India 2017

November 2017

Dear friends of our widows abroad!

We got again wonderful news from our friends in India and want to share them with you. Hopefully you find time to read this article.
Thanks to your generous donations we could start construction work on our third house now in September, which will finally be our hospice. Originally intended to start earlier, it was not possible, because all Tamil Nadu suffered a serious drought throughout the year and we did not have water to mix the concrete. We had to undergo a lot of efforts to get water, because our old well was totally dried out. The first boring was not successful, although it was 200 m deep. A water expert from Germany volunteered to help and found water in our garden only about 20 m deep. We are all so happy to have now a reliable source of good drinking water. Finally in August heavy rain came, so everybody in Tiruvannamalai is happy and construction work could start.
The Indian custom called “Boomi Pooja” (a ceremony) before construction starts, was done the 15th of September. Workers and owner have to ask the permission of Mother Earth to build the new home. Since then construction work has progressed fast, we might celebrate inauguration in January 2018.

The new hospice is needed urgently. Often elderly abandoned women are found in a very terrible condition. They need very special and intense care. Ghandhimathi, whom we found last Christmas on our mainroad died after 6 weeks. She expressed very often, how happy she was to be in our home and to be cared for so lovingly during her last time on earth.

Saratha is a widow, who benefitted a lot from the special care, we gave her after her arrival in our home. Relatives had dumped her also on the side of the main road, asking her to wait, until they come back to pick her up. This did not happen. She was lying there, unable to walk, barely alive. We brought her to hospital and had her examined. Her legs are not functioning any more, so she probably will never be able to walk, but the problem is always, that they did not get enough to eat over a long time. When she was strong enough we brought her to our Om Shanthi Home. Unable to stand and extremely weak, she could not sleep in a bed and could not get to the bathroom to relieve herself. Since she was from Kerala and did not speak Tamil we had to find a translator to communicate with her.

Her strong efforts to help herself were very moving for all of us. She dragged herself to the bathroom with her arms and tried to wash her hair and body herself. Slowly Saratha won a place in the hearts of all the widows in the house. Today she is the darling of everybody!
Kannama is mentally disturbed and was picked up from the street. She was brought to the Rangamal Hospital to see how we can help her best. In spite of all the misery they have endured a long time, which we cannot at least imagine, they keep up their natural dignity.
The second very important part of the Om Shanthi project is support of young widows and their children. We protect them, teach them handicraft, provide education for their children and the young widows. We try to find jobs for them according to their talents and capacities so that they are capable to take care for their children themselves. For this purpose we created a councelling center in Shantimalai Handicraft Center. At the moment our social worker Chandra is busy with finding young widows in the far away villages because the women are too shy and hopeless to come by themselves. Together we discuss opportunities how to help each of these young women and their children. We want to avoid that the children are sent into an orphanage and the widows become prostitutes.
There is so much misery in the world and so much help needed. Please continue to give us your kind donation. Without your help we cannot do any work.
With deep gratitude and warm regards from all our helpers and widows.
Anna