Bus cash helps Indian children

PUBLISHED: 11:16 21 December 2006 | UPDATED: 14:55 12 May 2010

Dr Peter Gough

Dr Peter Gough

VILLAGERS have launched a new bus service – 4,000 miles away in India to take poverty-stricken children to school. Friends of banker Richard Hurst of Anstey, who died in September, raised £12,000 for the charity Khandel-light, set up by Barley and Royston

VILLAGERS have launched a new bus service - 4,000 miles away in India to take poverty-stricken children to school.

Friends of banker Richard Hurst of Anstey, who died in September, raised £12,000 for the charity Khandel-light, set up by Barley and Royston GP Dr Peter Gough.

The money has been used to buy a 32-seater bus named Khandel-light, for villagers in the desert state of Rajasthan.

The bus will be used to take women to village meetings, children on outings and for social events.

Dr Gough said: "It has all been made possible by the fantastic tribute to Mr Hurst's memory.

"I had talked to him about the idea for the bus before he died and he was very interested."

In the region only 24 in 100 primary school children go on to senior schools because of the cost of transport.

Dr Gough said: "It means that we can provide the children with a proper education.

"Without it, and with the on-going drought, there is no future for them."

Khandel-light has also guaranteed to provide £3,000 a year for running costs.

Dr Gough who set up Kandel-light in 2000 said: "Before I set the project up, it was clear to me a small amount of money would make a huge difference to their lives.

"So I thought if we twinned with the area we could give them support to change their lives and the level of poverty and we have begun to do that.

"But we couldn't have done it without the support of people here."

Dr Gough said he would like to create more bus routes in the area, and focus on other issues, such as drinking water and sanitation.

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