ANDAMAN ISLANDS. Charles Harpole, K4VUD and VU3CHE, sent out a "Please Help VU4 DXpedition" press release this past weekend. Basically, the release states that Bharathi Prasad, VU2RBI, is now within days of receiving official permission to do a legal DXpedition on the Andaman Island (VU4). She has plans to arrive in the capital, Port Blair, on or about December 1st. Charles states,
"This is very short notice to obtain funding help from the ham community. I am now urgently seeking donations of any amount to fund the basic costs of this DXpedition. In the unlikely event that the trip does not happen in a timely manner, ALL donations will be fully refunded to the donors. Full keeping of donor records and addresses and amounts will be carried out. NCDX Foundation request has also been made but time is very short. Please feel free to relay this urgent message to all hams world-wide by any means."
Donations in U.S. Dollar amounts via personal check or international postal money order or equivalent should be made out to and mailed to: Charles Harpole, 3100 N. Hwy. 426, Geneva, FL 32732-9761 USA. Charles, K4VUD, E-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. Charles sent out a second press release that states:
"Bharathi has appealed to VU2SON for help in getting permission to do a legal operation on VU4. She has asked for a month-long operating permission this December. Only native citizens of India are allowed to operate. Bharathi and her family are of modest means. She does not have any money of her own to invest in this DXpedition. India culture indicates a proper married woman only travel with her husband, VU2DBP. She led the 1978 DXpedition to VU4. Please do not complicate matters by now making your own request to operate on VU4. Please allow Bharathi to work her magic for now. In a year, if we all behave and have patience, Andaman could be much more open to ham radio visits or an on-going presence. The DX community needs to understand that this VU4 DXpedition is likely to start as a 'mighty lite' for the reasons cited above. This is a PILOT project to prove ham radio is harmless on VU4. That is the immediate goal. Later, we hope to establish a long-term ham radio presence at a school in Port Blair. This effort will NOT be a mass arrival of crack operators with tons of gear. We appeal to the generousity, understanding, and patience of the world wide DX community. Please remember this is AMATEUR radio in a Developing Nation, and please give Bharathi's effort your patient support for this evolving project. Personally, I know how important a contact with VU4 is. The pent-up demand is huge. However, I appeal to all DXers to realize the delicate nature of getting permission, of quickly mounting this pilot effort, and of finding funds now. In American slang, 'please cut some slack' to this project and know that Bharathi and I are in this for the long haul so that ham radio can later establish a continuing presence there to answer the needs for all bands and all modes. ALL donations will be promptly refunded should this effort not go as announced. QSL card requests will go to a USA address for mail security."
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