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Visited at Bihar & Jharkhand Centres/Projects

26-29 April 2016

My journey this time, 26-29 April 2016, to Patna, Samastipur,Bhagalpur, Purnea, Supaul, Samastipur and back to Patna, was somewhat different. Partly for the reason that I went back into among the oldest institutional memory of CMS High School at Adampur-Bhagalpur, and beyond the memory as a toddler at Sipahi Tola- Purnea, 5&6 decades ago. Met Birendra N Singh from school days and together we recollected all our friends.....Partho, Pradeep, Timir and Khalil- our permanent class monitor. Standing in the school ground, after seeing the deserted room where lived our football hero a class4 employee's son Khallu- the -most graceful- runner I ever saw in life, ruminating the days I met another ex- CMS-iteNarendra and lot of kids still playing. Bhagalpur was a chance visit while going on the NH 28 I learnt that from Naugachhiya my school was just 15 kms. Everything appeared to be different yet with striking similarities since nothing much really has changed in Bihar towns except aggravated congestion and frustration. Transfer of the troubled Children's Home of Purnea to Prayas( 47th home/ shelter of the organization) coinciding with a workshop participated by the local NGOs & Govt functionaries including DIG,SP, DDC, ADDC, it was a rare opportunity to go deeper into the minds of contemporary Purnea. Went back into the times soon after Independence when my 'Gandhi Magistrate' father RSP Kantha worked in harijan colony with children and fought a battle alongside the robinhood-like figure Nakshatra Malakar for landless rayyats against absentee zamindars who owned thousands of acres exploiting the poor tillers. My two- hour interaction and lunch with the 15 special kids of the home abandoned by families was truly divine, wonderstruck to find them so communicative despite serious mental handicap. At Supaul where we came following huge floods in 2008 we started running several projects, the most satisfying being the NRC ( Nutrition Rehab Centre) in Distt Hospital. To see 1600 SAM Infants- extremely undernourished and all bones brought here with equally poor and undernourished mothers, made healthy in less than a month, appears nothing less than miracle performed by our team led by the missionary doctor and the staff. Two visits to Samastipur during the trip were equally moving. Meeting the new team of Child Helpline 1098, Jan Shikshan Sansthan and Jeevika Skilling projects, trainers and the young girls from extremely poor background all set to become Office Asstts. But when our Hansa Farm Centre volunteers took me to the heat-burnt hamlet of 'Paswans' I was very sad to see all in ash and dust but happy to find no lives being lost. Prayas with over ten tents brought from the earthquake- time of Nepal, food, water and utensils, have taken complete charge of the community until rehabilitation. Exciting and heart- warming, I loved every moment of my visit in the company of Prayas friends, Suresh and JP who drove us beautifully.