Rebuilding a school to rebuild lives

Richard Collier-Keywood, Vice Chairman, PwC Network shares his first account version to Srinagar, Kashmir

I wanted to share what has been a very humbling experience for me last week. Jaivir Singh told me about the PwC India Foundation's efforts alongside SEEDS to reconstruct a local school in the Pulwama district of J&K that was devastated by the floods in Kashmir last year. I took this opportunity to witness the action on ground while I was in India.

I headed for Srinagar straight after I landed in Delhi on 4 May 2015. There I met the SEEDS representatives for a quick brief on the progress being made in rehabilitating the affected. The representatives accompanied me on an hour and a half journey through picturesque locales but bumpy roads to the school.

The school stands at the edge of the mighty Jhelum River and is witness to the calamity that struck the area a little over six months ago. I met the school principal and his very young students, who seemed happy with the ongoing efforts to rebuild their school. I was also touched by the warmth of the local community in Pulwama who now live out of temporary shelters built by SEEDs.

I carry back happy memories of my time spent with them and of course of the hot kawa, Afghani raisins and the fresh home baked cookies.

I was also pleased to see that SEEDS is very well connected with the community and seem to be a competent organisation who understands the local needs well. This is especially important since we trust them to carry out the rehabilitation work.

Despite the travel warnings, I found Srinagar to be safe and would be happy to return in the future. I believe that in the midst of all that is happening across the world, if there is something that can make a visible difference, it is education.

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Jaivir Singh

Jaivir Singh

Vice Chairman
PwC India Foundation

Tel: + 91 124 4620114

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