Revised List Ready
We sat with Dipankar today evening. Dipankar came down from Chargheri with the updated list for our distribution. Now the number of families are 721. As we told that quite a number of cards are damaged last week and also some people were found to be missed out, we have decided to issue a new set of card based on these revised list. Surely it’s a headache for us now to print the cards in Bengali and put them in some kind of card holder. But we can solve it.
Good news, we have been successful in reducing the cost of our expenditure for hiring the boat (Sonakhali to Chargheri and back). It is now Rs 2300 per trip now. After some discussion, Purbasha, thelocal volunteer group working with us has agreed to share Rs 500 per trip and a boat owner has agreed to reduce the rent to Rs 1800/- per trip. So we save Rs 1000 per trip. Next was rice. We started at Rs 12.50 per kg, but last two week the rice sellers at Basanti did not buzz a paisa from 13.50. No Dipamkar come u with a good idea to procure directly from the people who prduces rice in the mill – not from the wholeseller. This may give a price reduction we are looking for. He will confirm the possibility by next Wednesday. A ray of hope – a savings of Rs 1 a kg will save Rs 1400 per week, almost 100 kg rice. Good bargaining.
During our third visit as soon as I got down from the boat, a villager very politely asked, " any vegetable this time?" I was too embarrassed to say no, could just manage to mumble "no, we are concentrating on rice only". But we vowed if possible sometimes we will try to give them some vegetable, they almost forgot the taste. Considering cost and local people’s liking, Arum (simple kachu) was selected. It will cost us Rs 900 to provide each family with one Arum. Just the amount we saved from boat. We are really feeling happy. Also there is a need of some 10 pieces of polythene sheet to provide sheds for tuition classes for the students . With almost half empty stomach, people are still thinking about education. Again, it is a mutually beneficial effort for both student and teacher . So we immediately decided to supply this next week. The cost may be something like 2500 Rs. But we will spare it. Dipankar has also brought a list of medicine,
Again we try to assess from Dipankar how people are maanging. We know what we are giving is less than bare minimum. We came to know the help earlier coming in that area from different benevolent organisations has almost stopped. Their only supply line is our weekly assistance and that from Forest department. Yes, the forest department is supplying 1 kg of rice per week per family and 200 gm pulses. The distribution is done from local ADC (? Will try to know about it) office. So government is doing something, but far less than the required. Some people are working on temporary embankment rehabilitation and earning some amount. To buy essentials.
So planning is complete, waiting for the mission next week.