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Wander & enjoy the diversity...it feeds your soul “What is more miraculous than the moment?” Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh

Madurai, South India

INDIA | Thursday, 27 December 2007 | Views [6993] | Comments [1]

12/19 – 12/27 Madurai – The time with our friends here is indescribable!    How do I put into words, what being in Madurai was like?  Have you:

·       Eaten with your right hand (fingers only) on banana leaves

·       Bargained for fees with a Tamil-speaking man & ridden through streets, dodging people, bikes, cows & trucks in an auto-rickshaw – everyone wants to be first!

·       Been blessed by an elephant

·       Walked barefoot through streets & temples

·       Been surrounded & watched by 5 store employees while buying shampoo – eventually we were able to communicate & they helped me reposition the flowers in my hair.  Where I had placed a rose, was incorrect – they said, made me look like a "cartoon character." 

How does one describe the depths of friendship or the pleasure of watching and interacting with students who share all of their planned & unplanned activities - dances, singing, art shows, dreams, tours, meals, drama, poetry, with you?  The before and after-school tutoring programs we visited, help village children succeed in their public schools.  The older students, who have finished high school (and young women who have not only delayed marriage for an education, but gone on to college and also masters degrees) return to the centers to tutor the younger children.  There is remarkable support of the younger students by the older students.  For example, the teenage or young adult boys are just as respectful and interested in the grade school boys & girls children's performances as a parent might be.  These are centers for learning, caring, and sharing.  

These smiling, eager, energetic faces are the role models and future leaders of Madurai, SEED Plan & SEED Trust.  Community and family pride is evident by the signs of economic growth – food & market stalls – women & families able to attract additional income.  We were treated like royalty and had so much fun meeting these bright, generous, creative,  polite, kind and beautiful people!  To experience their spirit, you need to be in their presence!  I encourage all to visit. 

Short of a visit; please immerse yourself in these pictures.  I know professionals can take great pictures, but…please enjoy these amateur photos of these delightful students - full of a bright future.  By furthering their education and becoming first generation students (in their families) going to college, they are positively impacting their community.  Education is about empowering their community, especially women and children, which inturn helps the whole family. 

If you would like to help fund a young person's high school, college, or graduate school fees, please contact:

            ASHA for Education

            SEED Plan or SEED Trust in Madurai

            PO Box 391802

            Cambridge, MA 02139

In the US, you can call ASHA toll-free: 1-877-811-6943, or fax: 1-413-740-5355

If you would like greeting cards (holiday & general-$1/card plus shipping) with Ilakkiya's student's art work (all proceeds go to Asha - SEED Plan), please e-mail with the subject "SEED" Art Work, at: bebeann_pdx@msn.com 

For generally helping kids in India, please see : http://www.ashanet.org/

For helping Dr. Ted Adams' "SEED Plan" students in Madurai, please see: http://www.ashanet.org/projects/project-view.php?p=422

For helping A. S. Karthik Bharathi's "SEED Trust" kids in Madurai, please see: http://www.ashanet.org/projects/project-view.php?p=809

Tags: People



this is a seed plan taking care of all children including me,i appreciate and always supporting them

  patel karumbalai Dec 10, 2011 5:11 AM

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