In childhood, 43 year-old M.Francis of Anninkanda, had had an accident, the impact of which was not treated adequately, as the family could not afford to carry out the local doctor’s instructions. Francis was left with weak eyes and constant pain, which have lasted ever since. He did not continue with school after the accident and is therefore illiterate; the pain made him unable to work on a regular basis.
Navodhaya arranged for him to obtain the necessary treatment. Francis is now free of pain; he has normal vision and works daily, as an assistant in a barber’s saloon. Having attended Navodhaya sessions on home gardens and nutrition, he has, with his family, begun a small home garden. He now consciously, wants to improve his family’s nutrition and grow enough to sell.
45 year 0ld K. Subramaniam of Anninkanda was an alcoholic for many years, using all the money he could lay hands on, for this habit. Periodically, he terrorized the family with physical and verbal abuse; and smashed up whatever domestic belongings came within his reach. In his brief sober times, he was penitent, but the penitence did not last.
The Navodhaya animator in his area, after familiarizing himself with the situation, became Subramaniam’s friend and confidant. Subramaniam was persuaded to attend one of the discussions, held weekly by cured alcoholics, for alcoholics considering the treatment offered to them in the local hospital. Subramaniam decided to try the treatment. With supportive visits from the animator, Subramaniam lasted through the course of treatment.
Today, he has not touched alcohol for some months; and spends his whole salary to benefit his family. His wife and children are in delighted shock, thanking the Gods at their kovil and praying that this happy condition will last. The savings he makes has enabled him to start a small canteen in his house, to supplement their household income.
M. Ravi, a 35 year-old from Beverley brewed an illicit alcohol, made of waste and toxic ingredients. He had brisk sales and became an alcoholic himself. Soon, he could not carry on this occupation and turned to harassment of his family and others, to fund his need for alcohol. His family fled from him and he became a practically demented, vagrant.
The Navodhaya animator of his area, recognized that Ravi was reasonably intelligent and that he had some business skills. Ravi was encouraged to take treatment for his alcoholism. After this, Ravi was given training and monitored assistance to start a commercially viable home garden and to market his produce himself. His family returned. They expanded his home economic activity, with goats, which provide marketable fertilizer and whose milk has a regular demand. Now, they look forward to a contented future.
G. Jeevarani is a 22 year-old woman from Hulandawa. From childhood, the parents sent to her to work, as they earned very little and had many dependants. Several children, aged grandparents and invalid relatives. Jeevarani was a malnourished illiterate, but intelligent and therefore bitter.
Navodhaya workers befriended her, creating hope and energy within her to change her situation. With Navodhaya help, she takes pride in a homegarden she has created, which is looked after by the household, while she is at work as a tea-plucker. She has plans to produce marketable vegetables and is confident that she will have a better life in the future.
32 year-old Raja and his wife from Ugalkotta had a household of 7 dependants. They could not afford to send their 3 children to school and the children ran wild, causing problems for themselves and others. His dwelling was crowded, dirty and in poor repair. He became almost pathologically depressed, thinking about the deprivations suffered by his family; he lost his energy and his low income became lower still.
He overheard some neighbours being enthusiastic about Navodhaya meetings and went to one, to find out what it was about. The advice and encouragement he found there, has changed his life.
He walks 2 miles to work every day, seeing his children into school, on the way. He helps his wife maintain their house in a hygienic and tidy state; and promptly does any minor repairs, when any are necessary. They are still very poor, but life is better for them all, due to Navodhaya.
27 year-old Sriyani was a crèche assistant in Kobemallewatte, after taking ‘O’ levels. She had no real purpose in life, no particular interest in her work and was always discontented. After contact with the Navodhaya programme and health training from it, she became enthiusiastically involved in helping the disadvantaged. She now gives private tuition and takes an interest in the children at her crèche.
12 year-old Krishnamurthi from Selvakanda is at last, in a real school. He is throughly enjoying a full timetable of lessons. His parents had never bothered to send him to school, using him to help out in weeding contracts or letting him run wild. Navodhaya animators patiently corrected this situation and arranged for the boy to attend non-formal classes. At these classes, Krishnamurthi showed how bright he is, mastering literacy and numeracy in next to no time, eager to learn more. Navodhaya persuaded a formal school to take him in and provides him with private tuition to bring him up to date, in his unfamiliar subjects.
Ariyadasa was an unsuccessful home gardener, aged 47 years, in Selvakanda. He worked hard, but was not blessed with commercially profitable harvests. His Grama Niladari recommended him to Navodhaya, who inspected his property and arranged for him to receive some appropriate training, equipment and healthy seedlings. Now, his garden is flourishing and he is planning a nursery to grow plants for sale.
The community in which Nishantha, aged 32 years, was a quarrelsome, fragmented one, to which the Police had to be called frequently. Nishantha says, that after Navodhaya began their programme, the “ entire community is like the children of one Mother “.
Many activities have been initiated, which will improve individual incomes. Since all these activities have involved everyone being together, at training sessions and planning meetings, it has been possible for each to realize the other’s value and thus improve their interaction.Nishantha says that the next generation will have a much easier time Of it, because of the work done by Navodhaya.