To celebrate the 10th anniversary of our association’s official founding, we conducted a long planned members trip to India in November 2018. Seven new and old members visited different places in this amazing country, with a focus on our project area in the state of Jharkhand.
Member of the Indian Forum and participant of the travel group Christian Schumacher wrote the following short travel report for us (translated by Roman Bansen):
A travel group of the Indian Forum set off for India in autumn 2018. Our first destination was Ranchi, where we were warmly welcomed by Mukut Bodra and Alex Nitschke. Mukut and Alex live there; they know the language and can introduce us to the lives and problems of our partners in India in detail. The YMCA Ranchi, one of the local partners of the Indian Forum and Sarjom, arranged a trip to a slum school. There, we saw a lot of misery, but also encouraging approaches of help for the slum dwellers.
The next day we went to Gowindpur, where we visited a farm school and got insights into rice harvesting – it is a strenuous activity. After visiting a Martha kindergarten (run by the Gossner Church in Ranchi, founding and construction took place according to concepts which are widely applied in Germany), we went on to Chaibasa, where we actually wanted to inaugurate “our” kindergarten. But our Indian partners had not finished the work yet. So we helped on the construction site for two days. Despite a lack of equipment, this was very successful (the kindergarten was inaugurated a few months later).
We also met all the students from the sponsorship program that we could reach, who have been supported by the Indian Forum for years. A large group of children and young people came together. We were made familiar with some of their tragic fates, but also played and ate together and had a lot of fun.
back from Chaibasa, we went on to Chennai under the excellent planning, implementation and guidance of Sebastian Keller. From there we visited the coastal town of Puducherry, went by train to Madurai, and then saw Hyderabad and Delhi. At all stations we saw the touristically important temples, churches and points of interest. Everything was well prepared.
It was exhausting, but beautiful and unforgettable. When we were sitting in the plane back to Berlin, it was clear to us: The trip had been worthwhile in every respect. We are motivated to continue the support for our partners in India.