Another big undertaking is building a zip line across the Pattriya river at Baadi. With a small investment in cable and attachments, we will be able to get a decent income of about in fares from people and motorbikes during the six months that the river is high. Half of the income generated by the zipline, will cover operating expenses at Grace School for three month. The other half of the income will go towards salary for those looking after the zipline and maintenance costs. During the remaining six months, when the river level decreases, a simple bridge suffices to allow people and bikes to cross. (below)
The zip line will allow children to get to Grace school, and older children from Peeperkoti to attend schools on the Tikapur side.
This project originally stalled as landowners saw dollar signs when we started negotiations for land on the two sides of the river. As of January 2010, land on both sides of the river has been secured and we are currently working with local authorities for permits. We are hoping to get the project completed before the next monsoon season which will begin in June. It has been over a year since the inception of this project, and I guess patience is the lesson we are learning!
During Marian's visit in January 2009, we were able to do a dry run over an old river bed to test out the hardware and train the others who will install the zip line later. Rajesh, one of the orphans at Parsu’s house (below, right), got a thrill and rode the zip line for the first time.