Square Mile India: Transforming the lives of thousands

There can be few projects making more of a difference to people’s lives than the DMU Square Mile India project.

Flood-risk homes are being rebuilt, children are getting an education that would otherwise be denied them, people are getting tests that are improving their hearing and youngsters are getting dance and drama lessons.

A total of 215 students from DMU have travelled to India since the scheme launched and volunteered a total of 10,940 hours working on various community projects.

In the past 12 months, there has been a big expansion in numbers with 128 students volunteering 7,000 hours in the 2017/18 academic year alone.

The project, working alongside the local charity Manav Sadhna, has now expanded to strengthen the education programme across five community centres in the city, which provides learning support to 2,000 children.

Students and centre leaders hope to develop a rich curriculum which includes arts, dance, crafts and a supportive environment where they can flourish.

Work has also taken place to design new homes for the Loving Community, a home for former leprosy sufferers.

Every year, heavy rain floods the homes of hundreds of people, who are forced to camp out in the community centre for months on end.

DMU architecture students have worked in collaboration with a local architect to develop designs that will modify the homes and raise them, to prevent flooding in the rainy season.

The cost of the works has been met by fundraising carried out by DMU students, staff and friends of the university, with activities being held on campus, including a sponsored abseil. People can also donate to the Square Mile India Fund to provide essentials such as books, school equipment, access to medicine, and sports and games equipment for young people

DMU Square Mile India has also started to support the Loving Community Centre, which was founded in 2009. It is based in the heart of a community bought together by the disease the all shared – leprosy. By supporting this centre, more than 150 people will have access to:

  • Free dinner programme for some of the neediest in the community;
  • Workshops and educational programmes;
  • Hosts community wide meetings;
  • Lighted area for children to play and study;
  • Ans an indoor shelter for residents whose homes are flood during monsoon season.

These are just the latest of a plethora of projects that have taken place in the past two years.

More pupils, especially girls, have been enabled to stay on in education after students built new washrooms at their schools, trees are being planted to reduce the damage caused by flooding, there are safeguarding workshops for children, health information events, business enterprise workshops and computer coding courses among the raft of projects.

I want to...

Volunteer

Find out about our latest volunteering opportunities in Ahmedabad.

Donate

You can make a one-off donation to the DMU Square Mile India Fund here or set up a monthly donation from as little as £2.

Fundraise

If you’re a student or member of staff with an idea for a fundraising project to benefit the communities in Ahmedabad, we’d love to hear from you. Please email chelsea.oliver@dmu.ac.uk

 
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