The latest from India – September 2020!

Written by our India Team.

Program Updates. 

Continuing from the last month, in the month of September we have been busy working with our partner organisations, making and distributing homework boxes for higher grade level. The positive sign is that now those parents who could not afford mobile phones or internet for remote learning have been more engaged through education boxes and in response, many of the parents came to school to appreciate the work and have given very positive feedback of their children. We are excited to say that we have recently delivered over 298 pages of worksheets to 99 students across 12 class levels to help students stay focused and engaged in their school work. Each homework box cost approximately USD $3.06 to develop.

FSF Community coordinator Neha (third from left) delivering educational resources to our staff at our partner school.

This month, the decision taken by Indian government for education are mainly for partially opening educational institutions. Many states ordered to opening are the schools and colleges in last week of September. Schools across the country are set to partially reopen from 21st September. Students of grades 9 to 12 have been allowed to visit schools in areas outside containment zones on a voluntary basis for taking guidance from their teachers. However, this permission would be subject to written consent of parents/guardians from September 21.

In our partner organisations, the students of grade 9 to 10 were back to school during the last week of September, wearing masks and in the entrance, thermal scanning is conducted by the school staff. Student sit in the classrooms, following social distancing and the campus will be sanitised after school hours daily and all precautions for cleanliness and hygiene are to be taken

Community connections.

This month, in the state of Himachal Pradesh India, people celebrated “SAIR” festival. This festival is celebrated to mark the end of harvest of crops and to prepare for the long and harsh winter ahead. On this day, people worship of corn. This is a centuries-old festival and sees celebrations in the form of carnivals, beating of drums and blowing of trumpets. On this day, people also purchase many items like utensils, clothes and cook many scrumptious dishes.

Great achievement in Himachel Pradesh.

In other stories from Himachal Pradesh a very great achievement is the “ATAL TUNNEL”. This tunnel is also known as Rohtang Tunnel. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Atal Tunnel at Rohtang at an altitude of above 3,000 metres in Himachal Pradesh. At 9.02 km (5.6 mi) length, it is the longest tunnel above 10,000 feet (3,048 m) in the world and is named after former Prime Minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The tunnel reduced the distance between Manali and Leh by 45 km (28.0 mi) and reduced the travel time by 3 to 5 hours without any threat of road blockade or avalanche. This tunnel will be a boom to the residents of the Lahaul and Spiti Valley who remain cut off from the rest of the country in winters for nearly six months due to heavy snowfall.

COVID-19 Update.

This month, the Himachal government has thrown open its borders, with no pass or registration required to enter the state. Only national tourists could now enter the state freely and they would not be required to carry a negative COVID report. This has been done so that the tourism industry, hit badly by the COVID pandemic, could be revive. There will be no quarantine for anyone coming from outside the state. The asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic ones would be kept under home quarantine, and not hospitalised.

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