Soup kitchen, school projects, sanitary facilities

Journey from March 21st to April 2nd

Tue, April 5, .2016 - 09:10pm, report by Katrin and Ludmila, uploaded by Frank

Report on the journey – return trip home

Meanwhile, Katrin and Ludmila have safely returned to Germany. Below is their trip report:

India – Hyderabad, Bihar, soup kitchen

On March 21st, we (Katrin and Ludmila) fly to India for FriendCircle WorldHelp to carry out project work in Hyderabad, Bihar and Delhi.

At our arrival in Hyderabad in southern India, we meet Meena, who is responsible for the local projects, and drive to the city of Warangal. From here we proceed by taxi to the rural leprosy village of Deena Karuna. With the donations of our friends at home an urgently needed wash basin will be built. For this, we purchase pipes to be connected to the existing well. The pipes will fill a large enclosed water tank, on which several taps will be installed. The space around the wash basin is of course covered with concrete so that people do not have to wash their laundry in the mud. The place is also used for the personal hygiene which in India usually is done in the open. The water tank brings the water much closer to the houses which represents a further big advantage for the villagers by reducing their arduous walk to the well as their limbs are mutilated by leprosy.

First, the materials needed are calculated and an estimate cost is established. The next morning we purchase the necessary construction material. As we explain our way of working in the construction shop, we are granted a significant discount. Then we buy the required amount of sand and pebbles so the construction work can start right before our eyes.

On our way to the car we visit an elderly, very thin, sick and weak single man sitting in front of his hut. We had noticed him before due to his pitiful state. We are told that the man is not able to provide food for himself. We talk to him with the help of our translator and give him some money to buy food. The man is overjoyed and thanks us many times.

The next day we drive to a more remote located village in the countryside, Jammigunta. Last year, the residents received a new well providing drinking water. Unfortunately, deep down in the earth sand has filled the supply thereby blocking the well. We have a look at the well that has been covered as well as the disassembled engine which has been stored in the church. It can be reused and we hire someone to properly clean it and prevent rust and the like.
An expert comes and explains the possibilities of repairing the well. First, we would have to drill a little deeper in order to avoid the sand which is blocking the well. Then the drilling should be done by a different hydraulic technique and equipment. We ask for a cost estimate. Since there is no other good quality drinking water source around, this well represents a great improvement of the living conditions of the poor leprosy villagers. During the next trip we will have the repair done.


The next morning – we have already said goodbye to Meena – we travel by train from Patna to the state of Bihar some 2000 km away which means 33 hours in a non-air conditioned train compartment. Non-air conditioned train rides are an interesting “India adventure“, as you get in contact with many people. However, you also get quite dusty because the train windows and doors are always open. And last but not least in India the summer has started with 40°C in Hyderabad.
From Patna we drive in five hours to Motihari to book hotel rooms near the projects. As due to the long train journey we arrive only at 7pm, the following hours of driving on the poor roads in one of the poorest states of India is quite a challenge for our nerves. At 1:00pm we wearily fall into our beds. Once more we notice the pronounced extremes in India: while in the software metropolis of Hyderabad with its good roads we almost felt like home, the bumpy, congested roads of Bihar with their numerous constructions sites are every time anew an experience, especially when you are tired and the shaking car keeps you from sleeping ...

The following day we drive to the leprosy village Chakia, where we have been providing for several years tutoring and school supplies to the children. On the way we already buy books and writing utensils as well as hygiene items such as soap and toothpaste for about 20 children. This since a prerequisite for attending school is a clean and tidy appearance of the children. As the children will again need a set of school uniforms, we buy the necessary blue fabrics and order a tailor to come to the village.

At our arrival in the village, the children gather sitting in front of us. One after the after steps forward, shakes hand and introduces himself in English – the younger ones in Hindi. As usual, we test their knowledge of the main subjects Hindi, English and mathematics. It is especially nice to hear some of the children sing a song or recite a poem. We note that they are learning well and making progress and that the continuation of this project is a good investment. We also express our satisfaction to the teacher. Then, every child gets a bag and a ration of hygiene articles. Those who have already filled their current books receive a new one as well as a new pen. Some children show us their pen sharpened down to 3 cm as a proof of their diligence wink - and get a new one. We are almost sad as we say goodbye to the familiar faces of the children.

The following day we visit the leprosy village Chota Phool. Here, too, FriendCircle WorldHelp has been supporting for years the children of the leprosy village allowing them to attend school. When we came here for the first time, these children were not allowed to attend the public school. Weeks of negotiations with the schools and teachers were necessary to get the school attendance for them. Even some parents did not realize until then that education is a necessary step for their children to permanently escape poverty and begging. They have themselves never been to school and have to earn their living by begging. As a result, they advise their children and send them to beg on „feast days“when the Indians are particularly willing to donate. We repeatedly have to explain to some parents that the children should not miss school if they want to keep pace.
We visit the public school to get an idea of the current situation based on the statements of the school board, the teachers and the attendance records. About half of the 37 children learn well and attend school regularly. After an extensive discussion with the parents the children have their turn. They are carrying their books and the industrious ones show us their exercise books. It is a pleasure to see the good children learn and how proud they are about what they have learnt. We praise them and their faces are radiating.  After handing out the necessary school supplies for the coming months, we say goodbye.

Soup kitchen

The next morning we travel back to Delhi. Unfortunately, most of our project trip is already over. The following day we organize our “soup kitchen” distributing hot meals, juice and cookies to families living under bridges on the street. We always have pleasure to see the children and their mothers whom we already know – a very familiar feeling.
One after the other the children sitting on a small wall get their meal. Many of the children are ‘working’ by selling roses on the streets. This time they have colorful balloons for which they hope to find buyers and earn a few Rupees a day. We finally buy drugs for a woman who tells us about a severe injury of her husband.

On April 3 we take the flight back home from Delhi after another successful and enriching trip. Thanks to ALL friends at home for your great and valuable support!!

Katrin and Ludmila


Wed, March 30, 2016 - 10:30pm, report by Katrin and Ludmila, uploaded by Frank

First destinations visited - new photos online

During the last few days, Katrin and Ludmila together with Venu visited the colonies in the South and the East. In the gallery you will find the photos they sent by handy. So far everything went well on their journey and they will travel back to Germany end of this week. Before their departure they wll carry out the soup kitchen in Delhi.
Will keep you informed smiley

Best regards,


Tue, March 22nd, 2016 - 8:00pm, Report by Katrin and Ludmila, uploaded by Frank

Arrival in India

On Monday, March 21st, Katrin and Ludmila flew from Francfort to Delhi. Before their departure they sent us the photo above. In their baggage they are, of course and as always, taking along many knitted caps produced by our knitting ladies. The caps will be stored on site for distribution before winter comes...
During the next 12 days, both of them will have a tough program to carry out for FriendCircle WorldHelp. To start with the soup kitchen is scheduled. Then they will travel from Delhi to a place near Hyderabad where they will visit the colony of leprosy sufferers, where a well was drilled last November. In another colony nearby a fixed washing area will be built. The third station of this trip concerns the school projects in the state of Bihar.
In view of the large distances Katrin, Ludmila and our Indian friend Venu will take a domestic flight and two very long train rides, which is always a special experience in India.
We wish them a good journey, good luck and are already looking forward to further photos and news :-)

Alexandra, Michael, Frank and friends

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No sooner has the delivery of construction material arrived in the colony, work is started. The residents are enthusiastic about the support and everybody is helping.
Ludmila and Katrin help unload the cement bags.
Für die Schuluniformen der Kinder wird auch Stoff eingekauft. Ludmila begutachtet die Qualität.
In the school room of Chakia, which was built by FriendCircle Worldhelp a few years ago. The children are still happy to be allowed to go to school and are excited to show their progress as at every visit.
With beaming faces the schoolgirls present their entries.
The remaining stocks of teaching materials are sorted and put away until use.
In the colony Chota Phool Venu speaks together with Ramavaraj, our local contact, with the families about the importance of school attendance.
The children are laughing and happy to see Ludmila and Katrin again...
In der Leprakolonie Deena Karuna in Telangana beginnen die Bauarbeiten für einen öffentlichen Waschplatz.
Die Kinder haben sich in Chota Phool versammelt, um uns ihre Schulleistungen zu zeigen.


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