Dear friends and well wishers
Another year rolls by and it has been quite eventful and fulfilling.
We started the year by attending the International Anglo-Indian reunion in Kolkata. It was well organized and we enjoyed many memorable events and met numerous friends from around the world. These reunions are a blast (pl. read my review on www.blairrw.org/ctr ). We had two individual highlights. Loreto Entally staged a concert and CTR (Cheryl Chater and Jennifer Busby of Australia) organized a fund raiser. The Loreto girls performed a Christmas pageant for over two hours, singing and dancing with excitement and joy. This was followed by a gala at which top Kolkata artists performed and 700+ attendees danced and ate from a variety of stalls on the premises. CTR raised over Rs 1,50,000 which was given to Sister Tina Superior of Loreto.
The second event was the inauguration of the DeRozio Research Center at the Calcutta University Library by the Vice Chancellor (through the special efforts of Professors Dolores Chew of Montreal and Selvyn Justy of Kolkata). Anglo-Indians now have a permanent repository of their cultural heritage for posterity.
I feel ill in Chennai and had to cut short our trip, so missed Kerala, Bangalore and the UK. I think I am OK now.
This is CTR’s sixteenth year and I would like to review what we do in India. We have two main thrusts: providing monthly pensions to Anglo-Indian seniors and helping educate children. To this end we have 305 Seniors across six cities and 236 children across five cities. In 2012 we sent $ 68.680 to India (Full details may be seen on the website). We collect all our money from well wishers . I made a quick calculation of what we had sent India in the last ten years. Here are the details:
Kolkata – Seniors – Rs 79 lakhs, Education – Rs18 lakhs, Loreto – 37 lakhs,; Chennai – Seniors 38 lakhs, Education – 15 lakhs; Bangalore/ KGF – Seniors 15 lakhs; Hyderabad – 7 lakhs; Vijayawada – Seniors – 5 lakhs, Education – 3 lakhs; Total 2,17,000,000 - 2 crores and 17 lakhs (or $ 434,000)
We are also blessed by having volunteers who coordinate our activities both in India and abroad. We do not pay any volunteers, either in cash or in kind. Our administrative expenses are less than 1/10 of 1%! One of our major concerns is that we do not have replacements abroad to raise funds for India. Our children do not have a strong India connection, so unless our projects in India develop funding from within, there is every likelihood that seniors and children will be unsupported. To this end if any of you want to help out please get in touch with me. We could use a few younger (!) volunteers.
We still have quite a few copies on ‘The Way We Were’, ‘Women of Anglo-India’ and ‘More Voices on the Verandah’. Do consider them as Christmas presents. You can get copies directly from me or from the website http://www.blairrw.org/ctr
Finally a big thank you to the support you have given CTR over the years. One of the most gratifying aspects of visiting India is to see, first hand, the difference we make in the lives of seniors and children. Long, long ago we resolved to ‘make a difference’. Today it is clear that we have and we will continue to do so.
Wishing you a happy and joyous Christmas and all that is best in 2014.
Blair and Ellen Williams - NJ USA 2011