New Delhi – Feb 08, 2006 – Robin Raina Foundation (RRF) announced today that its efforts to provide education to the slum dwellers children in Bawana district of Delhi, India have received a temporary setback. On Feb. 8th afternoon, its structure for the Raina Prayas School at Bawana was razed to the ground by Government bulldozers, as a part of the establishment’s efforts to demolish structures that do not fit in with their plans of keeping Delhi “clean and green”. The official reason given was that the Delhi Government had decided to expand the two lane Bawana road into a much wider road, and the school structure had to be demolished to make way for it.
RRF Spokesperson Sanjay Supehia announced that all the furniture, computers, books, stationary, utensils etc. belonging to the school were saved from harm, by the volunteers and teachers of the Raina Prayas project who managed to get all these materials out by stalling the establishment bulldozers for some time. He also announced that RRF is making arrangements to run the school temporarily under tents if need be, at the earliest while it makes more permanent arrangements to build a new school.
Slums are seen as an eyesore by the establishment in big metropolis cities. Delhi is no exception to this with the Delhi government presently running a drive to get slums removed from the city in the name of making Delhi beautiful and clean. The Raina Prayas School for slum dwellers was demolished without any notice, since it interfered with the Government’s plan to build a wider road in the slum areas of Bawana.
“Poverty is like punishment for a crime you didn't commit” ~Eli Khamarov, Lives of the Cognoscenti
“We were understandably shocked initially with the news. However as the shock sunk in, it has made our determination to provide education to the slum dwellers children in Bawana even stronger.” Said RRF Founder Robin Raina, “We are making arrangements at present to find suitable other accommodation to ensure that the education of the children is interrupted to a minimal degree. It is of course a challenge to suddenly find concrete places or empty land to build a new structure in the midst of a slum area that abounds in almost 5000 grass shanties.”
“While illegal structures built on farm land, belonging to India’s most powerful people abound in Delhi, in the Mehrauli farms and Sainik Farms area, all the establishment manages to do is to remove structures for the poor - as a part of its beautification drive.” Robin added, “It is rather sad to see this Quixotic thinking of the establishment, as they plan to build a four lane road in an area where people can not even afford to buy bicycles.”
RRF Spokesperson Sanjay Supehia encouraged all to read the cover story written by Robin Raina in the January issue of Lifeline, on the slum dwellers of Bawana under the name “Children of Lesser god”. The story (that can be read by clicking here) almost predicts the new challenges that RRF faces today with respect to this area and the double standards that the establishment in Delhi has for its poor citizens.
RRF also issued an immediate appeal to all its donors to donate generously so that it could raise immediate funds to rebuild the school in an adjoining area where the children could carry on with their studies. All donations payable to Robin Raina Foundation should be sent to:
Robin Raina Foundation – Raina Prayas project,
2075 Lake Shore Landing,
Alpharetta, GA 30005
About Raina Prayas
In 2004, Robin Raina Foundation and Prayas, a Delhi based highly decorated NGO in India decided to set up the Raina Prayas joint venture initiative in Bawana, for the sole purpose of promoting literacy among the children living in the slums of Bawana and providing hope and a future to these kids and their families. The goal of Raina Prayas is not only to help educate children in the slums, provide food, clothing and medical facilities to these children but also to motivate other organizations to establish similar programs throughout the city, across the state, and all around the nation.
A 501(c) charity, Raina foundation has been setup to raise funds for work to be carried out to empower children who need help around the world. The foundation's focus is to make a difference in the lives of children - who are handicapped, blind, mentally challenged, sick or in need of urgent medical help and underprivileged kids who need education.
Sanjay Supehia (678)517-8688