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You may remember several photos taken shortly after CHATI started work in Tamil Nadu, one showing the parched river bed after any trace of the monsoon rains had disappeared and another showing Janet Bedford and one of the villagers elders walking across desert-like land which we were thinking of buying.

For people who have never previously seen them, here they are.  

Enormous changes have taken place since Xavier, and later his fellow workers, started to work on our land. The results of his schemes can now be seen in the health and productiveness of the vegetable crops and the strong growth of the trees.

To us, the photos below are amazing. Trees which were only planted two years ago are making strong and healthy growth. Rice and lentils have been harvested as well as the onions, maize and other vegetables which we have already told you about. One of the pictures shows rice with cotton bushes in front of it. We hope to receive soon the photos of` the trees and their dedication plaques which have been sponsored by some of you and will pass them onto you as soon as possible. As you may know, conventionally grown cotton is one of the crops most frequently doused with a cocktail of pesticides and fungicides. Ours were grown solely with cow’s urine and dung, neem powder and vermi-compost spread over the area to be planted. During the cotton’s growing period, it was regularly watered with a diluted solution derived five different kinds of leaves and cow’s urine put around the root area and the result was that the bolls were totally disease free. Unfortunately, at the moment we cannot afford to apply for Organic certification so cannot sell the crop as such. However we are still looking for a buyer who might be prepared to pay us a little more for its purity.

Our initial group of three hens and and a cock which were donated by local farmers in return for some vegetables are now doing their best to help us increase and prosper and there is now aflock of thirty two birds and another hen is sitting! Xavier’s pride and delight is Lakshmi and her calf. She now provides us with milk, urine which is used for fertilizer and pest control and manure which goes on the land.

Like many other charities, we are struggling to keep CHATI afloat. Our treasurer has just done last year’s accounts and tells us that we actually forwarded more money to India than we received for the same period. This was only possible because we had started the year with a balance in our bank account, but obviously it is not a sustainable way of continuing. So we still need all your contributions as there are many plans to be implemented.

A flier is enclosed for our next fundraising event which promises to be an exciting and interesting evening. So we would urge you to support this event and raise at least some of the funds needed for us to continue the valued and valuable work which Xavier and the other workers are carrying out and which is benefitting more and more villagers in terms of teaching the way forward with their own land exchanging good food for services and labour. It has now reached the stage where local people, some of whom at the beginning doubted the sense of Xavier’s ideas, are now admitting to him that his experiments here are valid and, for Xavier, the knowledge that his dreams of starting a ‘model farm’ are beginning to come true, there is a feeling of pride in his work and a renewed sense of purpose.

We all really value your support and look forward to seeing many of you on Easter Monday evening at the church.




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7 Cliff End
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Isle of Wight
PO40 9XA
United Kingdom

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