Sunday, November 11, 2012

A busy day in Akola

Today we had the oppotunity to visit several of the projects run by various Rotary Clubs of Akola. We first visited the Dnyaneshwari Marathi Primary School where we met a group of beautiful and talented students. This school is sponsored by the Akola Central club. We were warmly welcomed and enjoyed singing by the students and got to see some of their artwork. The students were very well-behaved, especially as it was their last day of school before Diwali holidays!

We then visited the Damani Eye Hospital which performs eye surgeries for both paying and non-paying patients. They see about 5000 patients per year and the Akola Main Rotary Club helps cover costs for the patients. We got an extended tour of the facilities although nobody volunteered to undergo any procedures!

The next project took us outside the city to see check dams along a small river. At many times during the year the water dries up so the dams allow better access to the water and to irrigate agricultural land. They were designed by a Rotarian from the US who made them in an arch shape to make them very durable. When we visited people were using water from the dam to wash their clothes. 

We also had a chance to see part of the project where Rotarians installed approximately 240 toilets in the village. Both the dams and toilets projects are sponsored by the Akola Midtown group. On our way back to the city we got a close-up look at a cotton field - a great experience for Jean, our fibre artist. Akola is well-known for having the best cotton around!

The final stop was to the Science Park, sponsored by the Akola East club. It is an outdoor park with lots of interactive stations for children to learn about science. 

After a shopping trip (jewelry, sandals, and clothing) we were treated to a beautiful meal in the garden of the president of the Akola North club. We were even serenaded in Hindi by some very talented Rotarians!

A great and full day in Akola! Tomorrow we will have a bit of rest and Monday will be vocational visits and a visit to the Shegaon Temple. 

- Sarah.

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