Archive from 2002
Report by Mrs Vijayalakshmi
Sponsorship Secretary HEAL India
Ladies and gentlemen,
I bring you greetings from India on behalf of Dr Manga Devi, Secretary, HEAL India, all members of the executive committee, and especially from the children of HEAL Village.
“It is said that a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.”
Ten years ago, the history of HEAL started with one inspired thought….in the mind of a young man, Dr Satya Prasad, a native of Guntur, who had settled in England as a Doctor. Satya Prasad always possessed a zeal to do something for the disadvantaged children in society. He specially wanted to be of help to the orphaned children by providing them, with two basic facilities…. namely, Health and Education.
The first step was to find a home to give shelter to the helpless children. What better place than to house them in his own place in Guntur!! He turned his house into the orphanage. It was a noble gesture and a good start for HEAL charity.
“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”
” A time to every purpose”….that time seemed to have come when Dr Satya Prasad met his good friend Dr Manga Devi who was at that moment making plans to start an orphanage. She had already set up a free school for the children of stonecutters in a place called Chetana. There was an instant agreement between the two to construct cottages close to Chethana, because of the availability of land and its close proximity to the school, for the children of HEAL charity.
Today, HEAL Children’s Village stands witness to the steady pursuit of the goal of giving succour to needy children, by two inspired persons – Dr Satya Prasad and Dr Manga Devi.
There is also a team of dedicated persons in HEAL India.
Mrs Jayasri the principal of Bala Kuteer has been with HEAL ever since it was started. Simple and unassuming and a silent worker, she is entirely devoted to HEAL.
The senior House Mother, Padma, has been with HEAL since the day it was started. She lives with the children and is totally involved with there welfare.
Mrs Marudhwathi is the Administrative Officer in Chatena supervising all aspects of the workaday routine in HEAL Village.
Children who are orphans or who come from broken homes tend to have frequent bouts of depression but they are too young to understand their feelings. Their vague fears dominate all their reactions.
We have two counsellors, Padmaja and Annamani, who try to soothe their agitated minds at such times. Even the teachers in the school, Bala Kuteer, keep an eye on HEAL children and give them counselling at all times.
There are many people involved in the running of HEAL who are totally dedicated – asking for little or nothing in return.
Dr Manga Devi and I were in University together but we worked in different fields and didn’t come across each other for quite a number of years. It was only after my retirement in 1999 that I renewed my contact with Dr Manga Devi.She took me to Chetana once. I was enchanted by what I saw, and very happily agreed to help if there was any need.
In the beginning, I was going occasionally to visit HEAL and spending some time with the children, But the children have a way of stealing your heart just by being themselves!! They will give shy smiles, stand close, wave their hands when you come away and very soon you are hooked! You want to do something for them
Dr Satya Prasad visited HEAL in December 1999. He explained the necessity to set up a regular office, to send information to the U.K., be it to the general Secretary or the sponsors, and also to keep records of the bios of the children and update them at regular intervals.
Raina Parmar visited us and was a great help in setting up things right in the office
It is my good fortune to have come to know lovable people through my involvement with HEAL. Kath Bardell and I have worked out a comfortable working relationship. She is very patient with me while asking for information telling me gently what has to be done. OI feel no pressure.
My greatest happiness is corresponding with the sponsors. They form a vital group whose generosity breathes life into the whole organisation, specially the care of the children. Living thousands of miles away from Guntur, not satisfied merely with paying for the sponsorship amount, the manner in which they show their affection for the children never ceases to amaze me. They want to establish a close contact with their wards, writing letters, sending photos of their family members and some gifts too, though we in Guntur insist that they should be small inexpensive things.
I must make special mention of Abbotts Hall Primary School in Stowmarket, Suffolk, who donated a handsome amount with which we bought a Water Cooler a dire necessity in a hot place like Guntur. While I was coming away HEAL children told me that I should thank them again on their behalf.
The Scottish Group of HEAL organisation donated a princely sum with which we bought games equipment exclusively for the use of HEAL children.
The Sunday school based in Burton Latimer, Northants, and controlled by a parochial council, sponsored a little boy in HEAL. All the children in the Sunday school wrote sweet letters to our children in HEAL Village. We also received a book of such letters from the children of Abbotts Hall Primary School, much earlier, and our children reciprocated by sending them letters about themselves.
I have added an Annexure to this presentation on the achievements of some of our children. I am sure you would be interested to go through it. It gives an idea how a little bit of kindness can do so much good in this world.
Finally let me express my happiness in sharing this moment with you, participating in the 10th Anniversary of HEAL.
May the Almighty bless this organisation so that it would continue to grow, and help more children in the years to come!
Director of Sponsorship HEAL (India)