Conservation trip was a real eye-opener for Flintshire Airbus man

Reporter:

Andrew Boyd

AN AIRBUS worker has spoken of his moving experience meeting poverty-stricken families in India.

Anthony Sargent, of Mold, swapped his daily manufacturing work at the Airbus plant in Broughton to spend three weeks in the tiny tribal community of Kudimery, Southern India.

He joined 16 other Airbus employees from across the world to help modernise the village and introduce biogas technology for cooking and heating.

The village in the Indian rainforest has just 61 residents from seven families.

Anthony, 42, said: “I am really glad I got the opportunity through Airbus to go there, it was a really good experience.

“Initially we thought we would be building two biogas plants, but in the end we made three and we are so pleased to make a difference to local people.

“The area wasn’t easy to work in and we were walking through mud, but we wanted to get as much done as possible.

“This will really affect their livelihoods and there are now other groups from Airbus going over to give the remaining four families their own biogas plants.”

A biogas plant is an anaerobic digester that produces biogas, used for cooking and heating, from animal waste.

Anthony was selected from hundreds of applicants from Airbus to join 16 colleagues on the conservation trip.

After a two-day briefing, Anthony headed to Kudimery and immediately saw the vast differences from his home life.

He said: “I already knew we were wealthy by comparison, but they had no possessions whatsoever. The kids play with stones, they have no toys.

“We thought they might not want us there but they were very pleased to see us, particularly the kids.

“When we were leaving I ended up cuddling a young kid and their grandmother, who was crying. They were so upset we were going and we were sad to leave them.”

Through the creation of the plants, the families will now have several hours gas supply each day.

See full story in the Leader

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