Ranald Lopes sdb CHHOTA UDEPUR, JANUARY 24, 2009: To talk about the Village Education Programme (VEP), well, that would not qualify as ’news’, since the VEP has been running for the past several years. But the new VEP centre we have launched recently, that is certainly a point of interest. At the request of the villagers, we began classes for the children in Odhi, an extremely backward and neglected village, 31 kms away from Chhota. Although there is a Government Primary School in the village, no teacher has come to this school for the past 4 years. But the kids are eager to study – this is clearly visible from the fact that we already have 90 students attending class daily in the VEP centre. One of our past pupils conducts the classes in his own house. Taking education to these interior villages is an uphill task, but then, that is precisely our mission. Another story of interest is the Beauticians Course presently underway at our Skills Training Centre. This 15 days course began on January 16 and will conclude on February 1. Twenty budding beauticians from the villages are mastering the skills of this art under the able guidance of Ms. Laura. Classes are held daily and the students are participating in the same with great interest. They plan to set up their own ‘beauty parlours’ in the villages after completing the training. With the ‘beauty business’ finding its way into the villages, the beautiful Rathwa women are soon going to top the beauty charts! Who knows, someday Chhota may be able to boast of producing a Miss World!