Earlier days, people in India especially in villages wont celebrate the New Year as a special occasion. According to them, the beginning of Tamil Year denotes the Beginning of another Year.
The situation changed gradually and people started educating their children, probably the next and upcoming generation. Hence people got exposed to the world and to the celebrations the westerners do for welcoming a New Year.So they started greeting their Friends and Relatives for a New Year.
And now, the modernization made people to accept celebrating the occasion. From December 31st evening, people starts celebrating New year by having a party, having a get together, going for temples and churches and so on.
So we are going to welcome a New Year and We (Projects Abroad) wishes you a warm and prosperous Happy New Year 2011.
Contributed by Jagadish Kumar – the Country Director
Projects Abroad India organised the Ayurvedhic Workshop to our Medical Volunteers in India at the moment.
During Workshop, Volunteers got an wonderful chance to know about the Ayurvedhic treatment that is going on in India. Also they tried few of the treatments.
The ultimate goal and the importance of ayurvedha were clearly explained to the Volunteers.The day was really good and informative.
Contributed by Nadia – the Social Manager
Our Model Farm volunteers finished their Conservation work at Ullar and now they have started their work at Batlagundu. In Ullar, Our Volunteers did the voluntary work till November 2010 and did remarkable work in the farm and in the rural area near-by.
The work mainly based on Organic Farming and the service includes preparing and educating the rural farmers on Vermi-compost, rural planting and periodical maintenance, creating perforations in the water bed to increase the volume of the natural water containers and so on. While leaving Ullar, our volunteers evenly distributed the fruits that was produced in the Farm to the three poor families who lives near to the Model Farm. And this is how we preserved the actual goal of our volunteering service.
Contributed by Raisa Dawood – Model Farm Manager
Both of us were working on the Conservation Project for 3 months (at least). Needless to say, such an experience is hard to sum up in a few words. However, to make a long story short, we would say that we have acquired practical and comprehensive knowledge about conservation policy.
We understood that such policy consists of three basic targets: to improve the fertility of soil; to preserve the landscape and surroundings; and to promote and foster organic and natural multi-cropping techniques in a context of low water consumption.
- improve the soil’s fertility: We learned the basic principles of organic and natural farming as opposed to chemical farming. Making Vermicompost, PanchaKavyat and JiwamRhita on the farm and applying it to plots and fields, we learned how the soil could be enriched by micro-organisms enforcing the power of Mother Nature. We were to make (from scratch) a vegetables garden (and a vermi-unit) on an orphanage, and now they can cook their own harvested vegetables without any expense. We did the same at a Missionary School nearby the Model Farm.
- preserving the landscape and surroundings: Regularly we planted many trees along the
roads. In that instance, the target is multiple: roots of trees help to hold the soil steady despite heavy rains; leaves provide food supplies for cows or goats and shelter for birds (resulting in lower density of insects); and trees make efficient wind screens. Another example of preservation of the environment is we made many pits (filled with dry mulching) in river bed so that water could make whirlpools (vortex) and populate micro-organisms all around.
- promote and foster organic and natural farming techniques: Most frequently we went to schools to explain to students techniques of multi-cropping from a formal and practical (learning by example) point of view. With most students having parents who work on a farm, they are likely to explain to them how it could be profitable for them.
In conclusion, we can say that all the work we did at the Model Farm was fully compliant with a conservation purpose.
Contributed by Our Conservation Volunteers - Mr Philippe RUSSEIL (France) & Mr Nobuyuki Nonaka (Japan)
Dr Karunakaran: Dr Karunakaran runs Sastha Veterinary clinic near Tamukkam in Madurai. Here the majority of cases require home visits. Volunteers are taken on the back of his motorcycle, which allows them to see a lot of Madurai and the surrounding villages. Both large and small animals are treated, with the majority of cases being dog vaccinations and skin problems. There are also evening cases. This placement is beneficial as a way of cultural experience and to visit many places in the surrounding area.
Dr. Senthil Kumar: Dr Senthil Kumar runs S.S. Pet Clinic, 10 minutes from Periyar bus station. It is a purely small animal practice, with clients bringing their dogs to the clinic for any necessary veterinary treatment. It is a well run practice, and has basic facilities such as a microscope. There are generally a large variety of cases, and it is always busy. Dr Senthil Kumar is friendly and helpful, and enjoys teaching up to date veterinary information.
Dr Prem Kumar: This placement is based at Arul Anandar College, a 40 minute bus ride from Madurai’s Periyar bus station. The clinic was set up as a non-profit organization to improve the productivity and welfare of farm animals from the surrounding villages. The animals, mainly cattle and goats, are brought to the clinic where they can receive veterinary treatment. Artificial insemination and pregnancy testing of cattle make up the majority of the caseload, but castration of bulls and goats is also frequently seen, and occasionally other veterinary treatments are required. Volunteers have the opportunity to shadow the vet, gain practical experience with rectal examinations (and insemination and pregnancy diagnosis depending on previous experience), and observe other cases that are brought to the clinic. The working hours vary depending on the number of cases, and this is unpredictable due to the nature of the clinic, but volunteers generally work between 9:30am and 12am. Dr Prem Kumar is very friendly, approachable and keen to teach. There are often also students from the college at the clinic as part of their rural development science course, who are always keen to talk and practice their English. Ramachandaran, the vet’s assistant, is also very friendly and helpful. The downside to this placement is the distance to travel outside Madurai, although this does give an opportunity to see a lot of the countryside and surrounding area.
Dr. Ramachandaran: Dr. Ramachandran works mainly at a dairy farm only ten minutes from the Projects Abroad office. The farm is very well run, takes good care of their cows, and is a pleasant environment to be in. All the staff, including the doctor himself and the owner, are extremely welcoming and friendly. Cases include mastitis, artificial insemination, and pregnancy/heat diagnosis. Volunteers with little veterinary experience mostly observe (and can give subcutaneous injections), while volunteers with more experience are able to inseminate and perform rectal exams. On some rare days, volunteers attend cases at other farms with the doctor in the mornings. Also he taken us to a water buffalo farm because he knows we don’t have water buffalo at home and it would be interesting for us.
Overall, we developed wide knowledge from various veterinary doctors and for sure the stay was good and helpful.
Contributed by our Veterinary Volunteers - Ms Sarah CHURCH & Ms Elizabeth Liza-STEWART
Efter gymnasiet, trængte vi til at opleve verden. Vi ville til udlandet og arbejde frivilligt, og vi valgte Indien. Uden nogen anelse om hvad vi kunne forvente af landet, tog vi af sted. Vi blev taget glædeligt imod på børnehjemmet og værtsfamilien. Det er en kæmpe oplevelse at komme til at leve med en familie, med en total anderledes kultur end man er vant til. Visse ting var lettere at vende sig til end andre. Indisk mad for eksempel – det ligner ikke skyggen af dansk mad. Smagen er enten vildt sød eller vildt stærk. I Indien er der utallige af regler du skal overholde, for at opføre dig ordentlig i deres øjne. Det er ikke tilladt at tale højt i offentligheden, at klø i offentligheden eller vise skuldre eller knæ. Der er mange som ikke kan forstå engelsk i Indien, så det kræver tålmodighed, når man skal have hjælp fx i biografen, supermarkedet eller posthuset, men inderne er så søde og imødekommende og alle er vildt interesseret i at hjælpe og hyggesnakke om hvem man er og hvor man kommer fra.
Alt i alt var vi kommet til et land som vi på nærmest alle områder var det stik modsatte af Danmark, hvilket vi tit har grint af, fordi vi på intet tidspunkt har kigget på hinanden og sagt: ”Sådan er det også i Danmark.” Pga. nogle økonomiske problemer i vores første værtsfamilie, hjalp Projects Abroad os og vi flyttede placement og hostfamily. Det er vigtigt at være ærlig om hvordan man har det og lade Projects Abroad vide hvis der er noget der ikke er som det burde være, det har vi i hvert fald lært, det gavner alle der senere skal rejse med organisationen.
Vi kom til at bo ved en muslimsk familie, med 2 børn og arbejde på en special skole: SHINE Education Trust. Familien er essensen af en god værtsfamilie, der er en gensidig forståelse og respekt imellem os, hvilket gør at det siden dag 1 har været en fornøjelse at bo her.
Vi nød vores sidste del af vores 2 måneder i Madurai, med ny familie og SHINE. Det at komme til en stor by som Madurai var virkelig vigtigt for os. Her kunne vi gøre som vi ville, dog informere vores familie om hvornår vi kom hjem, hvilket var naturligt, når vi boede i deres hjem. Vi kørte utrolig meget i rickshaw, hvilket er så billigt, at vi ikke gad tage bussen, når vi skulle nogen steder. Vi spiste ude både alene og sammen med andre frivillige som havde en komsammen hver tirsdag på et hotel i byen, hvilket var super hyggeligt. Andre måder vi mødte andre frivillige var på de weekendture der blev arrangeret hver 2. weekend, hvor man sammen kunne komme ud og opleve nogle steder i Indien, bl.a. red vi på elefanter i Munnar og badede i et vandfald i Kanyakumari. Indien er fuld af overraskelser ! J
Contributed by our Care Volunteers - Ms Jennie Patricia Hansen & Ms Josefine Heilmann
Projects Abroad India recent and latest weekend trip was organised to Thekkady/Kumily. Thekkady is a hill-station and a famous tourist destination in South-India. About 10 volunteers attended the trip. For the first day, our volunteers enjoyed riding elephant, trekking inside the forest and the traditional Kathakali Dance show.
And during the second day – volunteers got a chance to visit the Spice Garden and get to know about many variety of spices.Overall the weekend was good and our volunteers enjoyed the trip!
Contributed by Nadia – India Social Manager
Our Eco-farming and conservation farm is now going to be big. The Farm has now been shifted from Ullar to a much bigger and cooler place towards the Kodai Hills named Batlagundu. At this new farm, our Model Farm will have many dimensions designed to improve the standard of the local community.
As an initial arrangement, we moved our collection of about 70 rare and medicinal plants to the new venue by a truck. Since it is very tough job, we got more helping hands from the locals. This gave us a strong hope for our new beginning.
Contributed by Raisa Dawood - Model Farm Manager
We had the first brainstorm session and get together with the placement supervisors by 16th December 2010 to improve the time spent in India by the volunteers. Tim, (Country Director for Peru) was spearheading the program. The objective was clear and we want our placements and volunteers to interact more, and volunteers spending useful time during their stay in India. We without doubt understood that all the placements like the volunteers always. But they could not understand and utilize the volunteers skills.
There is so much activities the volunteers could do in the placements and we made efforts to make the placements understand this. There were several games and teaching methods explained and demonstrated that could be beneficial for the children and can also be taught by the volunteers. Every placement supervisors came up with new ideas. It was wonderful to feel and know that the volunteers are so well received at the placements and they are showing such an enthusiasm to work with the volunteers. There were endless stories by the placement supervisors explaining the great jobs and services that the volunteers left behind in the placements . We want this to continue always , but in a much better way. I could clearly foresee in the months to come we could have volunteers contributing more for the children in care centres where they work and go back to their country with a sense of fullest satisfaction.
Contributed by Jagadish Kumar - Country Director for India
This week our Conservation team (volunteers and the staff members) found out the rare chilly varieties from a farm at Ullar. Actually, we got an information from the local people that Ullar is famous for a rare species of Chillies. And here comes our volunteer’s enthusiasm and eagerness, and the team started searching for the particular plants in Ullar.
They walked for about 5 kilometers and atlast found the chillies. From the farm(with the permission from the owner)we collected some seedlings and planted it in our Model Farm. Now, we are going to produce rare variety of chillies in our farm itself.
Contributed by Raisa Dawood – Model Farm Manager
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