March 30, 2013

News From the Little Darlings

Saturday, March 30, 2013 Relief Projects India

Several of the Little Darlings are going or have gone for adoption. This is wonderful news and we are so happy for them. Suleka was adopted by a local family. They say that she talks often of the Mercy Home but they are determined to win her with love. We couldn't be happier that such a wonderful couple have taken on the challenge of raising Suleka in spite of her physical challenges. Rani has also gone for adoption with a local family. Melvin, who was born with only one hand, will be going to a family in the United States, and Preita, who was operated for a cleft palette, to a family in Scandinavia. (The government has been putting emphasis on finding overseas adoptive parents for the special needs children who have not been chosen for adoption within the country, with great success.)

March 21, 2013

Eye Camp for the Poor

Thursday, March 21, 2013 Relief Projects India

On the 17th March, RPI conducted a free eye-camp for 30 villages, with the help of the world-famous Aravind Eye Hospital, and the Madurai District Visual Prevention Association. The Aravind Hospital conducts many free eye-screening camps and then provides free cataract operations and other treatment when required. However, they need a partner organisation to a arrange the venue, do the preparations, make sure electricity is supplied, do advertising to make sure needy people attend, and to provide food for the medical staff. This was our role. As a result of the camp, 205 people received examinations, 45 people went for surgery, mostly cataract surgery, and 25 people received spectacles.

March 2, 2013

A Tragic Story--and a New Tution Centre

Saturday, March 02, 2013 Relief Projects India

Today we learned the tragic news that an 11 year old girl in a nearby village commit suicide.  Her teacher had scolded her for not doing her homework and for not having a notebook.  So she went home and killed herself. 11 years old. So many thoughts have passed through our minds--if only her teacher had corrected her more carefully, if only her parents had bought her a notebook, if only she had asked us for a notebook..... The villagers came to our staff today and begged us to open a tuition/evening study centre in their village. We are making it top priority but alas, too late for one little girl.

We are determined to try to  make a difference through our programmes--to teach our staff, and tuition teachers to talk to children with respect and kindness; if they have to correct them, to balance it with encouragement and not to assault their dignity. Corporal punishment is forbidden in our centres. No using sticks to keep the children quiet, as we have seen in some anganwadis. And through our activities and youth club,  we shall endeavour to teach children to treat each other with respect and courtesy also, no matter their caste or community.

Can you sponsor a tuition centre? Rs.1000 a month pays the salary for a teacher for 2-3 hours an evening so the children can complete their homework and get needed assistance.  (About $20, £12 or €14)

According to a recent Lancet report, suicide death rates in India are among the highest in the world. A large proportion of adult suicide deaths occur between the ages of 15 years and 29 years, especially in women.