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Once again, we have much to report about the work which Xavier and the other CHATI supporters are
undertaking.

As we told you in our last newsletter, Janet Bedford left for India in November. She has now gone up to the Nilgiri hills where it is much cooler (the temperature around Kalpoondi is 40 C) but access to E-mails is very easy for her and her mobile phone is giving splendid connections so she is still extremely busy researching medical and agricultural matters and is in frequent contact with Xavier. Our local bank manager, who lives in Kalpoondi during the week, has now agreed to be a Trustee which is splendid news as he will be able to keep an eye on the financial side of things which will be a great help for Xavier. We also have a fifth Trustee – a member of the local farming community who is also an enthusiastic supporter of the work Xavier is initiating.

The well deepening and widening work is now completed and the water level is suitable for our needs and of good quality. The work gave employment to a team of traditional skilled well-workers based in the area. The costs involved put quite a drain in our finances but it is definitely a good investment yielding sustainably and being capable of water harvesting . Other water saving techniques will be utilized too. Xavier has been negotiating the supply of electricity to CHATI land as it might be possible to get free current for the pumping of water for irrigation - solar power is not suitable for this work. We are waiting for the outcome of his enquiries and the arrival of a 5hp. Pump and irrigation pipes.

Several months ago we received the first proposals and finance requests for Ongoing Farm Work and Land Reclamation for January – December 2007. The costings for each individual item were very precise and it was obvious that a great amount of research had been done on each project. After considering both proposals, the total cost of both of them being £5669, CHATI UK felt able to fund two separate payments each of £2000, with consideration in July of the final amount due and once we have seen evidence of how the money has been spent.

Barbara Gray, a retired Head of Nursing at St. Mary’s who is now also a Trustee made a visit, travelling from Kerala in January to spend a month with CHATI. She spent much of her time working with the hostel boys and was also requested to organise a three-day health promotion course which included first aid and hygiene , diagnosis of major diseases and Aids `awareness and the home care of patients, emotional care of the terminally ill and pre-and post-natal care and child care. She also visited outlying villages with Janet where many villagers came to seek medical advice. As well as all this, she was guest of honour at the opening of our first building! This simple stone construction about which we told you in our last letter has been completed. It was built mainly from mud, stones saved from the well enlargement, bricks and cement and also some bought in materials.

Xavier arranged for a simple opening ceremony which about 60 guests`attended. The local Catholic priest arrived on the back of Xavier’s motor bike, with his white robe flapping! Barbara, as chief guest, unveiled the stone, cut the green ribbons across the doorway and gave a ‘universal’ blessing and blessings were also given by the priest and Peter from the AILELC hostel. The building is called CHATI ILLAM which means shelter or home.

The VIP’s were garlanded, speeches made, people gathered round a beautiful coloured kolam in the larger of the two rooms, Xavier’s idea behind the ceremony was to introduce CHATI to local influential people – village officers, leading farmers, etc.so that people are aware of the value of our work to the locality. For the time being, this building will be used for storage and, when it is connected to the electricity supply, Xavier will be able to sleep there. We have now also received the Proposals and Budget Requests for the continuation of the Integrated
Healthcare Clinics and also for Support Staff. As it is crucial that the clinics continue, we have agreed to send a proportion of that budget but cannot, at the moment, finance the cost of support staff although we are aware that Xavier’s workload is becoming larger by the day. We are rapidly reaching a critical level in our finances and are having to balance the importance of continuing the projects already started as against extending our energies to other work. Should you feel able to give us any further financial support at this time, it will enable us to consider further funding for both these projects. Dr. Balasubramani is still conducting his fortnightly clinics `as well as having assisted at clinics in several other villages. In particular he received an invitation to attend at a fishing village on the Tsunami stricken Tamil Nadu coast. Even two years after that horrifying event, many villagers are still suffering physical and mental ill health – their feeling being that their friend the sea, with whom they
had lived` for years and from whom they derived their living, had suddenly destroyed them and now they feel insecure and betrayed.

Prakash, our student homeopath, has finished his second year of studies and was thrilled to be chosen as one of three students to prescribe at a day camp in a poor area of Coimbatore, travelling overnight to get there. His experiences there were similar to those he had already experienced when helping at CHATI clinics in regard to the number of patients and the complaints from which they were suffering.

All in all, we feel we have made a good start but are becoming more and more aware of how much work there is to do before the people living in the villages where CHATI is working can benefit from a long term and sustainable improvement in their lives. It is good to feel that they are all very enthusiastic about CHATI and have pledged their support for the projects being undertaken there.

Together we can all achieve these goals.

We hope to be able to include further photographs of the progress so far in our next newsletter. Our next fundraising event will be on the afternoon of Sunday 9th. September at Northcourt.

Mr. and Mrs. Harrison have generously allowed us to use their beautiful home and grounds for a cream tea and musical entertainment, both choral and instrumental. There will also be time for guests who wish to walk round the wonderful gardens – a real treat as they are usually only open on ‘Yellow Book’ Days. There will also be a raffle. We will be sending all our` supporters a flyer soon so, if you live on the Island or are on holiday here, we would love to see you and as many of your friends as`would also like to come.

On behalf of CHATI UK and all the villagers of Cuddalore district, thank you for your support.

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CHATI
7 Cliff End
Monks Lane
FRESHWATER
Isle of Wight
PO40 9XA
United Kingdom

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