Tuesday, January 25, 2011


for those who wish to contribute to the hostel at karangabahla run by the holy family sisters, i now have the bank details. they have a society to which you can directly send money: would be best to deposit in any bank of baroda branch in your city - in which case your cheque will be a local cheque and collection charges are waived. also transfer is within 48 hours. mailing the cheque to them will entail collection charges and a long lag period for enchashment.

Shantidhara Society
Bank of Baroda,
Account no. 30220100001594

you can either call up sr chaitanya (095894 43304) or email me about the amount and the date sent and i will inform her so that she can keep track.

thank you for your generosity.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

hostel at karangabahla

sr chaitanya of the holy family convent, karangabahla tells me that priti and muskaan are settling in well. their father called and spoke to them yesterday.

several people had called/ written in asking how they could help the two girls. i have told them that in addition to priti and muskaan, there are other girls staying at the hostel who may need support too. i had written to sr chaitanya asking whether they needed any funds for the hostel facilities, since i had noticed it was sparsely furnished. also anything for the boarders.

she discussed it in her community and they are surprised and touched that people they do not know are wanting to help them. they did have a list but were very hesitant to ask since they feel it is a lot of money, though it is actually quite modest.

if anyone is interested to contribute / know more, please do write to me.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

one week on

priti and muskaan have been at the hostel for a week now. when i spoke to them earlier this evening, both were in high spirits, said they were going to school but today was a holiday. the younger child interrupted her conversation with me to say she could not talk further as she had to go and play with her friends.

their father had called them two days ago, but they were in bed at that time but he spoke to the nun in charge of the convent.

Monday, January 10, 2011

priti and muskaan

here they are. priti and muskaan at the ganiyari campus last week.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


yesterday we took priti and muskaan to the karangabahla holy family convent and admitted them there. it has been recently started, and has 23 boarders so far, ranging from 5 to 14 years of age. the place is 10 km beyond pathalgaon, in jashpur district, and is set off the road in large grounds. you reach it after a long drive though dense forest, and there is an air of peace there.

the girls took the community by surprise, chattering and giving their opinion on things, and exploring the place, in contrast to the shy tribal children who are presently there.
dev kumar returns to bombay today. on the drive to the station at raigarh and on the train ride back he was silent and pensive, often trying to fight back his tears.

the sister in charge called us after we got home at 11 pm last night, to tell us that the children were fine, played with the other girls and had dinner and went to sleep, and did not cry for their father. that is reassuring.

for all of you who through phone calls, emails or the blog extended their support - a big thank you. i will let you know once we figure out how exactly to provide support to this family. dev kumar will be sending a thousand rupees each month for the children's fees. there will be other costs like clothes and books, and travel to and from their village during holidays. he will probably make the trip to chhattisgarh twice or thrice this year instead of only once, so there will be additional travel costs. and perhaps others that we have not thought of as yet.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

at ganiyari

i have been in touch with dev kumar over the phone every day since their return to chhattisgarh.

after shunting around between various relatives, none of whom could, with ease, feed three people for more than two days, he and his daughters are now at the dharamshala on the JSS hospital campus at ganiyari. here they will stay and get food in the canteen till the girls are placed in a hostel.

meanwhile, the number of people who have written in or called offering monetary support, and two even offering to be foster parents to the children - has been very reassuring. two nuns have been actively looking for hostels in northern chhattisgarh, closer to their native district of janjgir-champa. a hostel in karangabahla near pathalgaon (in the neighbouring district of raigarh) looks promising. run by the holy family sisters, the fee per child is rs. 500 per month or rs 100 per month with 20 kg rice and 2 kg daal per month. the fee is similar in other hostels in this region. the children need to be taken home during the holidays.

i have just spoken to dev kumar, and his mother is willing to collect them during the holidays till he comes home. he is absolutely set on returning to work in bombay (the city of dreams?) and not in chhattisgarh.

i hope to go with them later this week to karangabahla. meanwhile, if a hostel is found in janjgir-champa district itself, that will be easier for the family.