June 08, 2011 3 min read
Did you know that Linen and Moore are sponsors of I-India? A charity based in Sydney that raise funds for the street children of Jaipur. Anna and Danielle recently returned from a sourcing trip to India and during their stay they visited one of the orphanages that Linen and Moore help sponsor.
Here is Anna’s account of their visit ...
For a few hours, Saturday 2 weeks ago, I had an eye opening experience. As some of you know, I had taken Danielle from work on my trip to Delhi and Jaipur. While we were there we went to an orphanage that I have been helping for some time. I have been sponsoring I-India, a group in Sydney committed to raise funds for this orphanage and shelters for street kids in Jaipur.
Go to www.i-indiaproject.org.au and read about what they do.
This is the background of the family who started the shelters:
Abha Goswami is a school teacher by profession. Prabhakar was a gold-medal winning professor of Sociology at the University of Rajasthan. Abha was contracted to do a study on the living conditions of street children for UNICEF and the Government. So for six months, she spoke to children who were living in the most appalling conditions, so many without any adult care. When the couple learnt that it was only the statistics that were required and that nothing was actually going to change for the children, Abha resigned from the newspaper she’d been working for to start the first school on wheels (a cycle rickshaw). Her workload increased as things grew until Prabhakar decided he would quit his well-paying and respected position at the university to also dedicate himself full time to the work. Now Charu, their son, has also closed down his own business to work full time with his parents. He is so competent and reliable, as is his wife Darshna who manages the Ladli vocational training centre too.
Back to my visit.
We were warmly welcomed with garlands by smiling children. I had asked what I could bring, and from a long list, I filled my suitcase with socks, tooth brushes and toothpaste. Incidentally, tooth brushes are often shared, as they have not got enough to go around!
We visited the boy’s shelter in Jaipur. About 50 orphaned boys live there, about 20 children to a dorm. They make their own bedding (a bottom sheet) from donated fabric. They are given hope, food, clothing, schooling and medical care. In a very crammed space, they are kept busy with work and play.
They have just completed most of an orphanage about 40 km outside Jaipur where there are room for 50 boys and 50 girls. There is a school, where they teach children in 2 shifts and visiting children are fed a meal – often the only meal they get for the day. There is a medical centre which will be used for the poor villages surrounding the orphanage. They still need to raise money to equip this. They aim to be largely self sufficient with solar panels, rain water tanks and vegetables planted.
But they need support.
The Indian Government gives them 3 rupees (about 8 cents) per child per day. They need at least 35 rupees for food alone.
I gave Charu the cash I had whilst we were there, commenting that I wished I could have brought an ice cream van! Charu said he could arrange to buy all the children ice cream with some of the money and to send me a photo! And he did! As some of you know, it does not take much for me to be tearful. Such a small thing. Most of these kids had never had ice cream!
So I thought if I can organise some of you to donate a small sum of money every month, they could maybe have a weekly treat! Of course they do need money to much more important things than that as well.
If you would like to make a donation or if you need more information, you can contact Renate Barnett, firstname.lastname@example.org
You can make your donations tax deductable by paying to CAF Community BSB 182 222 acc 120583117. Write I-India as a reference.
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