For the last 10 years our partner in India Child Aid Trust has moved 6 times. They currently occupy small crowded offices.
We are hoping to build a rural development centre which will incorporate training facilities, space for visitors, accommodation for volunteers and a medical dispensary and office facilities.
Why – We currently have 1400 (growing by 50 a month) mainly illiterate Dalit mothers and this will double in 3 years. We need to run training courses in sanitation and hygiene, childrearing, their rights and many other topics including agriculture topics.
Our mothers feel proud to be part of our organisation. They wear their uniform sari proudly.
Every day at least 20 of our 1400 mothers come to the office. The means overcrowding for staff and mothers and lack of privacy.
One reason for my visit is to look at different sites for this project and speak to builders. Renting is not an option. We were thrown out of the last place due to our many Dalit visitors arriving every day. This is more discrimination against them.
Land prices are crazy in India. Think of a site on the road between, say Ardee and Dundalk. A site in India between 2 smallish towns is quoting €50,000 to €70000 for 1 acre. I suspect in Ireland today I might get a house thrown in for most that price.
We were hoping we would find some land owner who would be motivated by the work that we are doing and price the land accordingly. I think we have found one.
One of our Irish sponsors has already offered €20000 donation. We need small donations also.