2011

On 11th December, Anna Hazare, leader of the Anti-corruption Campaign, held a one-day fast in Delhi to put pressure on the government to pass a strong and effective anti-corruption bill in the forthcoming session of parliament. In Amarpurkashi, villagers gathered in support and fasted that same day to show solidarity for this important campaign.

INTAF national conference November 2011

On 26th and 27th November, a national conference organised by INTAF (International Task Force for the Rural Poor) and hosted by the Gramodaya Post-Graduate College, was held at Amarpurkashi. The theme of the conference was “Corruption and its effects on the Rural Poor”. Over 240 delegates attended, including voluntary workers, researchers, students and villagers.

Eye camp November 2011

On 10th November, a successful eye camp, funded by a VRI trustee, was held in co-operation with the Government District Eye Hospital, Moradabad. 354 patients were examined at the Amarpurkashi Health Centre. 33 were identified for cataract operations while all other patients were treated and given free medicines for a minimum of three days.

Health camp October 2011

On 9th October 2011, a health camp for villagers was held at the Amarpurkashi Health Centre. 384 patients came from 30 local villages. The doctors, who came from Moradabad where they all have private practices, included three gynaecologists and a specialist in children’s illnesses.

Three days’ medicine was given to every patient according to the advice of the doctor and they were told that if they had any further problems, they could go to the doctor’s clinic in Moradabad where they would be treated for free.

19 June 2011: Conference in London

INTAF’S next International Conference was held in London on Saturday 18th June 2011. The theme was "Experiences of Working with the Rural Poor". Click here for details.