Poynton High School and misplaced ideals!

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A group of students have been sent back to the UK after Indian officials said they had the wrong kind of visa to visit a charity they were supporting. The 16 students and three staff were refused entry at Chennai Airport by immigration staff even though the school had made three previous visits.

Poynton High School head teacher David Waugh said the school and local community was “shocked and saddened”.The school said airport officials claimed the group had no rights to enter the country on their visa because they were going to be undertaking work with a non-governmental organisation.

The group had to return home with the toys and other items it was taking to the children in India.

Mr Waugh said: “They were going to play with the children they have helped and paint a mural. “The staff and students are in a state of tired shock having travelled for 48 hours as a round trip.”

Mr Waugh said he had contacted the Indian High Commission to complain but it had just referred him to its website. He said the Foreign Office is now pursuing the issue with the Indian Government.

The school has raised more than £27,000 since 2005 for a small charity based in Macclesfield called India Direct which has supported building and running two children’s homes in India. India Direct was set up after the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004.

The charity said: “Our hearts go out to this great team of staff and students, who have already made a real difference, and who must be so disappointed.”

Comment
What I find difficult to understand here is that India has one of the worlds biggest economies (and one of the fastest growing), it has a nuclear programme and a space programme but is still holding its hand out for “overseas aid from either governments or independent charities.” Wouldn’t it be far better for these students to focus on raising money that could be used for the benefit of people in this country? Let me suggest one of the following as the likely recipient of any money they can raise:-
  • British heart Foundation
  • Alzheimer’s Society
  • Dementia UK
  • Marie Curie
  • Cancer Research
  • Yorkshire Air Ambulance

There is an old saying which goes along the lines of “look after your own before you start worrying about anyone else”…………perhaps someone could remind the Headteacher of this school about that saying!

Source: BBConline / Personal Comment

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4 Responses to Poynton High School and misplaced ideals!

  1. mikethepsych says:

    Well said but it’s probably not exotic enough for the school and/or parents doing good things in the UK

    Like

  2. mikethepsych says:

    Reblogged this on Mike the Psych's Blog and commented:
    And here’s a charity that didn’t begin at home, more’s the pity given the outcome.

    Like

  3. stoneyfish says:

    I think you should remember that the old adage goes “charity starts at home”. It doesn’t have to end there. Yes, India has a large economy, a nuclear programme and a space programme, but it also has some of the poorest people on Earth (much poorer than anyone living in this country). I applaud the school and the charity it supports in helping those children’s homes and I disagree that their efforts should be directed at British charities. There is much greater need abroad.

    This was an unfortunate incident that wasted lots of time, money and goodwill but who was to blame? Was the trip contrary to Indian travel regulations or not? If it was those organising the trip failed to do the appropriate checks; if it wasn’t the Indian authorities are at fault. I hope it all got sorted out and the school can go back again next year.

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    • kindadukish says:

      You seem to pass over very quickly the size of Indias economy and nuclear / space programme and emphasise that they have some of the poorest people on earth. Well, perhaps India should look a little more closely at the needs of its own people before spending millions on the two ventures I have mentioned. But lets face it, why would they when this county is still pouring millions of pounds into the country via overseas aid and a nice middle class school spends a fortune sending a bunch of teenagers out to the country to do exactly what? As the Head Teacher commented “They were going to play with the children they have helped and paint a mural. “………..forgive my cynicism here but this is middle class angst at its worst. Why didn’t they collect all the money for air fares, travel, accommodation and simply send it to the village, a damn site more useful than “play and painting a mural.” In a broader context the government spend £13billion on overseas aid, now remind me how many nurses. teachers, police officers, etc could we employ for that money for the benefit of UK citizens.
      And just as a final comment, one Indian minister actually said last year “we don’t need your aid or charity, but if you want to send it we will take it.” I will remember that when my wife returns from seeing her mother who suffers from dementia and so little is being done to research this appalling medical condition.

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