First of all in a nutshell: even though – thanks to your generosity – we now have collected the money needed for building a house, we are not yet able to make it happen, since the Indian trust has not yet received the obligatory government permission to accept money from abroad. However, the Indian trust decided to send two to three representatives to Delhi soon, so that they can negotiate directly with the staff of relevant government office, and possibly speed up the processing time for our application (after all, we handed in our application ca. one year ago).
As reported some time ago, the nine girls had to leave the orphanage, because we can not accommodate boys and girls together in the existing premises. I then met the girls when I was in Kanchipuram and am happy to report that they are doing relatively well!
Three of the girls are the daughters of a single mother who as as a sweeper has a very meager income, below the subsistence level. They are now living with their mother at home and feel fine there – fortunately even their school performance has improved. We will now also provide this family with additional food (good rice, regular vegetables, milk, etc.) from our budget.
Four of the girls could not go and are now housed together in a government hostel for girls. In this residence a female warden is always present, and the girls may leave the residence only to go to school or if a female adult picks them up and brings them back again. The girls are doing well even in the hostel, but Mr. Subramaniam can not visit them because only women are allowed to visit. But one of our older girls, visits them regularly and brings them the items we provide them with. When I met these girls they told me that they feel quite comfortable in the hostel, where they live together in one room. Although the hostel house rules are very strict, they like the food there a lot, and they are also doing well at school.
Since early October the boys live in a new apartment, which is located on the eastern edge of the city, in a well-off area. The 14 boys now have a longer commute to their schools, which they navigate with bicycles, busses, or share taxis. This seems to work fairly well. The apartment itself is in my opinion much better than the previous one: it is on the first floor of a residential building, has lots of light and many windows. The apartment is not large, but is also not significantly smaller than the previous accommodation. All in all, I am quite happy with the new accommodation, especially compared with the last residence.
One of the older boys has finished his typewriting course with distinction and will now visit an advanced course. He is in his last year of school in Shankara Arts and Science College, and has very good prospects to get a good job thereafter.
On 11.11. was Diwali, the festival of lights (similar to our Christmas), and we have again each given all the children (boys and girls) a new set of clothing, and sweets and fireworks (mainly firecrackers).
Thus the report from Kanchipuram – until our trust meeting in early 2016 we also hope to have good news regarding the government permit!