Calcutta Tiljallah Relief, Inc.
(An IRS approved 'Not for Profit Organization' EIN# 22-3589193)
PO Box 6345, Monroe Twp., NJ 08831, USA
An incredibly eventful year half over and here is an update on how fruitful our efforts have been in helping the less fortunate in India.
Ellen and I spent a month in India in Jan - Feb. We first visited Kolkata (CAISS - 150 seniors on pension and 65 day scholars; Loreto Entally - 40 boarders; Julian Day School, Frank Anthony P.S., GEMS high school, and Loreto college). Barry O'Brien, the West Bengal MLA, arranged our visits to the schools and we enjoyed his hospitality and that of his wife Denise. Our projects are robust - administered by dedicated volunteers - thank you Philo and the CAISS team - and they have an open check to help any and all seniors and children in distress. Loreto Entally girls seemed happy and the nuns were as wonderful as ever. The schools (including Park English) all agreed to accept our education allocation as full coverage for tuition, books, uniform and in some case even tiffin. I met and chatted with dozens of young boys and girls, including over 40 young Anglo-Indian girls at Loreto College, all studying for their Bachelor's degree - what a treat (see the pic above).
Barry made me aware that Anglo-Indians in India are unhappy, as their perception is that CTR, (particularly Blair Williams), is marketing Anglo-Indian poverty. Perception is reality and I will be more careful in how our effort is marketed. Barry agreed there is a section of poor Anglo-Indians and that needs to help and appreciates our efforts in helping them.
On to Bangalore (35 seniors on pension) where we attended a senior pension distribution and met a group of leading Anglo-Indians. Our coordinator Maurice de Rebello spent much time in taking us around meeting various groups.
After a brief visit to my old school Montfort and a week in Ketti with Ellen's brother Winston Gardner, the principal of Laidlaw Memorial, we went to Chennai (Smile Cares - 35 seniors, 30 children; Vineland Trust - 70 seniors and Tea Cup Ministry 15 boarders and 10 day scholars). In Chennai I spent time with Oscar Nigli the MLA and made contact with Geoffrey Francis (Bishop Corrie, St Georges and St Mathews) and Mr Wilkins (Doveton Corrie). Like Kolkata, the schools assured me that they would cover all CTR children within the stipend provided. I am grateful to our wonderfully dedicated volunteers Sharon Emmett of Smile Cares and Clarice Eling of Tea Cup Ministry for taking me around and visiting with seniors and children in our program. Harry MacLure, editor of AITW, organized a meet with a group of AI writers and I briefed them on the books CTR has published and requested they contribute for our next book - The Anglo-Indian Woman (this is also an appeal to all to contribute to the book - see our website for details). The deadline is June 30th.
Overall the community in India is doing well. Young folks are getting jobs in Call centers and in Hospitality functions. Most importantly, many are getting educated and becoming teachers and other professionals. On the negative side, our projects are almost fully funded from abroad and the lack of local involvement concerned me (I mentioned this frequently to the discomfort of my hosts). I set a target that 20% of future funding must be collected locally! If this is not forthcoming, many projects will face closure when our generation abroad passes on. Barry and other leaders promised to highlight this issue.
On the domestic front, CTR formed a US West Coast center, organized by Joy Chase, John Walke, Kevin and Christine Ward, Verna Rego and Roger and Alison Wharton, and they had a very successful inaugural fund raising weekend on April 25th and 26th. This is so exciting and we will posts more details on the website.
Finally we have just posted the 2008 financials on the website, showing how much was collected and how much was sent to the projects in India (with contact addresses). In 2008 we sent Rupees 23,70,165 to India from Australia, the UK, Canada and the USA (Approx. over $ 48,000USD or $ 60,000 CAD/AUD).
Sorry for this dense newsletter, but never doubt that all of us are making a difference. Thanks for continuing to support CTR. Stay well and God Bless.
Cheryl Chater - Sydney
Jen Busby - Perth
Blair Williams - New Jersey
Lionel Lumb - Toronto
Marilyn Goss - Melbourne
Jean Chambers - UK