Project Awake and Shine

We need your support

We need your support

We need your support

We need your support

We need your support

We need your support

We need your support

We need your support

Citizen Philanthropy

By

Lt Gen ( Retd) “Jimmy” Singh

Philanthropy is the act of donating money, goods, time, or effort to support a charitable cause, usually over an extended period of time and in regard to a defined objective. Philanthropy may encompass any activity which is intended to promote good or improve human quality of life. People can perform philanthropic acts without possessing great wealth.

During my lifetime of soldiering in the remotest parts of North East India and more than 20 years of experience in remote area tourism, in the Eastern Himalayas, I was struck by the lack of employment opportunities and the dismal state of village schools. I was convinced that any form of development must go hand in hand with improving our rural schools. We cannot expect children to become achievers in the future, if their childhood schools set such poor examples.

Village Tourism is a viable method of providing additional income to families, provided someone is willing to put in the seed capital. A home stay cottage built on a farmers land will cost about INR 3 lacs. This can fetch an income of INR 1500 per night.

At Awake & Shine, I am seeking to find a viable method of increasing the income of rural folks, through village tourism, without disturbing the local environment, and maximizing on the attributes of their area.   At the same time I am trying to find funds to sustain the Awake and Shine Primary School, which is bringing quality education to the local community.

The challenge is to find funds for infrastructure development and for maintaining assets created in good condition. Small time farmers and land holders cannot get viable loans from any one. The obvious conclusion is that funds must come as donations, so that land and human resources can be used by the rural people to create viable and sustainable earnings.  

Based on my belief that the privileged must share with the deprived, I set out to establish that a lot can be achieved through modest resources available to one individual. I started Awake & Shine from my personal resources, and have been able to set up a primary school, and fund four home stays. I am convinced that rural development can best be done through citizen philanthropy on a direct family to family basis. This will avoid all the corruption and pitfalls of government funding. Look at it this way: A relatively privileged urban family does not hesitate to spend more than a few thousand rupees on an evening out. They can surely spare INR 1000 per month to provide quality education for a village child, or to help sustain a rural family by donating for infrastructure for village tourism.

To bridge the gap between “haves” and “have nots”, my utopian solution is for privileged families to adopt deprived village families and  provide funds for schooling, infrastructure for home stay cottages, solar lighting, toilets etc on a one to one basis. There is need to start a movement!

If you are a kind, caring and compassionate Indian citizen, do think of becoming a Citizen Philanthropist. Here is what you can do to help a hardworking but deprived fellow citizen:

  • Sponsor a child’s education at our school for INR 12000/- per year.
  • Donate a solar lighting set for INR 11000/-
  • Donate a water borne toilet for INR 25000/-
  • Donate a homestead rain water harvesting kit for INR 10000/-
  • Donate a home stay cottage for INR 3 Lacs. This will give you a free annual stay, in a rural mountain ambience and the beneficiary family will also get an income by letting it out to tourists.

The Awake & Shine School is being sustained by more than a hundred foreign citizens who came as tourists and are now “Friends of Awake & Shine”. Each one has chosen to provide scholarship to one or more children from the village @ USD 200 per year. But we have only five Indian sponsors.

Come and join our team of kind and compassionate Indian Citizen Philanthropist. Let us walk the talk and tell the world that we care for our own.

To donate or know more get in touch with me at:-

awakwandshineschool@yahoo.in

Mobile: 09434947372

Our Address: Project Awake and Shine
Samthar Farm House, Basti and Post Office Samthar, Kalimpong,
Dist Darjeeling, West Bengal, India - 734301
Mobile: +91-94340-47372,E-mail : awakeandshineschool@yahoo.com, gurudongma@outlook.com, gurudongma@gmail.com
For India wide Tours and Treks go to www.astonishingindiatours.com. Mob: +91-94340-62100,