Hertfordshire charity Khandel light works by linking two communities together, the UK community, based around the village of Barley, and the 26 villages Khandel light supports in Rajasthan.
We know each other well. Meetings are held on the 15th of every month in Khandel, attended by Doctor Peter Gough on the phone. At the meetings, with as many as 700 attending, and invited guests, the villagers discuss how to help and support each other as well as what they need to ask us to help them with. The meetings are also used to disseminate advice, support, and meet the needs of the villagers: tokens for water, extra food for the mothers of girl children, sanitary towels so girls and women can attend school and work, and bursaries for children to attend school.
Khandel light has always worked to improve all aspects of the lives of the villagers, providing grants for housing, toilets, (essential to protect women and girls) education for all to the age of 13, training for young men and women in tailoring and computer skills, as well as providing clean water and health care.
This year, due to the generous donation of a supporter, we were able to invite Janeshwar Verma and his wife Suman to visit us. Janeshwar particularly wanted to come this year because of the crisis in Khandel due to incredibly low rainfall, around an hour’s light rainfall all year. Khandel light hasn’t been able to meet the needs of all – there is a shortfall of 50 water tanks we couldn’t supply.
Janeshwar talked to our supporters at our annual anniversary meeting, explaining the difficulties and strains on the resources of the people and the charity, as well as the lack of support from Government agencies. It was very moving to hear how committed he and his wonderful wife Suman are to the cause, and heart rending to hear how hard the community works with such limited resources and life choices. Janeshwar and Suman need our help.
Khandel light are committed to continuing to develop the opportunities for young people in Khandel, but we can’t ignore the crisis in water provision. One tank supplies an extended family of 30 people with water for a month. That’s 5000 litres.
The cost per tank is £4 a month, around the price of two coffees on the High Street.
So come to our Christmas Carols at Cokenach House (£5 per ticket, children free) to sing carols, buy Christmas gifts (we will be selling David Weston’s wonderful paintings) buy Cokenach Cider, vintage gifts, drink mulled wine and munch on homemade mince pies!
Please go to our website to see a video of young students in Khandel. They deserve a wonderful future!