PHOTO-2021-03-01-08-56-35 2News items from covid times - the image is of solar lanterns donated to tribal people

_StartA year ago (1st March 2020) Thirumaran set off on his All India Blood Donation Drive. Looking back it's amazing to remember that the seriousness of the pandemic was not recognised at that time. On his return Thirumaran wrote a book in Tamil about the trip - but lack of money has prevented its publication. Maybe it will be possible to publish later if funding can be found.

Schools, including TRUST-India School of course, have been closed most of this past year and there have been no exams.

The 18+ Girls' Hostel has been used during the year by students whose hostels have closed and by a girl now working for a cloth making company for three years. An older boy, a qualified engineer, (now aged 28) has returned to India with savings from working in Dubai and Singapore - he is hoping to build a house and settle down to a new life. There are '18+ girls' studying at college and '18+ boys' ready to start at colleges and polytechnics too.

The 18+ Boys' Hostel still needs funding to enable it to be used. The main structure is complete.

There are now seven cows at the Boys' Home, looked after enthusiastically by the older boys. It has been useful work and provides milk for both the Boys' and the Girls' Homes.

Paddy has just been harvested from the Children's Homes land. It will provide excellent rice for around four months. Hay for the cows is planned next.

Water supply will become a problem at the Boys' Home before the next rains, especially as the cows need water as well as the boys. A further bore hole is needed now. A bigger project is to make the existing Boys' Home well deeper - the deepening of the Girls' Home well was funded by UK volunteers over 10 years ago.

Celebrations for life events are arranged in this large 'family'.

Sadly the TRUST Ambulance, now 16 years old, is no longer working. Parts are no longer available to enable it to be repaired and it has no resale value. It has provided a valuable service, but now cannot be used and needs to be replaced.  It is a loss, not just to TRUST but for local people.

A Supreme Court Team made a routine visit to examine the Homes. They particularly appreciated all the books and the dining hall at the Girls Campus. They identified some capital improvements that need to be made, including replacement of the asbestos sheet roof of the Bell Hall, a further dormitory at the Boys' Home as well as seating in their dining hall, a library and a visitors' reception. Funding is need for all these things...

The lantern photos are at a tribal village. A generous local person provided these solar powered lights for the tribal people and Thirumaran is helping to distribute them.