US Fulbright alumnus Luke Juran, recipient of a 2011 Fulbright-Nehru award to India, has shared what inspired his project and how he gave back to the community while exploring the local culture, in a YouTube video. His inspiring story has also been featured on the International Programs page of the University of Iowa, where he is doing his PhD in Geography. During his Fulbright Fellowship, Juran was at the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai, Tamil Nadu working on a project titled “Water and Sanitation within Disaster Reconstruction: Post-Tsunami South India”. While visiting 25 post disaster settlements and speaking to the affected population, he learned that access to water was a root cause of many of the larger issues in those settlements. Apart from speaking to government officials on why these problems occurred and how they can be averted in the future, he also gave back to the community he was working with by arranging remedial surgeries for children with cleft -lip and cleft-palate, of which 27 were done free of charge, and by ensuring the donation of 21 goats to the local community.
Luke Juran, 2011-12 US Fulbright-Nehru Student Researcher, with a girl-child after her successful cleft lip surgery