Two weeks ago we traveled to our beloved village Kirehalli in Hassan District. Although we only lived there for four weeks, it felt like coming home after a long time for us. Everybody was happy to see us and so were we. With the two other volunteers we lived with, we spent the time with our family and many other people of the village. Because the weather was cold and rainy, we spent most of our time in the kitchen room, playing cards, the guitar, or just talking.
On the second last weekend, from 23th to 24th October, some volunteers and I spent a couple of days in Mysore to see the celebration of the Hindu Dasara Festival, which takes place every year in September or October. According to a Hindu legend, on this day truth triumphed over evil, personified by the Hindu Goddess Chamundeshwari who killed the demon Mahishasura. On Friday, it was the Vijayadashami holiday. We went into the city because of the Dasara procession, this being the highlight of the 10-day festival. So we got to a stand near Mysore Palace to see all the decorated floats, dancers, music groups and animals like horses and elephants.
The music groups with drummers and the dancers created a cheerful mood. It was colourful, loud, hot and crowded, just as you probably imagine India feels or looks like. It was awesome to feel the lively atmosphere, while we were standing among the masses of Indians celebrating this day. The decorated floats were very interesting. One float showed the waste management system of Mysore (which obviously works well compared to some other Indian cities), another represented the Police and therefore the security system and on top of a third float were idols of local politicians.
India with its colonial background must be very proud to have been independent now for more than 68 years and all of its achievements that have been accomplished so far went through my mind at that moment. This vast country or, rather, sub-continent, with almost 1.3 billion inhabitants is governed by a democratic system. Isn’t it impressive? But I also thought about issues this developing country has to deal with. Besides waste there are a lot of other environmental problems, and based on my project I’d like to emphasise the upcoming water scarcity because of mistreatment in the last decades. Moreover, corruption, imbalance of the gender-roles, discrimination against particular society groups (previous caste system) or an underdeveloped infrastructure in many places are challenging tasks for India. But in contrast to these fields in which Germany is today more developed than India, Indians score definitely better in their surplus of joie de vivre and diversity in many fields.
It was in a hall called “Laxmi Janardhana Mini Hall” although it wasn’t “Mini” at all !! On a very sunny, very hot Sunday in Udupi. It was a wedding of my coordinator’s sister and all the volunteers got very excited when he invited us. We were looking forward to the new cultural experience as Indian weddings are much different compared to the weddings functions in Germany! Furthermore it was a good reason to get dressed up a little bit. So we girls went and bought cloth for our first sarees.
Mr. Lukas Weskamp, Germany provided his valuable service in our home for the orphan and destitute, children with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, and Mental Retardation & Multiple Disabilities by teaching, assisted in special school, trained our students in various games and recreational activities, contributed in various events organized by our Organization during the service, and involved in the daily routine activities of our home and in various recreational activities for the orphan children.
Assisted our Special Educators by taking our children to Beach, walking and other outdoor activities and worked for the welfare of our Disabled children and also helped professionally for the effective functioning of the Special School Education, contributed a lot to the fulfillment of basic needs of all our children which helped us to function more professionally and purposefully.
Mr. Jakob Sedlmair, Germany provided his valuable service in our home for the orphan and destitute, children with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, and Mental Retardation & Multiple Disabilities by teaching, assisted in special school, trained our students in various games and recreational activities, contributed in various events organized by our Organization during the service, and involved in the daily routine activities of our home and in various recreational activities for the orphan children.
Five months in Puthupedu…
I have been working in Yadthady Tent School for almost 4 months and all I can say is that I am loving it. I am working with Shalini, the local teacher; she is always very helpful and great to work with. At the moment, we have 13 children attending school, we had a bigger group but a few families left the camp because their work here has finished due to the rainy season and other issues. It was very sad to see these children leave because I became very attached to them but I am very happy I was able to be part of their lives for a short period of time and spend time teaching, playing and just hanging around with them
I came to India on the 31. of September.My first project was not working correctly so I changed and came to Hunsur in my current project and host family.
A background of the project/local partner in which they were placed:
Spoorthi Organization was started in 2009 under society registration act 1860. It is a Non-government organization that mainly focuses on women empowerment. The organization provides various trainings to women and youth in fashion designer, computer training, tailoring, organic farming, fisheries, horticulture, vermi-compost, art and craft, yoga, spoken English etc. Every year government allocates the fund to this organization. In rural areas the organization conducts various programs on health, education, youth camp, Livelihood, agriculture program etc. Cornelia’s host family is located in Hunsur. At present there is nearly 8 volunteers are working/staying in Hunsur. Hunsur is a Taluk center John is very happy to be a part of Hunsur.
„vivid colors of india.“ In a beautiful little town called Hunsur, in Mysore District in the state of Karnataka, is where I live and work. My name is Cornelia and I’m here for a total of three months in a women empowerment project
A background of the project/local partner:
The school established in 1960, the school provides education to children from primary to high school level, between standards 1 to 10, the approximate age group of the children ranging from 6 years to 16 years. The medium of instruction is Kannada, the regional language of Srirampur, located in Mysore District of the State of Karnataka, where the school is situated. The government provides scholarship to schedule caste and schedule tribe students at the school; free books, uniforms and mid-day meals (school lunch) are also provided to all the children. Until now the project has gave opportunity for 5 international volunteers to do volunteer service.
My name is Ana and I do the Health and Hygiene project with FSL-India in Chennai. With two other FSL-India volunteers, Hannah and Sara, we prepared a presentation on menstruation. It is a theme of great importance since hygiene during the menstruation is so important.
Our names are Anne-Lise and Ewen. We are 2 French mid-term volunteers…We stay 2 months (February & March 2015) in FSL program. Before coming in FSL program, we were working in France as architect and draftsman. We chose the FSL program “water and sanitation” because it was the only program with some constructions, which are our original jobs. When we arrived in Chennai office where this program took place, we were a little disappointed to see that the Happy Move Camp (HMC) where our construction skills will be helpful was over just before our arrival.
Here I go, finally posting the article I was asked to write about 2 months ago… Well, what would better subscribe my time spent in India then such a delay. 2 months lasting delay can mean only one thing – not having enough time because of being so occupied by discovering amazingly interesting Indian culture… or second – not having internet connection. Or both as in my case.