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The trio terrified by traffic to Travancore

Well, Jute took a dim view of it!

Today we sadly took our leave of the children of Asha Kiran Ashram. But not before we had paid a return visit to see the children perform a dance routine, been togged up in ceremonial scarfs, and distributed Scottish chocolate wafers (which had survived the heat surprisingly well). As always, it is surprising just what children with abilities that are limited in some spheres can do when they are given suitable opportunity and encouragement.

We also had a good discussion about Thangaratinam, a very disabled girl. We had noticed how much more alert she was compared to earlier visits, and we were anxious that the momentum should be maintained. She was responding well to people moving and talking, so we thought that it would be helpful if she could come into classes and have the stimulation of noise and action. However, the staff were concerned that she was “fragile”. But she was put into a well padded wheelchair and wheeled in. Initially she was uncomfortable, but soon she was looking around and smiling at the noise and bustle, as well as providing interest to the other children. The staff will take advice from the doctors, and we have agreed to provide a suitable conveyance to enable her to be moved around without causing any damage.

Then it was off to see one of Santhosh’s local supporters, Dr Rajachandran (I think), who not only gives his time freely to visit the children, but also gives a generous donation every month. After buying a churudiya for Jute and Kath (and a shirt for Edmund) we bought the compression pump for Asha Kiran Ashram so that the water supply can be restored. A powerful one was needed as the water table is 200 feet down. Santhosh told them about Asha Kiran Ashram, and they gave him a bit of a discount.

And so it was back to Nedumangad by bus. This is a great way to see the countryside that we passed through as we were higher than in a car; the downside was that we had a rather aggressive driver who didn’t think ahead, so the journey was noisy and a bit exciting – Jute was distinctly unimpressed. But it is all part of the Indian experience!

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