Koalpara Rural Development Project
The final count according to Pinaki (Engineer) in a little over 1 year:
- 75 new houses, some built right over the old ones so tenants were not "displaced" then the old ones torn down.
- There were at least 5 "crews" working and the home owners, wives and kids working with the crews.
- Innumerable new roofs and house repairs. Durgananda handed out money for this. He also financed a few new, small business ventures to very poor individuals (like bike repair)
- 6 or 8 deep bore (75' +/-) tube wells which we dowsed very successfully
- Maybe a dozen toilets whose responsibility we turned over to a local Koalpara/Kotulpur NGO(?)
- and Sonja's most important work: teaching over 200 Koalpara women crocheting/knitting & sewing;
10% of these women became financially independent.
This project, which was staunchly supported by Swamis Atmasthananda, Smaranananda, Lokeshwarananda, Shivamayananda, Bhajanananda, and others of the Ramakrishna Math & Mission was funded by a 'Flow Fund' grant, a philanthropic arm of the Rockefeller family.