Direct aid for leprosy sufferers, in slums, training and soup kitchen

Follow-up of projects in north India

Tue, April 23, 2019 - 9:00pm, written by the team and Frank, published by Frank

Soup kitchen; team arrives well at home

On Saturday, Ortrud, Theresa and Claudia, after some troubles with their flights, arrived safely at home in Germany. Shortly before the return flight the situation was a little confusing since their flight was cancelled, the three were rebooked and the planned connecting flight to Nuremberg was no longer reachable...
Johanna and Alexandra also left India and arrived safely at their destinations.
Here are some photos of the soup kitchen in Delhi as conclusion of the reports for this journey.
Thank you very much for accompanying us here and for your kind comments and likes!
Next we will report about the work in Bangladesh in the camps of the Rohingya refugees. Michael, Alois, Florian, Jürgen and Alexandra are now on site. Greetings to all of you!


Thur, April 18, 2019 - 9:00pm, written by the team and Frank, published by Frank

Visit to Faridabad

Time goes by very fast. To conclude our journey, we went today to the village of Faridabad. Eight years ago, Alexandra, Katrin and Michael started here working with leprosy sufferers. For the first time since, Ortrud, Claudia, Johanna, Theresa and Alexandra together with Venu are paying another visit.

A lot has happened in the meantime: The constant struggle and the private commitment of an Indian lawyer has, among other things, led to the construction of a school in the colony. The children whose parents are affected by leprosy are healthy and the only way for them to get out of stigmatization and suffering is education. The constant publicity and perseverance of private supporters have put so much pressure on the public authorities that the school has been funded by the government. Today, also children from the surrounding area come to the colony for lessons …

The visitors are very warmly received and the obligatory walk through the village gives an overview of the needs. Here, too, the decision for a bulk purchase is taken. A small greengrocer with his mobile stall nearby is also included in the shopping round - for the delivery of cucumbers, eggplants and potatoes to the communal kitchen he also gets 500 rupees extra. The weather-beaten face of the man is beaming; today he can leave early because all his goods were sold...

A little later all inhabitants gather at the village square, where after a speech the distribution begins, and the children get Indian sweets...

In the evening the team arrives at the hotel tired but happy and full of impressions. Tomorrow is the last day which will be spent again for some shopping, e.g. for spices - certainly not without making happy some of the hard-working assiduous garbage collectors by giving them something to eat and a new piece of clothing. wink

On Saturday the return journey to Germany begins, and for Alexandra the onward journey to Bangladesh where she will meet Michael, Jürgen, Alois and Florian.

A good trip and greetings to all of you at home! Thank you very much for your constant support, which makes this work possible.


Visits to doctors and support of street people

Early on Wednesday morning we return to the slum area the team had already visited. Together with their mothers we go to see a doctor with some babies who are malnourished. The Muslim doctor treats free of charge when he hears about our activity. Immediately after the treatment, we go to surrounding pharmacies and shops with the prescriptions to buy everything necessary in sufficient quantities. One of the babies gets a referral and is directly brought to another doctor's office...

In a nearby slum area the team meets a couple. The man’s eyes are injured by caustic. The woman tells her life story, Venu translates: The wife managed to have her husband freed from prison where he was wrongly detained. But she had to sell all her belongings. Now the two of them live of the compensation they now receive - 700 rupees a month, the equivalent of something under 10 euros.  crying

They also receive some financial support from friends help friends...


Mon, April 15, 2019 - 11:00pm, written by Ortrud, Alexandra & Frank, published by Frank

Soup kitchen, slums, change of itinerary and “Little Arfin”

After visiting the Rohtak colony, our first activity on Tuesday was the soup kitchen. This time there were a lot of old people at the usual place; they were fed at the expense of FriendCircle WorldHelp. The warm meals were bought from the street stalls and the small cookshops were performing in no time. Many meals were prepared and distributed to the needy people. Also drinks and bananas were served, as these are durable and filling.

Afterwards we went to a weaving mill. The dark rooms and the working conditions of the people there give the impression of a journey through time. Here Alexandra had bought many warm blankets in winter for distribution on the street. The owner and his employees had been very happy about the big order and the bonus for the fast work - and now also about the meeting with the friends.

At the end of the day we went to a slum area with many makeshift huts, built with garbage and simple materials and tarpaulins.

Unfortunately, health problems on Wednesday have slowed the team down a bit. After seeing doctors, we first visited a workshop for special bicycles. Three vehicles were ordered, with the pedal crank being operated by hand. The arrangement of the wheels as tricycles allow also handicapped persons to move by bicycle. The day before in the slum area the team had visited a man with poliomyelitis, a girl with a paralyzed leg and a man with only one leg. For them, the vehicles will be valuable means of transportation...

The change of food and the smog cause problems to some team members, therefore not all are able to travel at the time of the planned train journey to the south. The program is therefore changed at short notice and the stay in Delhi extended. A few team members stay in the hotel to recover while the rest of the group with Sunny visits slums again to support the people there. The living conditions are incredible, as the following impressions of Ortrud show:

"At the sight of the children walking barefoot through the dump and smiling at us, tears ran down my face. I realized that this stinking, dirty heap, covered with all kinds of broken and dangerous objects (metal, glass, plastic, batteries etc.), which seems to be endless, and in which also cows, goats, wild boars, dogs, cats and probably also rats cavorted, is not only an important workplace (for rag picking), but also a children's playground!”

Several times the team meets also young garbage collectors, many of them only 10-12 years old. We provide them with new dresses and a warm meal. New shoes stand for a spontaneous "Christmas". The boys wave joyfully to the team before they again shoulder the big garbage bags to continue their work.

The next day we take the metro together with Sunny to head for another place for the soup kitchen. Here again many people, including many children, get warm food and drinks. Afterwards we go to the bicycle workshop where the assembled tricycles are ready to be picked up - in bright yellow with pretty hand-painted signs in pink and yellow lettering. Several kilometers the three tricycles are transferred, attached to a motorcycle, held by the pillion passenger, to the destination – Indian style.

Before returning to the hotel, we take a group photo with the new owners.

The following day at dawn a team powwow is held. Are all fit enough to start the journey to the south where the drilling of wells is planned? The risks have to be carefully considered, since in the current heat and for the stay in the hinterland everyone has to be healthy, as there is no means to immediately travel back to Delhi - a domestic flight instead of the train journey is on the agenda. After a joint discussion it turns out clearly that only a part of the group can travel alone with Venu. Therefore, the hard decision is taken to stay and change the itinerary again...

Together with Sunny a part of the team again goes to a slum area where they meet little Arfin:

"When we saw little Arfin for the first time, she was lying alone, apathetically and silently on a mattress in a small 9 square meter dark slum hut, because her parents had to leave to provide for her. We are told that the family is very needy. Due to an accident, the father has lost his left arm. The mother is deaf and dumb. Arfin is their only child. They own 9 sheep, with which the father wanders around in the surrounding area, for the sheep to find something to eat in the garbage. The mother contributes to their livelihood by collecting garbage, separating it and handing it over to recycling companies for small amounts of money.

Arfin is 2 years old and has a development status of a six-month-old baby. When we pick her up it seems as if she had hardly any muscle power of her own. We make and buy her toys adapted to her level of development, to stimulate her entire perception, plus a drinking cup and 2 little dresses. We show her these things in the presence of their parents, during a second visit and explain what these things are important for.

Little Arfin attentively watches the mobile, grasps the rattle made from two tea strainers and moves them so that the bells ring inside. She shows us for the first time self-efficacy (“I do something and then something happens”) she is radiating! When we talk to her, she starts to joyfully emit sounds.

The handling of the handle drinking cup filled with water had to be done only once together with her. The second time she brings it to her mouth with a little help, drinks and chews on the beak of the cup. What a blessing if she can use it and drink on her own (when her parents are away to earn the necessary food for the day) at an outside temperature of about 40 degrees! Since the child also seems very malnourished, the family gets an allowance for food and for the necessary food supplements for the child.

We say goodbye to the beaming parents and an apparently "awakened to life" girl." (by Ortrud)


Tue, April 9, 2019 - 10:30pm, written by Alexandra and Frank, published by Frank

Visit to Rohtak

The second day the team, together with Venu, visits a colony of leprosy sufferers north of Delhi. The welcome by the inhabitants is very warm, and after a short ceremony and discussion all undertake a tour through the village and the simple huts in which the people live here. The colony was chosen by the team because some of the 50 people who live here suffer of severe disabilities. In addition, the elderly live from 1,100 rupees pension per month - too little to live and too much to die ... 

All the worse when they have to face additional special expenditures:
The team finds a woman lying on the bed in her hut - her wheelchair has been broken since about 20 days, therefore she can no longer move into the sun in the yard. Immediately, the repair is organized. With two times 13,00 Euro her wheelchair and a second one (of another villager) are repaired and the woman is overjoyed and infinitely grateful. When Alexandra asks if she has any more wishes or problems she answers no - and after a short break adds "I have someone who cooks for me". So much regarding what her needs are ...

The team decides to buy a ration of basic food (especially rice) and hygiene products (soap, toothbrushes etc.) for the whole village. The bulk purchase is organized and a short time later the rikshas arrive with the supplies and the whole village gathers for distribution. Everything is shared calmly and devoutly - there is enough for several months.

While Ortrud, Johanna, Theresa, Claudia and Alexandra are embraced by everyone and showered with gratitude, the sentence "we will never forget you - until our last breath" is repeated several times.


Mon, April 8, 2019 - 10:30pm, written by Frank, published by Frank

Arrival, first day and first project...

On Saturday, shortly after three o'clock in the morning our team left for the airport. From Nuremberg via Amsterdam Claudia, Theresa, Ortrud, Johanna and Alexandra travelled to Delhi.
After one day's flight the team landed in Delhi at midnight after 21 hours of travel. After the entry check we headed to the hotel, where Mr. Shukla was already waiting. Our friend at the reception had especially arranged to work the night shift to greet the team, welcome in India wink
After a (too) short night's rest and the first obligatory Chai in the morning, the first day was filled with errands like getting Sim cards and the purchase of fabrics for typical clothes. In the afternoon the tailor took measurements and in the evening the first set was ready for everyone, wow!
Today we visited a village for leprosy sufferers north of Delhi.
About 50 people live in the Rohtak colony, some with severe physical disabilities, caused by the consequences of the disease...

Photos and details will follow, Good night from Delhi.


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euch allen wünsche ich gaaaaanz viele von herz zu herz begegnungen. viel freude beim dienen

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