Charity’s half million fund-raising effort

Khandel-Light celebrates a decade of good work

A CHARITY has raised �500,000 for poverty-stricken Indian villagers during a decade of fund-raising.

Supporters of Khandel-light, the Barley and Chishall-based fund established to aid residents of the Indian region of Rajasthan, will be given the news first hand at a anniversay reception being held next month.

Founder and chairman of Khandel-light, Dr Peter Gough, said: “The figure was reached with fantastic timing for the anniversary.”

Indeed it was the efforts of the Gough family, that took Khandel-light’s total through the �500,000 barrier. Dr Gough’s wife, Bridget, completed her seventh London Marathon, while his son, James ran the Marathon des Sables – five and half full marathons in six and a half days across the Saharan desert.

Between them mother and son raised �4,700 for Khandel-light, and James finished 210th out of more than 1,000 runners.

The charity started ten years ago with the modest aim of providing two health workers for two villages where poverty, drought, gender inequality, disease and unemployment had led to migration and even greater deprivation in Indian city slums.

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Dr Gough said: “We now serve around 35,000 people and 26 villages, while 484 families have a permanent drinking water supply, 296 families have been provided a toilet and 53 families now have brick homes to replace their mud and straw dwellings.

“We have provided 112,789 days of employment, 2,676 women have been made literate, 130 boys and girls currently benefit from educational bursaries, 1,036 women have received help during pregnancy and 14 health workers trained. Lives have been transformed.”

The anniversary reception is being attended by Rameshwar Lal Verma, director of the non governmental organisation Nirman Sanstha, Khandel-light’s partner in Khandel. He is flying over with his son Janeshwar to attend and they are staying with the Gough family.