2023 - Rice, Oil and Dahl
It’s hard to believe after all our downpours, but this is the third consecutive year of drought for the Dalit families and the water situation is desperate.
The consequences are wide-reaching with little work in the fields for the coolie workers, on top of crippling harvests for the subsistence farmers. This year the monsoon fell twice for 30 minutes each time, and then stopped.
In the village of Pannur, the riverbed is dry, and the borewell dug several years ago is not reaching the water table. Father Rayappa, the Director of Kapepaladi school, took some strong men with him recently to dig down deeper than the borewell level, and managed to collect enough water to last a few days. New water sources are being searched for using a diviner.
The subsidence farmers haven’t been able to grow their staple crops, although some have managed one crop of cotton, but not the usual two.
So we would like our Christmas Appeal to benefit entire families this year, through giving food to last a family of four a month. This will give a huge, albeit temporary, boost to the Dalit women and ease their worries over the Christmas period.
The distribution of this food will be given through the women’s Self Help Groups (SHGs), as these women are known to Father Don and the social workers, and they are the most in need.
We are aiming to give each woman a 25 kg sack of rice, 2 litres of cooking oil and 2 kgs of dahl, at a cost of 16 Rs, which at the current rate of exchange is £16. There are 1155 women in total across all of the Self Help Groups.
Thank you in advance for all your help.
Note: Photos are from a previous appeal for rice.
Previous Christmas Appeals
2022 - New Outfit for Each Child at Kapepaladi School
Our Christmas Appeal is to buy the boys a new pair of trousers and a shirt, and the girls a new dress. In fact we campaigned for the same in 2017, which was really well supported and we managed to buy all 310 children who were then at the school, a new outfit. Since then, the school numbers have increased to 452, and of course the children have all grown so much. One of the occasions to wear this new outfit is at the ‘Annual School Day’ celebration in December. Parents come from miles around to watch children being presented with academic and other prizes, and each class performs a dance or skit on stage. Speeches are given, special guests are invited and welcomed, and all in all it is a very special event that lasts for several hours into the night.
A new outfit costs £15 - £20 per child depending on the age of the child.
2021 - New School Uniforms
2020 - Food Parcels
Our Christmas Appeal has been launched and has been met with tremendous success so far. A thousand thanks to all who have already given so generously towards these items of rice, dahl, oil and a blanket!
We are hoping to provide all 390 of the Kapepaladi school children with a food and blanket parcel, that costs £8 per parcel. Also, we are hoping to give the same parcel to last year’s 8th Std students who have progressed to Manvi school this year.
2019 - Warm Fleece Sweatshirts
This year’s Christmas Appeal is for warm clothing for the Kapepaladi school children. Sister Philomena felt that this was something that the children do not have and would be very welcomed when the temperatures fall in December and January. The cost of each fleecy jumper is £8.50 per child and we will aim to buy all 390 children a fleecy jumper.
This appeal for warm fleece sweatshirts was really popular as most of the children did not possess any warm clothing for the winter months. The fleeces, with the Kapepaladi school emblem on, were handed out to all the students at the end of the Christmas term. Thank you so much to all who contributed towards this Appeal.
2018 - New School Bags
Our Christmas Appeal this year was for new school bags. The cost of each bag was 490 Rs each for the smaller bags and 590 Rs each for the larger bags. Sister Philomena will need approximately 170 of each size. The total we need to raise is 183600 Rs which converts to approximately £2000 at a rate of 90 Rs to the pound, or £6 each x 340 students.
It was great to see these in every classroom being put to such good use. In the younger children’s classes, it made me smile as many children were only slightly bigger than their school bags!
2016 - Shoes and Socks
The pupils at Kapepaladi school need some shoes and socks as many either don’t have any, or the ones they have are badly worn. Some children prefer to go bare foot as this is what they are used to. Fr Arun feels that making shoes and socks compulsory is important for two reasons. Firstly, it isn’t safe for the children to go bare foot as they walk in dirty villages with open sewers and bits of glass and metal lying around. Secondly, as the children are getting older they ought to be wearing shoes and socks as part of the uniform policy. It is understandable that some children wish to go bare foot but there is also the need for safety.
One lunchtime after spending the morning at Kapepaladi school, we walked back to the hostel with the students for lunch. It is a 15-minute walk through the village of Pannur to get to the hostel, during which time we had to step over raw sewerage that flowed from one side of the road to the other, as well as all sorts of animal muck and rubbish. At that point I felt that actually it was much safer for those of us wearing sandals. Father Arun has asked parents to contribute 50 rupees towards the cost of their child’s shoes and socks. The total cost is 300 rupees, so after the parents have given 50 rupees this leaves 250 rupees to pay. At today’s exchange rate of 80 Rs to the pound, this totals just over £3. For 304 students, the total cost is £950.