Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Hurray for the rain!

Venkat is busy planting crops at our small farm in Mettupalayam following the monsoon rains. He says that we have had around 80% of a normal monsoon, a big improvement on recent, very droughty years. So far he has planted around 13 acres, mostly rice with some ground nuts (peanuts). He also plans to plant over 2 acres of trees, both mango and teak- these are partly for cropping purposes, but also to help offset the project's small but still significant carbon footprint. In our area, over recent years, the Indian Government, with help from Japan, have planted over 200 acres of trees.

Pictured is Patchyamman, one of the former bonded slaves, who now works full time on our farm- a big improvement on breaking rocks for a living!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Well done, Jon! A magnificent marathon effort.

Update on my recent blog- Jon ran the Riviera Marathon and raised a magnificent sum in excess of £1300! Thank you Jon and also a big thank you to all your friends, colleagues and family for their support.
Jon has asked if we will spend this money on helping to buy equipment and resources for our new Crakehall School. I have just sent another bank draft to Venkat which includes this money and will hopefully feature the opening of the school in our next newsletter.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009


Laura and Emily, two trainee doctors who spent their elective in Mettupalayam in July, held a general health camp in the village. During the camp they saw that Sabina, a 9 year old girl at Mettupalayam School, was suffering from malnutrition. This had been caused by long term tonsilitis, confirmed at the Government hospital. Sadly, at only 10kgs weight, she was far too underweight to have an operation, so we have been providing her parents with money each month to buy liquid food supplements. Venkat has now confirmed that Sabina has put on enough weight to have the operation which is now scheduled for the 21st December. This will be life changing for her, as we will be providing a good balanced diet at the school. This is just one of the local people who have been helped by Laura and Emily- thank you girls.