Trustee Visit to Bellary Area: In December, two trustees visited all of the projects with which we have been or are involved. This was a very fruitful visit.
High on the agenda were discussions to develop a long-term funding solution of the Halvi Boy's Home. Halvi is in a very poor, rural area about 70 miles from Bellary, and since 2007 we have been providing the running expenses and improvement costs of the Home.
The proposal is to construct 18 offices above the shops we helped build in 2005 in what is now a thriving part of Bellary. The rental income from the offices would ensure the long-term sustainability of the Halvi Boy's Home - in the same way as the rents from the shops have done for the Bellary Boys Home. (See “Previous Projects” for more).
Architect drawings and cost estimates have been developed, totalling in the order of £85,000. Hopefully we will finalise plans and arrangements early 2017.
Another important visit was to Kamandoddi which is a very poor village about 5 miles from Halvi. One of Bishop Niranjan's priorities is to establish thriving churches in the rural areas, and over the past 8 years in the people in Kamanadoddi with some help from the diocese have managed to raise £12,000 and get their church building 75% complete, but they could not find the £4,500 balance needed to finish it. With a contribution from St Mark's Church, Harrogate, in November 2015 the BSG committed to providing the remaining amount needed.
We are pleased to report that with just painting and a few minor matters outstanding, the work is complete and the formal opening ceremony is being planned for early in 2017.
During the visit we were able to inspect the new 200-place LMS Primary School in Bellary and meet the children and teachers. This was formally opened in February 2015 but we were able to participate in a tree-planting ceremony with the children. (See “Previous Projects” for more).