There’s nothing like a teenage Indian girl climbing Mount Everest to make you feel like you haven’t accomplished much. Malavath Poorna, a thirteen-year-old girl from Nizamabad in Andhra Pradesh, set a new world record in May for being the youngest woman to ever scale the 8,848 meters to the summit of Everest.
Malavath and another student (sixteen-year-old Sadhanapalli Anand Kumar) were selected by Andhra Pradesh Social Welfare Residential Schools to undergo almost a month of training along with 20 other chosen students. After the training Poorna and Kumar were chosen as the toughest and both seized the opportunity to climb the world’s tallest peak.
“The aim of my expedition was to inspire young people and students from my kind of background”. Malavath is referring to her being born into poverty. Her parents are farmers and make just $600 a year. Rather than seeing this as a disability, Malavath sees it as an opportunity to achieve great feats and inspire others like her to be extraordinary.
Here is an example of one empowered woman determined to accomplish something amazing. Talented and dedicated to her studies, Malavath will not be held back by the oppressive caste system or the limitations others may put on her. Way to go Malavath!
— Julia Kutyn
In early June, the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh split in two. The new state – Telangana – broke away because of the region’s long-standing dissatisfaction with the Andhra Pradesh government. For years, separation protests broke out because residents have felt neglected. The state remains one of India’s most underdeveloped, but there is hope that the new independence will help reduce some of the poverty that plague’s the region.
The village that thisvillage is working with, Bandanpally, is in Telangana.
The new state of Telangana
Some quick information:
- The state is India’s 29th.
- Telangana has a population comparable to Canada – approximately 35 million – in an area the size of Arizona.
- Most people speak Telugu.
- The state is one of India’s poorest.
- There campaign for Telangana’s separate status has been going on for 50 years.
- A massive revolt took place in the region in 1969, where 400 people died in a government crackdown.
- The movement for separate status has been fueled largely by the region’s underdevelopment. Locals felt as the though the allocation of Andhra Pradesh’s resources, including water, education funding, jobs, etc., were not fairly distributed to the Telangan region.
- Hyderabad will remain the joint capital of both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for the next 10 years. Following that time, it is expected that Telangana will develop a new capital.
So what does this all mean? In short, it’s hard to say. The Telangana government will now get to distribute all of its resources as equitably as it wants; however, there is not that much to distribute. The state is very poor and the government will struggle to meet the demands of the many poor and hopeful residents. In the long-term, however, Telangana will no longer lose some of its resources and funding to the wealthier Andhra Pradesh. The new state is, at the very least, a big win for democracy, as residents of Telangana will have a much greater voice in the direction of their government.
thisvillage will continue to do what we can to help the village of Bandanpally. When we visited the region, we saw firsthand the poverty, but also the potential. Every donation will help provide Bandanpally with water, toilets, literacy training, and other needs.
— Graeme Esau
thisvillage works to address poverty in one village at a time. We focus all of our efforts in the one village in order to build relationships and work as effectively as possible. Once both we and the village feel as though effective poverty reduction tools are in place, we will move on to work with another village.
For those that do not know, the first village that we are working with is a small village in India called Bandanpally.
Located in Andhra Pradesh, India, here is some information on the village of Bandanpally.
— Graeme Esau
As you heard about in our last blog post, we have a big announcement about an upcoming crowd source project. Starting on Monday, November 4th, thisvillage will be doing a StartSomeGood campaign to raise funds for the first three wells in Bandanpally, Andhra Pradesh.
Some of you may know that our bigger plan for thisvillage is to help move an entire community–starting with Bandanpally–out of poverty. One of the approaches we employ toward poverty reduction directly involves the empowerment of girls and women:
thisvillage believes that empowering women and children is key to successful poverty alleviation. Women and children are the hardest hit by poverty and yet their voices are often silent in the development process. We believe that including the voices of women and children helps to make more effective solutions that can create sustainable development.
Today, October 11th, is International Day of the Girl Child (which we’ve talked about before). We ask that you partner with us–both now and later for our upcoming Start Some Good Campaign–in providing clean water for all people in the community of Bandanpally, which most certainly includes Bandanpally’s women and girls.
If you’d like to make a donation, visit our website and do so through PayPal. If you’re not in a financial position to do so, we’d love for you to spread the word about our work; via Twitter, Facebook, word of mouth, or whatever medium of communication you prefer.
— Christie Esau