FOH is very proud to report an article written by Publio, one of the operators in Alice Project School in Bodhgaya, Bihar State, India, about the arrival of a group of Chakma students.
As already mentioned in other articles, Alice Project is very involved in the welfare of the Chakmas, and a new school recently opened in Bodhisatta, Arunachal Pradesh State, where the Chakmas are present in significant numbers. This school will allow the children to get a proper education without having to move from their homes. The funding of this new school is one of the main goals of FOH activity in 2011, and the A Day to Share event on September 18 will highlight it. Because the project is not fully running, many Chakma children must leave their homeland and be relocated to the other Alice Project Schools, in Sarnath and Bodhgaya.
We report here the full and unabridged message from Publio in Bodhgaya:
The Third Batch.
It was still morning when I heard the three-wheelers outside announcing the arrival of the new students. After a three-full-days trip they were finally here. The boys from the second and first batch were clearly very happy and excited with the event, the reception was very warm. Although most of them didn’t know each other, the atmosphere was like relatives meeting again after a long time.
There are fourteen of them and little by little the faces were being revealed and known. The youngest is Rajesh. He looks very serious, but he has a very easy smile, his family calls him Ramu, and this is how I have been hearing the boys calling him. There are also two very tall boys, Anil and Lakhan, the first is 18 and the second 16 years old. All of them are extremely kind and polite.
As it happened in the other two times we received new boys from Arunachal, some of them face physical problems while trying to adapt to the new environment. The symptoms are usually very similar: headaches, fever and dizziness. It might happen due to the long trip in the train and also because most of them never had to cope with different conditions than those from where they were born. But according to the result of the other two batches, in the long run they get very healthier. We can see very clear how thin many of the boys were before coming to the project, it is really a big change for them.
The Chakmas have a strong sense of community. It is rare to feel any kind of competitiveness or aggressiveness between them. The previous knowledge learned by the other batches seems to flow naturally to the new boys. Besides all, they have a very good religious practice within.
We have now 48 residents students in Bodhgaya school and the synergy that can be feel here is definitely very strong.