Fundraising to support flood-hit Little Flower Convent School for the Blind and Deaf in Chennai

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23rd September 2016
Dear Supporters,

The 10.5 acre campus of Little Flower School for the Blind and Deaf beckoned me on a Monday morning. I am Uthra Nagarajan, an Open Fellow with Milaap. I visited the campus to witness how much infrastructural progress the school has made in the past three months.


It has been more than 9 months since the Chennai floods cast an indelible mark on the city, and many areas still carry the scars. Thankfully, the Little Flower Convent School has made solid progress since May, in its journey towards normalcy. I met with Sister Amala, the Correspondent and Sister Superior who explained the reparations and renovations that had happened with the help of donations through Milaap. Sophiya, a clerk at the blind school, took me around. The ground floor computer lab at the blind school has been completely rewired and sports a new look. “It was only in May that we discovered that the wire mold was flooded with rain and sewage water, causing short circuit,” explained Sophiya. “Hence, we dismantled the entire wiring and had a new wire mold in place.”


The space adjacent to the ground floor computer lab housed a UPS server which powered a few labs. Since its destruction in the floods, a new UPS has been bought and placed in the Printer lab, which is raised a few feet above ground level. The complete electrical wiring work for the server was carried out with the help of donations through Milaap. The server now sits safely in the Printer lab, powering the computer labs on the ground and first floor.

My next visit was the newly re-opened infirmary. Just two-days old and wearing a fresh coat of yellow paint, the infirmary had undergone complete reconstruction and new electrical wiring had to be done here as well.


Apart from the above, the auditorium has been renovated and it’s roof has had a weathering course done. Construction work is going strong to build a new kitchen. The old kitchen is in an unusable condition after the floods, and so is the hostel for deaf students. The students have been shifted to a new hostel premise, while plans are on to renovate the old hostel to a multipurpose hall. The ground level around the hostel for blind students has been raised and the sewage pipes behind the toilets have been re-laid. "We still have a long way to go in terms of infrastructure, but we are confident of getting back on our feet soon," smiled Sister Amala.



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Tamil Nadu is slowly getting back to normalcy. Schools in city are due to open in the coming weeks, but suffering the aftermath of the severe spells of rains are some of the special schools in the city. 

Little Flower Convent School for the Blind and Deaf will stay closed until January 6 because of the extensive damage and loss. The school officials are in the process of cleaning and restoring its premises. When the rains hit Chennai and the rivers overflowed, the classrooms and hostels were flooded. With the help of brothers from Loyola college, close to 100 students from these special schools were rescued. And another 140 were rescued in boats. 



What Little Flower Convent School means to its 927 students? 


The school is home to 927 students with hearing and visual disability. With 250 students appearing for their board exams in less than 3 months, the hearing aids, special desks and benches, Braille printers and computers were of crucial help. The residential school was badly hit by the floods, leaving the school in darkness with no electricity for 23 days. Their electronic equipment, upon which they rely heavily – hearing aids, special desks and benches, Braille printers and computers – worth Rs 30 million (~$500,000) was damaged by the water.

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"We have lost our group hearing aids and Braille printer, which is essential for teaching here. A lot of our furniture, computers, over 1000 audio cassettes and CDs, books in Braille and teaching aids were also damaged," rues Sister Amala, Correspondent, Little Flower Convent for the Blind and Deaf. 

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“Its very difficult to study as our group hearing aid and computer lab is completely destroyed. I am afraid to use my hearing aid because it can short-circuit due to water damage," shares Haritha who is keen to resume school.


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How can you help? 


The teaching and non-teaching staff are working around the clock to bring the school back to its normal. The floods damaged hundreds of hearing aids, braille printers, computers, office files, cupboards, benches. Our goal is to raise Rs. 20 lakhs which will help them fix the massive electrical repairs causing short circuits and fixing (and replacing if need be) two Braille printers, in addition to restoring their computer lab. The school reopens on Jan. 6th January, and as with other flood relief initiatives, we've waived off our fees, so your entire donation will go to the school. We are grateful for your support.


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Rs.2,812,157
raised of Rs.2,000,000 goal

642 Supporters

0 Days to go

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80G tax benefits for INR donations

Supporters (642)

BM
Balasubramanian donated Rs.1,000
KS
Karthikeyan donated $75
A
Anonymous donated $100