What is the "My Hostel" Project?
The Rachana Hostel
Panshet is located in the midst of the Western Ghats in Pune District in the Indian state of Maharashtra. The region serves as a major tourist attraction, but the economic opportunities for the residents are scarce and the village economy is heavily dependent on agriculture and animal husbandry.
Although government-funded primary schools are common in most of the villages, there are merely two secondary schools in this 100-plus sq. km. region. Large number of student drop-out after completing primary education because of the financial constraints faced by their families. The arduous 8+ km trek which an average student might have to undertake daily, adds to the indecision of the parents. Under these circumstances, the secondary schools are attended either by those living in nearby villages or those who can afford the daily to-and-fro commute.
However, today around 80 additional children from 28 distant villages are attending the school on a daily basis; thanks to the hostel facilities provided by Rachana.
For over a decade now, Rachana has been providing children from economically weak background with lodging and boarding facilities. Located right next to their school, these facilities provide a cheaper and a safer alternative, which has noticeably reduced the dropout rate of students in the region.
The "My Hostel" Project
However, the hostels are based out of a 50 year old run-down campus which has suffered significant deterioration over the years. While leaking roofs of these stone quarters built in the 1960s serve as a passage for insects and rain water to seep into the rooms, broken windows and the grills in the common area of Girls hostel raise serious health and safety concerns.
A fund-raising initiative of volunteers at Vibha, "My Hostel" was born out of the realization that the hostel campus in Panshet is in dire need of some serious investments for providing permanent solutions to the infrastructure related issues. The primary objective of the project is to renovate the campus and to create a wholesome environment for its occupants.
You can find additional details on the scope and objectives of the MyHostel Project in the Rachana Hostel Funding Proposal document.