New Hope India Newsletter Aug 2023


Greetings from many people who know that so many in Australia are connected to them and their community – New Hope India.

We are halfway through the year and it’s hard to believe how much has happened at New Hope. First, we are truly thankful to all who have given to different projects and to children through sponsorship.

New Hope has always worked ‘horizontally’ – covering needs and situations as they arise not just a single vertical project. This means we see staff doing such a cross section of work that it takes time to absorb it all. From small but meaningful acts by Ramu giving Mother’s Day gifts to street women in the city, to discovering a whole new leprosy colony previously unknown to us!

Thank you for taking the time to read this update.

Eliazar T Rose
Director, New Hope India


I know something of Australia, the South West and I ask you to imagine this! You have lived there for 25 years and someone says; “Do you know there is an incredible waterfall just an hour from where you live?” You are amazed and say, “no”. Well, after 20-plus years in Muniguda and having been to some of the remotest areas (including a place called Raghubari where people were scared when they saw a tall white-skinned woman – Maggie Sister – walking uphill to a plateau!) this is kind of what recently happened to us.

For years we have had a severely deformed young leprosy-affected person coming and going but never really telling us where he came from or went to. After a serious food and care situation he told us that he and a group of leprosy-affected people have been living reasonably near to us, down a road that we never travel on because it takes too long to go anywhere. A new leprosy colony in 2023! It bewildered the staff. They decided to stay ‘isolated’ because of social family connection reasons.

All of the people were from nearby villages and they were near to their villages, but in a forest area that is mostly thorn bushes so dense that even a goat won’t go down. A totally established mini village made from scraps of everything. We now care for this ‘new’ leprosy colony and twice a week give a ‘deluxe’ – as they call it – meal. There are children born in the colony and for me and one of our trustees, it reminded us of our lives 60 years ago.


There is no newsletter without Namaste House. The government says it is called the ‘Care Home for Persons with Disabilities’. It’s the only such care home in western Odisha and although we are recognised, no support is offered or available. It’s a sad situation at one level but on the other level we are their guardians – their only family.

Three of our Namaste residents went to a State-level Challenged Young People’s Sports Competition. Our challenged children move around as much as their disability allows and they are also supported to move around for exercise. It’s no wonder that our Namaste group got prizes!
Now in the last six months we see Namaste young people just going along and enjoying their routine. Made happy that Covid is over, they can wander over and talk to the senior Tribal women who are back for eye checkups and cataract eye surgery.

On eye surgery, one of our seniors is now qualified as a Technician and has employment with a new national chain of hospitals that specialises in cataract eye surgery. Another two Nurses have qualified and are working or doing practical time, two have started a Nursing course, and in a few months one or two senior girls will be applying for admissions (a long, difficult application process).


The State Government change of education policy has totally disrupted many lives and young people’s educational system and situation. However, our seniors always get back at every chance to Kothavalasa for a few days or weeks and summer holidays. I call it ‘the return of the circus’ as they are here and there! Their time here is social but at the same time they are engaged, especially the boys in doing work all through the community.


Do you know what ‘paper marbling’ is? It’s fairly easy to do and the results get examined by each of those in the small groups that get together. It’s been a long-time hobby and social activity at New Hope but is now rarely done by anyone. Our students paste the envelope-sized pieces on their school notebook. Now they are asked by other students for prints – it’s become an ‘in thing’!

Jeevan Jyothi and Kusuma (below) making extra pocket money decorating plain bangles which nearby village women buy as quickly as they make. We are sure that they would sell at stalls in Australia but the reality today is that postage makes 75 per cent of all products that people would like to buy simply not economical or viable.


We have just spent funds replanting four acres of grass seedlings for cow feed. Our previous Napier grass simply died of age! We now have a plant that needs less water and has quicker re-growth. We planted ‘extra grass’ because Pete Towns and a friend we call ‘The Walker’ keep supporting our ‘buy a cow appeal’. We now sell the surplus as income.The cows are ‘managed’ by a cross section of seniors. Gopi, who like others has helped, is still going to high school. In this photo is K. Vasu, now 6′ tall and smart (except that I have to continually remind him to ‘trim or shave!!!!’ – it’s my ‘thing’).

Vasu has a small speech impediment and finds it hard to pronounce some ‘dumb’ English words like ‘know’, ‘knot’ and then knowing the difference between ‘there’ and ‘their’. He calls Anil and spells the word and Anil patiently spends five minutes explaining and helping him to pronounce a word. Vasu laughs, Anil laughs, then Vasu explains it to others … who already know anyway. He is a character.

He has just successfully passed fifth-year high school as an Intermediate at an Agriculture College. From this he has now been given a ‘free’ two months hands-on and theory cow management course at a centre called Visaka Dairy. This course is recognised as an Indira Gandhi Open University course with accommodation and meals included. So he has been told to shave every day!!


There was a newspaper piece about Mother’s Day, which became a discussion and then Ramu asked, “why don’t we give street women a Mother’s Day gift?” When Ramu asks, all I do is nod as I know he’s going to do it anyway! We took the front pieces of Christmas cards from friends in the UK (Soroptimist, Manchester) and made a card which went with a sari and of course a banana. We are now committed to giving one woman, who is not far from where Ramu has his micro-size pigeonhole office, a meal every day. She has been in the same place for three years because of Covid. We offered her a place at New Hope, but with her mental situation she believes she can’t shift as her daughter will come back and pick her up (unfortunately not realising that her daughter left her there).


We remain committed to working with and supporting the Tribal Communities that surround our area. By New Hope India selling the handmade traditional shawls it gives many women work while they sit in huts on stilts, watching that the birds don’t eat their crop close to harvest time. After many arguments and red tape these shawls have been given a ‘G’ mark which means they can only be made now by this Tribal group of women.

We also continue to give out Safe Delivery kits to the whole tribal community.


We have been designated as one of only four Non-Government Organisations in the State to be able to distribute anti retro viral drugs for HIV+ persons. This saves many women and young people hours of bus travel, often having to change buses and stand in a long line when they got to the central Government pharmacy. This is changing the quality of life of many, especially widows on a micro pension, who were spending part of that on bus fares to get their medications – an irony.


I wish to share a simple reality with so many who have supported our work. We increased the number of cows we have, with one man and his family making it happen, and a long-time friend ‘The Walker” adding to it.

The goat house was repaired, again made a reality by one man. Every child who is receiving education, from our youngest who is now getting taller and stronger (U. Sai to Sumanth who is about to have a university seat allocated to him for studies towards a doctor MBBS).

Sponsorship is a ‘magic key’. It is impossible to explain that a majority of senior girls now going in and out and staying in safe hostels are from poor backgrounds (I think you say in Australia, ‘the other side of the railway tracks’). You can find out how to become a child sponsor here.

That expression was a truth for me – the Bethany Colony since my early days is still a hutment slum leprosy colony, literally on the other side of the railway line.

We still support women working in Bethany so they do not have to go begging. They make the bags many have seen and purchased.

For project information please email

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