John gets back in the saddle to help Indian school

A new Kenilworth councillor plans to cycle 33 miles to raise money for children living in India.

Cllr John Dagg (Con, St Johns) has not ridden a bicycle since he left school but, eager for a challenge, he has decided now is the perfect time to start cycling again.

The 28-year-old will take part in the annual Buwan Kothi International Trust fundraising event, in which more than 20 people will ride the 33-mile route on Sunday July 17 at 10am.

This is the fifth year the event has taken place and the participants hope to raise £5,000 between them.

Cllr Dagg said: “I heard about the work being done for Buwan Kothi from one of the charity’s trustees who I work with.

“I thought it sounded like a really worthwhile thing to raise money for and I was looking for a challenge, so thought the cycle would be ideal for me.”

Buwan Kothi International Trust was founded in December 2005 by the late race equality campaigner Gilly Mundy, who grew up in Leamington, to raise money for the community of the remote northern Indian village and establish a school.

When Mr Mundy died of a brain haemorrhage aged 36, his work was taken on by his family, including his father, Leamington town councillor Mota Singh.

To date the charity has raised more than £150,000 which has been used to build the Gilly Mundy Memorial Community School.

The school now educates 523 pupils from 25 surrounding villages and without the trust, the school would not exist and many children would not benefit from education.

The charity is aiming to raise a further £120,000 over three years for further building work to the school which will allow it to educate more young people.

Cllr Dagg added: “We are very lucky in the UK to have an education system like we have, which most of us take for granted.

“While people in the UK are finding current times very tough, we should still be giving a thought to those less fortunate than ourselves in other countries.

“I would urge everybody reading this article to donate something towards the cause as it will really make a big difference to many young lives.”

Buwan Kothi, in the Haryana Province, is about 16km from Tohana, the nearest large town where the sub-district courts, main market and different levels of schooling, are based.

There are approximately 36 families living in Buwan Kothi and around 30 children.

Most villagers have to pay to send their children to school in Bhuna, which is 7 kilometres away, or in Tohana.

To make a donation to the cause call 853192 or click on the link to the top right.

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