Angels from Heaven - Toilets and Drying Room
This project has been a long on-going story since Dec 2020. Because of Covid lockdowns it has taken many months to be finally finished.
Today I would like to share the entire story with you from beginning to end. I will try to make it a short story but that will not be easy because of the many photos that I want to share with all of you.
Lets start with the proposal from Sister Mary in Dec 2020
Jashpur is a small town in the state of Chhattisgarh amidst hills and valleys. It is still not a developed area with 63% of tribal population whose main occupation is farming. Education in English has gained importance in recent years. The church started one school St. Paul’s, in 2008, in Jashpur for the poor tribal children so we have around 76% of tribal students in the school.
After a year’s experience of running the hostel for girls the sisters have realized there are not enough wash rooms. When the sisters came there were given one three outdoor washrooms to be utilized for the children. These are not sufficient during rush hours especially in the morning. The students get delayed for their activities like study, play and school.
This year the sisters are expecting the number to increase. Though lockdown, five students have requested to reserve place for them. If the number will increase by next year the sisters anticipate lot of inconvenience. Therefore the sisters wish to build another seven washrooms – to add to the present existing three washrooms.
The project work requires to –
- Demolish half of the structure
- Add seven washrooms
- Give water connection in each washroom
- Have concrete flooring work in and around the washroom
- Install roofing material on top of building
This will enable hygiene, cleanliness, convenience and the smooth running of the hostel.
After consulting the contractor we have the following requirements:
1. 4 pickup truck – bricks @ Rs. 10,000 X 4 = Rs. 40,000
2. 2 pickup truck – small chips @ Rs. 4500 X 2 = Rs. 9,000
3. 2 pickup truck – big chips @ Rs. 3800 X 2 = Rs. 7,600
3. 4 pickup truck – sand @ Rs. 1500 X 4 = Rs. 6,000
4. 150 bags of cement @ Rs. 280 X 150 = Rs. 42,000
5. 20 sheets of roofing material @ Rs. 380 X 20 = Rs. 7600
At the start of the construction of the project everything was going along very well. Covid in this part of India was unaffected as it was far away from the big cities. But as time went on the project had to be stopped by order of the police as the village and small town were put on lockdown because of Covid.
In India there were no funds given to the people such as stimulus checks or other funds for food during the Covid lockdown period.
Many of the workers Men and Women who were building the toilets came to the Convent and told Sister Mary that their families had no food and were hungry because they had no money from not being allowed to work and asked Sister Mary if she could help them.
Sister Mary wrote to me and told me about the situation and asked if I could help her buy some food for the workers and their family. I sent extra funds to her by electronic banking to help the people until the lockdown order was over and people were allowed to go out and go to work again. Sister Mary got our funds and she along with another Sister went to a few stores that were allowed to open as essential businesses and bought many grains and foods for the workers. The workers and Sisters were so grateful for our help to help everyone in a great time of need.
It was something that many people will never forget.
When lockdown was over, all the workers returned to work at the Convent to continue making the toilets. Please understand that these toilets are nothing like the flush toilets we have in the USA . They are just very basic as that’s how they are in much of rural India. What makes it extra special is the restroom has a door and it is private.
I think we ended up with 9 bathroom stalls and everything looked very good. There was water brought to the building to manually flush the toilet with a big cup. We even had a place to wash your hands in a wash basin installed inside the building. Everything looked great and everyone was very happy with the outcome.
After looking at photos of the new finished bathrooms I asked Sister Mary what about the children having to go to the bathroom at night? Are there lights there ? She wrote back and said no Ray there are no lights. I said Sister I do not want the children getting hurt please find an electrician and get some prices to install lights in the building.
Soon afterword’s electricity was being put to the building. One thing that caused extra funds was earthing. This is where the building has to be grounded so nobody gets shocked by the electricity. A very large hole is dug and the grounding wires go to it. This makes it 100% safe.
After the electricity was installed and I saw everything, I noticed a big space between the convent and the bathrooms where the old clothes lines used to be in the open yard. In the monsoon season it rains every day and your clothes never dry after hand washing them. Sister Mary and I worked out a plan to extend the roofline from the bathrooms to the convent and install clotheslines and to cement the floor. You will see everything in the photos.
Now that everything was done Toilets, Plumbing, Electrical, and adding the clothes lines there was one other request I made to Sister Mary. To get everything painted inside and out as that was also not part of the original request.
The building was painted and the project came to an end.
In all everyone was very very Happy It all worked out great in very hard Covid times.
There was one part of the project that was sad. Near the bathroom stood a Papaya Tree for many years where the Sisters would get fruit from it. It was a very sad day but it had to be cut down. I sent the Sisters 2 Papaya trees to plant in the springtime. They will take many years to grow to get fruit from them but I tried to make a sad time a little happier. You will see the Papaya tree in the photos.
Thank You for your ongoing support and help, If you have any questions feel free to call me.
Please see the photos below. (click to view larger image)
Thanks Again for your Help and Support
Ray OBrien 781-483-1002
Children are Angels from Heaven.
Thanks “Everyone” for all your help with this needed project…