In the morning all of us, including the representatives from the NGOs and representatives from IBM India, assembled. Jailan and Kabi from CDS opened the meeting and afterwards all of the NGOs and the CSC team presented themselves. It was really inspiring to hear history of the NGO’s and the great things they accomplished. Apparently, the holiday season is starting including a nine day religious festival. Families have religious displays in there homes. The founder of the Sankara Eye Institutions, one of the other projects, invited all of us to his home on Saturday evening to celebrate with him and his family!
Vanitha, the managing trustee of Siruthuli, had invited a government executive from the public works department for us. He was very knowledgeable and could give us extensive background knowledge of the water bodies in and around Coimbatore and showed us the strategic plan that they would like to carry out to restore the Valankulam tank. While the Siruthuli office is located on one side of the Valankulam tank, his office is located just on the other side, so we’ll be able to connect to him and reach out to him throughout our assignment. Vanitha also immediately offered her help with organizing a weekend trip to one of the nature reserves close to Coimbatore. What takes us hours on the internet, takes her just one phone call. It’s amazing to see how helpful and welcoming everyone is.
Tonight we’ll have another group dinner so we can say goodbye and thank you to Mamtha Sharma, who will return to Bangalore tomorrow morning.
Tomorrow is our first day at the office and our first chance to really see the state of the Valankulam tank and the water hyacinth. Looking forward to getting started!