India

Flood-damaged schools restored in India

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PANCHALINGALA, India - Lying in complete darkness, Khajabi could sense her parents' uneasiness and knew something was terribly wrong.

It had been raining for days, food supplies were running low and there was no electricity.

When Khajabi woke up the next day, the rain had finally come to an end, but the 10-year-old's relief was short-lived.

The floodwaters were rising, forcing Khajabi's family and others in her village to frantically gather what belongings they could and head for higher ground.

They spent seven days camped out along the state highway with others from their village. Operation Blessing and other organizations were able to provide the displaced families with food while they waited for the 12-foot high floodwaters to recede.

When villagers were finally able to return home, their houses were filled with dirt and mud. The cleanup work began right away, taking all of the effort and resources the villagers had.

But there was one part of their village they could not repair on their own.

All five of the village's schools were filled with sludge, discolored and damaged. When Operation Blessing saw the conditions of the schools, they decided to take on the project of renovating each one.

In just a few weeks' time, the schools were cleaned, the walls whitewashed, new fences were constructed, doors and windows repainted, blackboards repaired and new charts put on the walls.

But it didn't end there. OBI also gave the village children new school bags, books, paper, water bottles and other classroom materials. They planted saplings and taught the children how to take care of them. They even educated the children on health and hygiene, teaching them how to keep their surroundings clean.

Khajabi was especially grateful to the OBI team. "Thank you for fixing our school for us," she said. "I can now go to school again! I thought I had lost all of my books and my school too. I am happy you gave me my school back."

OB India's relief work in this area remains ongoing, with renovations occurring in 12 additional schools in the district that will benefit 1,200 children.

Additional flood relief efforts include medical camps that provided free care to more than 7,000 flood victims; distribution of over 1,600 emergency relief packages and 1,200 food packets; distribution of water purification tablets to 1,200 families; and fogging to combat the mosquito population and help prevent malaria.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

You can help by making an online donation toward OBI's disaster relief efforts. With your support, we can continue to provide emergency relief and recovery. Please make an on-line donation today.