A water well built in memory of a late Bradford College student is now providing clean drinking water to a village in one of the world’s poorest nations.
Classmates of Suresh Ram were devastated when he died suddenly of natural causes during the summer break from his university course in 2016. He was just 21 at the time and two years into a three-year degree in Ophthalmic Dispensing at the University Centre Bradford College.
Keen to honour their friend’s passing, students from the course raised hundreds of pounds which covered the cost of building a well in Nepal that is now transforming lives.
The well was built by the Penny Appeal charity, through its Thirst Relief campaign, and bares Suresh’s name. Photographs of it being used have recently been received by the college along with thanks from the villagers benefiting from its construction.
Dean Dunning, Programme Leader for FdSc Ophthalmic Dispensing at Bradford College, said: “I am delighted to see the completion of the Thirst Relief Water Well. To know that people will benefit from the generosity of our students in memory of Suresh gives me enormous pride.”
Julie Lees, Head of Faculty of Applied Sciences at Bradford College, added: “It’s wonderful news that the well has now been completed in Suresh’s memory and that the community in Rautahat District now has access to clean water.”
A message from the villagers read: “May Almighty Allah reward you for your noble deeds. Access to safe water was a big problem for us. Your kind donation fulfils one our most basic needs. We heartily thank you very much.”
A spokesperson for Thirst Relief by Penny Appeal also thanked the students, saying: “Installation of this hand pump has provided great relief to both individuals and families.
“Before this installation, the community would spend a lot of time in bringing water from a far-off hand pump and sometimes from the river, which affected their daily work. Due to the limited availability of water, proper sanitation was also not possible, which caused difficulties and disease. Now, thanks to their clean water supply, they are able to save time, maintain better health and their productivity will be enhanced in other income generation and family activities.”
Suresh, who was originally from Wolverhampton but lived in Leeds while studying in Bradford, was awarded a posthumous degree by the college, which was collected by his parents at the college’s graduation ceremonies a few months after his death.
His mother had some inspirational words for her son’s peers at the ceremony, telling them: “His life was sadly cut short last year but he lived those 21 years to the full doing more than some do in a lifetime.
“I urge you all to embrace the life you have been given, fulfil your dreams and ambitions. Never, ever sell yourself short.
“Anything is possible if you believe in yourself.”