Children hurt in road accident
The main purpose of these newsletters is to convey a picture of life in the remote part of India where we work and to give sponsors and supporters a feeling of close involvement with the project. To do this I have to tell you about the bad things that happened as well as our successes. This news story is the worst I have had to report.
Twenty six of our children travel 20 kilometres each way to our Guria Middle School from their home village of Mujehra. On Monday 21st November they were going home in two motor rickshaws down the GT Road. One of the vehicles was overtaken by a speeding car which collided with the rickshaw, which then overturned, throwing some children out and trapping others. The occupants of the car that caused the accident stopped briefly but seeing a crowd gathering, drove off leaving the injured children on the road.
For those who have visited India this kind of crazy driving is commonplace on Indian roads. In Project Mala we have had several of our staff and children involved in accidents. In 1996 our Principal of the schools died in a head-on collision.
The children are making good progress and we expect all of them to return to full health. Some will have scars and all of them will carry the memory of the accident forever. It is a sign of how keen these children are to go to school that one of the children, upon seeing the wreck of the rickshaw, asked "how are we going to get to school tomorrow?"
The vehicles we use for this purpose are hired taxis. As a result of this accident we have introduced new rules on the number of passengers per vehicle and the speed of travel. Now if any driver is reported for bad driving or going too fast they will lose the contract.
We would like to take the children to school in our own transport but a bus would cost £30,000 which is far too expensive for us. In view of this accident, however, we have decided to put this on our donations list where people can contribute small amounts which will build up to a sum which one day will buy a bus.