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This newsletter again brings a first-hand report of the work being done by CHATI in Tamil Nadu.

In January this year Barbara Gray, one of our Trustees, paid a return visit to CHATI Nagar nearly one year after opening the first building on the land and planting a coconut tree. She was amazed by the incredible change out in the fields where the growth of trees and shrubs is quite astonishing to a western eye. Xavier took great pride in showing her round and describing the many uses for all the plants and the methods used to make sure they have the best chance in life here on this very poor land.

The slogan ‘Reduce, Recycle, Reuse’ is second nature to Xavier who makes use of everything which comes to hand, and so the flooring which has been pieced together in our second building uses stone slab offcuts purchased incredibly cheaply from a stone merchant, where they were just waste material. However we understand this building can only be finished when more funding is available. At that time at least one of the rooms will be available for use as a bedroom for visitors which will be much more comfortable, used as were are in the West to ‘easy living’! The animal and vermi-compost housing is nearing completion. Animals will be purchased when we have the steady funding for a live-in farm worker. While she was there, Barbara filmed progress on the land – some of this material will appear on our web-site which is under construction. She also presented a delighted Dr. Balasubramani with a blood pressure monitor and stethescope which he had been wanting for some time.

Janet Bedford has now been back for three months and, as a retired teacher, would love to include schools among the places where she would be delighted to give talks. She would also welcome invitations to speak to Church and social groups. Her telephone number is given at the end of this newsletter. 

The pictures show Dr. Balasubramani receiving his badly needed equipment from Barbara and Xavier showing off one of the ‘fruits of their labours’. At the moment the harvest is used for the meals of the workers. Soon we hope more villagers will be benefitting. We apologise for the poor quality of the pictures this time – their journey to the screen came via a film, then a DVD and finally onto the computer!

In February, Dr. Balasubramani and Xavier were visited by another homoeopath who practises in London. Eileen is a colleague of Colin Symon, who opened the CHATI clinic two years ago. Eileen was travelling in south India and made several short visits to see our work.

A slight complication has arisen with the Indian charity due to the fact that, unless a charity registers for tax exemption at the time of its being set up, Income Tax has to be paid on all the money received, but we were not told this at the time. It only came to light when the auditor out there was doing the year’s accounts. The way round this is for another sister Indian charity to be set up with tax exemption applied for right from the start. It will obviously have the same aims and objectives and will be run in exactly the same way. However, it would be better if the name were slightly different. In Tamil, ‘ch’ and ‘sh’ are written the same and have the same sound. Therefore it is intended that the new charity in India will be called S.H.A.T.I. which will stand for Sustainable Health and Agriculture Trust India.

With this newsletter we are enclosing the proposals and costings for the projects which Xavier is hoping to undertake this year. We hope you find them interesting.

Quite a few of our supporters have expressed the opinion that we should not be sending ‘thank you’ cards for the donations we receive but should be devoting all the money to the projects but we really are so grateful that sending a card seems a very small acknowledgement of our gratitude. However, for a trial phase we will only send cards or receipts to individuals who request one or to organisations who require one for their financial records and we hope you agree with this course of action.

Other supporters have said they would like to ‘sponsor’ an animal in a similar way to several other charities as this would provide a more personal link with the work. However in our situation this is not practical so we have devised another scheme. For £10.00 you can buy a tree. Where possible there will be a choice which will be noted on the form. At other times it will be according to what Xavier is able to source and what is most suitable for the site. The tree will be planted with a metal label showing the name of the donor and the date of planting. If the tree is to be given as a gift or in celebration of a special event, a very brief message can be added. Donors (or giftees)will then receive a photo of their tree at planting time, one a year later which hopefully will show a sturdy sapling and then one when it bears fruit. In a few years time, a photo of all the fields should be a beautiful sight. The money for each tree, as well the cost of purchasing it, will cover the cost of the planting, tree guard, the compost and fertiliser which Xavier has found to give the plants the best start and the watering until it is well established.

Whilst we are delighted with the support you have all shown CHATI so far, we are wondering if there any of you who would be interested in doing a little more. We would love to have more trustees and co-opted members. Trustees obviously have responsibilities relating to the actual running of the charity and taking decisions regarding future direction. As far as we are aware, we have taken all the necessary actions to ensure that CHATI is run on a totally honest and legal basis, so future trustees will not be faced with having to undertake such an onerous task. Co-opted members don’t take policy decisions but contribute much valued ideas, energy and support. We normally have meetings once a month- the usual venue is Quay Arts where we have lunch and then a meeting- an extremely pleasant way to spend a couple of hours. This time is not set in stone and could be altered if it wasn’t convenient for anyone wanting to attend. If any of you are interested in attending a meeting to see what goes on, you are very welcome. If you telephone either Janet (01983753918) Barbara (01983 564003) or Angie (019835282779) we can let you know the date and time of the next meeting.

Finally, the web site is almost ready and already you can see some of the material on it. You can find it at www.chati.org.uk

Thank you again for all your support

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