Author Archives: fulvio

Spanish welcome little aid

Spanish tourist donates MTI some friend’s money to buy useful things for poor children

After visiting some of our centers and being impressed by our activities in the villages, Lorena – a Spanish tourist that our managing trustee Rupakanthan met in Mahab a few days ago – decided to donate 5.000rs that her friend Oscar gave her specifically for charity purpose.

With this donation we bought notebooks, some toys, colour pencils and drawing books that have been immediately distributed to our children.

Children are very happy.

We wish to thank Lorena and Oscar for their kind donation to our centers.

A new well for the village of Eachamballam

17.03.12 - fine lavori (9)

Eachamballam, the new well

Malar Trust donates a new well to the  Eachamballam village

To be honest the well existed already. The drilling and the purchase of the tank had already been made years ago by the Panjayat. Then, for some reason, work on it had stopped.  Pipes, the pump, the motor, and connection to electricity were all missing .

After our friend Kutti, who lives in Eachamballam, told us about this, we decided to step in and finish the job. 40 Eachamballam families  will benefit from the new well that is located in the courtyard of our after-school program.

Thanks to Giovanni of Malar Trust Italy for his active participation in the work and to our friends  Ezio and Marina who raised money for the implementation of the well

Eachamballam, the new well

from the left: Sekar (trustee), Giovanni (Malar Trust Italy), Kutti (activist), Mani Rupakanthan (managing trustee)

 

Panjartheerthi Irular children attend school regularly

Irular children at Panjartheerthi school

Irular children at Panjartheerthi school

On March 2nd we visited Panjartheerthi school where most of the children from our Tuition Center attend school from 1st to 5th standard.

Interviewing the new headmaster we understood that most children now attend school regularly after having breakfast at our Center every morning and they are all normally clean and happy.

This is a big change since we started this project in November 2014! (see post)

In Panjartheerthi we help about 25 Irular children with the aid of a cook and a very good new teacher that does her job with passion and commitment.

Beside breakfast we provide all children with school bags, notebook and stationary

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Daytime care for Poonjeri orphan children

Malar Trust helps orphan children from the Poonjeri Irula community: a new day care project started

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The children taking part to the project

Last February, after a couple of Italian volunteers spent a few weeks in the Poonjeri Irula community an anomaly caught our attention: there was a group of children wandering through the village streets during the day, apparently without attending school and unsupervised by adults. The investigations unveiled a critical situation. Coincidence has it that within the timeframe of a couple of months, a number of children aged two to thirteen lost one or both parents, leaving them in a state of semi-abandonment.

After this discovery, Malar Trust India staff organized a meeting with the community. This resulted in the decision to launch a project similar to the day care center Panjartheerthi: a meeting point where an assistant welcomes the children in the morning, checks that they are clean and have school uniforms in order, prepares breakfast and sends them off to school.

Malar Trust has rented a small room with kitchen and hired a second shift teacher from the kindergarten Malar Trust has run for years as a chef and supervisor. A second woman in the village bathes the children and accompanies them to school.

The day care center for orphans of the Irular community of Poonjeri was inaugurated in February. This center welcomes about fifteen children with family problems plus two girls who have been granted access to the canteen even if coming from families with both parents on the advice of the pediatrician who reported symptoms of malnutrition.

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Children ready to go to school after breakfast

All the children received a backpack, exercise books, school uniforms and clothes. Since February, members have started to regularly attend school and even follow the Malar Trust afterschool program .

 

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Microcredit and recycling!

Malar Trust helps a senior Masima Nagar citizen to start a waste collection business

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A senior citizen of Masima Nagar, a community in the Poonjeri village where Malar Trust India has its headquarters, asked for help in setting up an independent recyclable waste collection business. The man had already been collecting waste for a local business man: by foot, with a large sac on his shoulder, being paid little and on a day by day basis, he tried rounding off his salary by selling coconuts along the state highway.

Our friend met the Malar Trust India while its staff was bringing aid to his community during last year’s flood in November. He asked for information on the association and found out that it was possible to request interest-free loans to develop small businesses. From that moment on, he began planning how to start a business of his own to earn a better salary and therefore allow himself and his family to lead a more dignified life. After months of pondering he reached the conclusion that in order to earn enough by working alone he had to increase his daily waste collection: this meant that he needed some sort oftechnological “help”.

Today, one year later, his project has finally seen the light! With a 15000 rupees (about 200 euros) loan by Malar Trust, Pachaiyappan bought a bicycle with an attached cart thus becoming a real entrepreneur!

By using his vehicle, our friend can now collect waste from a much larger area in less time and without as much strain. He can load the cart with way more waste than he could possibly ever carry on his shoulders and then easily bring it to the collection and resale centers.

His daily tally of items collected on the roadsides and while going house to house mostly consists of plastic bottles, glass and scraps of iron. These are all recyclable materials which would only contribute to the filth and pollution already plaguing Indian villages if it weren’t for the daily and tiring work of humble, hardworking people like him who remove this waste from the streets and turn it into an income.

With his bicycle cart this man can now provide for his family of 6 children, some of whom are very young because even though he is over 60 years old, this is his second marriage and his wife is many years younger than him.

The 15000 rupees loan will be paid off without any interest in 30 monthly installments of 500 rupees each. This is a reasonable figure compared to the business monthly income (estimated at 4000 to 6000 rupees per month).

For once, economy and ecology really do go hand in hand!

 

A soup kitchen for the elderly of Poonjeri

DSC_0557Malar Trust helps the poorest elders of the Poonjer village: 20 free meals distributed each day.

Following the initiative brought forth by the Malar Trust India staff, Malar Trust launched in early December 2015 a daily soup kitchen for needy elderly of the village of Poonjeri in early November.

For some time now, the poorest elders of the community had asked the Indian association’s coordinator Mani G. Rupakanthan help for food. Action was taken by opening a soup kitchen: there are currently about 20 enrolled senior citizens, mostly women, widows without family support, some in poor health.

 

Meals are prepared in a small local restaurant that provides the typical Indian meal, a plate of rice with sambar and a side dish. The monthly cost is estimated at about 15,000 rupees.

This “catering service” is the work of a poor but smart Indian woman who makes a living for her family by cooking street food in a hut a few meters from the headquarters of Malar Trust India. The self-help group of Poonjeri women brought up her name to the association as an ideal collaborator for the canteen: by allowing her to take care of the food service we are actively helping one more person.

The free lunch is offered every day of the week on the Malar Trust India premises in Mettu Street in Poonjeri. The initial plan was to house the soup kitchen on the terrace of the center, but many older people have trouble walking up the stairs, so now the participants gather on the square in front of the office, sheltering under an old bus stop.

Stationary distributed at Panjartheerthi Primary School

Panjertheerthi head master receiving noteboooks from MTI managining trustee Mani Rupakanthan

Panjertheerthi head master receiving noteboooks from MTI managining trustee Mani Rupakanthan

As the new school year just begun, the head master of Panjartheerthi Primary School asked us to support students, mainly Irular children belonging to the nearby community, with a donation of pen, pencils and notebooks.

The head master  is working in strict contact with our staff to guarrantee a regular presence of the Irular children at school while our special program of bathing and morning breakfast (see post) is running well.

Medical Camp in Peryar Nagar

medical-campFollowing the Dental Camp that was held a few weeks ago, the medical staff from the Chettinad Hospital in Kelambakkam, a pediatric hospital south of Chennai, held a Medical Camp in Peryar Nagar.

With the help of Raj, a friend who works in the hospital and the mind behind this Medicine Camp Day, two doctors (a pediatrician and a general practitioner) and four nurses spent the day in our center visiting 50 children and 30 adults coming mainly from the villages of Periyar Nagar and Ecchamballam.

Peryar-Nagar-Medical-camp-2015-3The camp was open to everyone, regardless of whether or not the children attended our day care or after school programs. The most common problems encountered were caused by the lack of vitamins, specifically of Vitamin A. Children who attend our centers were in better condition than others probably thanks to the daily nutritional supplements we have been administering for a couple of years in our kindergartens. Together with our contacts in India, we have already planned to increase the amount of fresh fruit in our younger children’s daily meals.

At the end of the doctor’s examination, biriyani rice and small prizes were this web given to all the children. To close off the day, one of our teachers organized a dance show.

Donation to the Manamathi public school

The Manamathy Government Primary School

The Manamathy Government Primary School

The Manamathi public school, attended by many children of the surrounding villages where we have our nurseries and after-school programs (Periyar Nagar, Kamaraj Nagar, Ecchamballam and Panjanthirthi), asked us a little help to buy some items and primary needs equipment that are not provided by the Government and that each school must therefore buy – if and when they have the money to do it!

Unfortunately our resources are not usually sufficient to fund the improvement of the basic equipment given to state run schools, but for many reasons this is a special case, and we have therefore decided to donate various everyday items that the students needed such as mats, baskets, dishes, glasses and water containers.

Some of the children of the school with the two teachers

Some of the children of the school with the two teachers

This is a small gesture that is first of all a way to maintain good relations with the teachers of a school attended by a large number of our children, but it also allows us to ask the school’s principal a special commitment to these children. Most of them come from backgrounds defined by difficult situations and have not had the chance to attend school on a regular basis in the past years, meaning that they often need to be tutored with special care in order to be integrated in the school system and improve their academic performance.

Monsoon Emergency: Malar Trust helps the affected villages

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Mani G. Rupakanthan distributing rice to Irular community in Poonjeri

In recent days, the Tamil Nadu was hit by monsoon rains in particular violence and the district of Kancheepuram, where we operate, was among the hardest hit. As usual, the poorest stratum of the population has endured the most severe hardships, especially in the villages where the Irula precarious dwellings – mud huts with roofs of palm leaves – are completely inadequate to support heavy rains.

In our villages the emergency was intense. In Panjartheerthi, the Irula village was completely evacuated and the residents were transferred for days in the school buildings. The community Masima Nagar, near Poonjeri, was completely flooded and Peryar Nagar, where there is no school, many families have been displaced in our own center for living.

The problem of flooding was immediately added to the subsistence: the rains had ceased all agricultural and industrial activities leaving the adults in these communities, who work daily in the fields or in road maintenance, and use the daily wage to buy food, with no means of support.


A few days before the start of the emergency, as soon as the roads were passable, the head of Malar Trust India, Mani Rupakanthan, office manager Gaja and some local volunteers reached the affected villages to provide help: Panjartheerthi, Peryar Nagar, Eachamballam , Irular Pakuti.

In addition to our villages we were rescued also two settlements Irula near Kancheepuram, hit particularly hard.

Malar Trust India has deployed in these six villages almost 1.500 kg of rice, reaching more than 165 families. They were also distributed blankets to the elderly and children and plastic sheeting to cover the roof of huts virtually destroyed.

It ‘the first time in ten years we see an emergency so acute due to monsoons: the timely funds provided by our Italian friends of Malar Trust Onlus was truly admirable!