14 December 2010
We have had a hugely successful pair of camps and have also just returned from a very wonderful 48 hour trip to Visakhapatnam and back. In the two camps, in Mysore (#2) and Puttaparthi (#4), we screened about 360 women and also had some very important meetings about the future of PINCC-India. We carried out about 8 LEEPS and as many Cryos.
The Vizag Steel Plant in Visakhapatnam is a government run facility that looks exactly like the huge steel plants we used to have in the USA. If you ever wonder where 41,000 steel worker jobs went, we found them. Vizag Steel is a government owned plant that is just huge -- it dominates the region on the edge of the city. On the leeward side of the plant (we are green and clean, our smoke is blown out over the sea) is a 22,500 Acre township where the workers live. It is a completely self contained company town, complete with temples, hospital, shopping etc. What makes this township stand out is the 10s of thousands of trees that they have planted that make the whole area into a forest. There is little traffic or congestion, as most workers bike to work. Very beautiful and very clean.
Rhoda and I (minor role for me) gave two presentations -- one to the general public (of the township) and one to community leaders, and another to senior officials. Rhoda got her picture in this morning's Telegu language local paper. They would dearly love us to come and open up a PINCC VIA training program here -- we aren't sure yet if it will work out, but we certainly enjoyed the hospitality. If it does happen, the local Sai Baba Temple members will provide all the infrastructure support. This morning before going back to the airport, we visited three villages that would be served -- the most primitive we have yet seen, with thatched roofs, and then toured a huge rolling mill where all they do is create rebar for the world -- tons and tons of rebar!
I am currently putting the finishing touches on a proposal for Rotary International in Mysore and in the Bay area. They were very encouraging about supporting our vision of creating a locally operated VIA centre in Mysore by the end of 2013. Once the proposal has been reviewed by all the important eyes, we will get it submitted and see what happens. I am writing it so that it might also be submitted to other agencies.
It was a joy having Deborah Shefler with us for the two camps. We are hoping that her trip with Stephen around south India is proceeding well.