Calcutta Tiljallah Relief, Inc.
(An IRS approved 'Not for Profit Organization' EIN# 22-3589193)
PO Box 6345, Monroe Twp., NJ 08831, USA
I'm happy to report that CTR, now in its tenth (yes, tenth) year, is alive and well and continues to grow. To recap: In 1998, CTR's first project paid monthly pensions to 20 seniors. Today, the fund is helping more than 270 seniors in four cities in India. In addition, it is educating over 90 children as day scholars in three cities and 57 boarders in two (you can find all the information on this website; details of who, where, and how much and if you want, you can also find out what the annual income and expenditure amounts to).
I encourage you, patrons of CTR, to check out its projects when you visit India. Arrange with a fund coordinator to be present at a distribution of food. You will find it an unforgettable experience, one that will, assuredly, show you that your patronage is being put to good use.
The BIG event of the year was the International Reunion of Anglo-Indians in Toronto. If hanging out and having fun with large numbers of Anglo-Indians recharges your batteries, these reunions, held every three years in Australia or Canada or the United Kingdom, are a must. The next one is scheduled for Perth, Australia, in 2010. My review of the 2007 Toronto reunion is also on our web site.
For me, the highlight was getting to know the CTR coordinators. All five of us were together for the first time. Here we are, left to right: Cheryl Chater of Sydney, Jenny Busby of Perth, Yvonne Peters of Toronto, Marilyn Goss of Melbourne, and yours truly (Blair Williams) of the USA. We have sent hundreds of emails to each other over the last ten years and have met separately, but in Toronto we spent time together, bonded and enjoyed each other's company. Being a coordinator demands huge amounts of energy, perseverance, and a high tolerance for frustration. CTR's coordinators have these qualities in abundance and, in addition, spend much of their personal time growing the fund and raising money for it.
Entries for 'The Way We Are' (TWWA) have closed. We received some outstanding entries - from both Anglo-Indian and non Anglo-Indian contributors. Look out for the book sometime in July 2008. It will join 'The Way We Were', 'Anglo-Indians', 'Haunting India' and 'Voices on the Verandah' as the latest in a series documenting and preserving Anglo-Indian culture.
I'd like to include a heartening story received from Clarice Eling's ministry in Chennai on a child sponsored by CTR.
Clifford is the youngest son of a family of three. All three kids are mentally retarded. Clifford wasn’t too bad I thought, just slow.
In Chennai they don't have time for the slow ones so we were asked to put him in a school for the retarded, which we did, and it broke my heart to see his behavior change as if he was like one of the really handicapped.
I believe that God intervened because the father removed the children and looked for a school that took care of the mentally impaired. We checked it out and placed all three children there as boarders.
What a wonderful change with Clifford. Here are his results - Maths 80%, Tamil 55%, English 80%, and Arts 47/50.
I was so excited that a precious child has hopes for a good future.
That's my good news story. A little love and patience can make a great difference in one kid’s life - my humble thanks for being part of this miracle.
I’ve just read 'Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Your Life' (James Hollis). He writes about our first fifty years being spent in a Procrustean Bed, i.e. dominated by life experiences that involve heavy responsibilities, into which we are arbitrarily forced. In the second half, we are freed from most of these demands and ". . . have an obligation to ask ourselves, Why are we still here?"
Helping less fortunate persons is one answer and CTR provides the vehicle to do just that. Get involved. Join us. Many of us in our adopted homelands, are surrounded by groups and individuals who consistently help others and show us the way.
Ellen and I wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season.
Love and God Bless.
"Let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart." (Galatians 6:9)