My name is Sanjay Shah and I reside in Worcester, Massachusetts area in USA. I have been a part of the correspondence with most of you thru various channels since the earthquake in India. It is my desire to assist in the relief and rehabilitation efforts as much as I can. To this effect, one of the societies that I belong to, India Society of Worcester, is working diligently on this project. I have been assigned as a chair person for this effort. I am traveling to India on Feb. 15 arriving in India on Feb. 17 early a.m. I will go to Ahmedabad, and then will travel to Kutch. Now I need some help. There are several areas where if there was preparations ahead of time, then my visit would be more successful.
1. If I bring a digital camera, would I be able to take pictures, and then transmit via Internet to U.S.?
2. We are working with the city of Worcester. Our original plan was to adopt a town for rehab, but we are scaling it down to relief effort. That means temporary arrangements for food and shelter, and may be some work on temporary school or medical facility. The requirements for the selection of the town are that it should be a reasonable size area (it could be more than one town in the area). We hope that we can have pictures before and after. We also hope that children from Worcester can correspond with the children in that area, etc. If you have some specific suggestions, please identify the area and get me some information about that specific area (e.g., location on the map, extent of damage, specific projects that we can be carried out using funds from U.S., amount of help needed, etc.) This information is necessary for the non-Indian community to feel attached to the people affected by the earthquake. It would also help if you can let me know if there are any Government restrictions, and if you can identify a reliable NGO that may be working in that area. We have to make sure that all funds reach the needy, and not the middlemen.
3. In the long term, we are still working on the concept of adopting a village under the auspices of India Society of Worcester. My conversations with some of the officials so far have been very bureaucratic. It would help me immensely if I could have contacts that can clearly explain to me the procedures required to carry out the adoption process. Our expectation is that we cannot adopt a village of a size greater than 200 homes, but we are working with several organizations here to see if we can combine our resources. If you can identify such a village and get me information similar to that requested above, it would be most useful.
4. I am totally inexperienced in this activity. What is the best way I could be of help during my visit to India?
I would appreciate a quick response so that I am well prepared during my visit to India.
Dr. Sanjay Shah, Ph.D.