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

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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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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.

24th May 2016
Dear Supporters,

The Chennai Floods ravaged the city and laid waste to major parts of it, leaving in its wake a trail of destruction and human suffering. One of the areas severely affected was the Little Flower Convent that houses the Blind and the Deaf Schools. But 640 like you came forward to help them get back on their feet. And the result; together we ended up raising in excess of 20 lakhs. Recently, Howard, part of Milaap's communities team visited the school. He met Sister Severiammal and Sister Amala and had the below update to share.

The floods had completely damaged the electrical wiring causing a life hazard to all its students and staff. Glaring hazards were taken up on priority and quick fixes were made to make sure the school reopened on its scheduled date. However, major reconstruction and wiring work started only after the school closed for summer holidays to ensure safety of its students and staff.

Main Power Board of the Blind School is fixed

The main switchboard for the Diesel Generator that supplies backup power to the school was damaged during the floods, including the wiring and main panel. All the wiring leading to the switchboard, breakers and safety devices were replaced with new parts. The pictures below shows the diesel generator on the left and the renewed panel on the right.

Main Switchboard of the Deaf School has been replaced 

The main switchboard that supplied power to the deaf school was completely damaged and required total replacement. Formerly, the switchboard that distributed the incoming power from the EB was housed in a basement-like room.  Being located at a lower level than the rest of the ground floor, the damage sustained by this switchboard was severe. The entire switchboard was replaced with new components. The wiring leading to and from the switchboard as well as within the switchboard was renewed. Breakers and safety trips on the switchboard were also replaced.

Computer Lab renovated and replaced with new systems

The computer lab was another major area that was damaged in the floods. As it was located on the ground floor, all the computers and equipment were damaged beyond repair and needed replacement. To avoid any damage in the future, the computer lab has now been shifted to the first floor. All the computers and accessories were replaced with new units.

The work for renovating the Auditorium for Blind School and Deaf School is still in progress. Sick Room and Dispensary are getting fixed on priority. We will keep you posted with its progress in the coming weeks.

After the floods, Little Flower Convent was in complete darkness with no electricity for 23 days. Your support made sure it's 927 students with hearing and visual disability had a school to go back to. Thank you for the love and support you have shown to Little Flower Convent.

Team Milaap
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raised of Rs.2,000,000 goal

642 Supporters

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Supporters (642)

Balasubramanian donated Rs.1,000
over 2 years ago
Karthik donated US $75
over 2 years ago
Anonymous donated US $100
over 2 years ago
Vimal donated US $50
over 2 years ago
Naushad donated Rs.1,455
over 2 years ago
Pankaj donated Rs.1,049
over 2 years ago