We’re at the end of a very hot summer with record heat (you don’t feel the heat when you see the mangoes ripening – Kothavalasa children’s thinking!).

The last three months have simply been ‘busy’, implementing projects and seriously checking on the senior students’ studies, as many have now finished important exam levels that will guide their futures.

It was not ‘all work and no play’ though. In the middle of an extremely hot summer we had two ‘cool’ days and – with exams over – they all ‘pushed’ to go to the zoo. It’s been several years since they all went. Bhavana, ‘a little girl then’, did not go but she has now been for the first time, as has U Sai. Both were amazed to see how tall a giraffe really is. They had a picnic lunch in the shade and returned exhausted physically and mentally, but happy!

Thank you for all who are caring for our work – our goal is to work for change. Write to or visit New Hope Australia’s website or Facebook page, links at the bottom of the page.

Eliazar T Rose
Director, New Hope India



We are now waiting for more final exam results for our senior girls. Two are interested in Nursing careers but exam marks and competition for the entrance exam is very difficult.

The GOOD NEWS is that Nandini has done very well in learning the difficult work of being an Ophthalmic Technician, to the point of being able to examine and prescribe glasses for vision. She was able to ‘work-learn’ at the renowned LV Prasad Eye Institute, with whom we have connections and has just passed an entrance exam to be able to study in nearby Vizianagaram for a B.Sc – Ophthalmology Degree. It’s a three-year course and will mean a Government job. Those who hold this position in the Health Department of the State go into villages and to urban town areas managing free eye examinations for people.

It is difficult to write about how well these ‘girls’ – now young people – have come to this point of education without us remembering where they came from, backgrounds that are sadly almost too difficult to comprehend.

Raju and Venkatesh (below) have been at different agriculture colleges for their fifth-year colleges, for two years.

The focus is on agricultural orientated subjects. They are both now going for two months of tutoring/coaching to sit for an entrance exam to study B.Sc – Agriculture with a scholarship.



Our two Rainbow senior boys, Rudropathy and Prasanto (left), both did very well – 773 and 729 marks.

They are now trying to decide their Vocational Training options. Both are interested in Diesel Mechanic training but it is difficult to get into. At the same time, both are interested in computers! We are giving them the options!



It all sounds like Kothavalasa is full of activity – AND IT IS – but don’t think that Muniguda is quiet!

I have been in Muniguda on and off for the past three months – still unhappy that it is so hard to find experienced people to work in the field nowadays. Muniguda is still a small town – and our District Centre, Rayagada, has grown and takes most young people who have finished basic upper high school studies. We are fortunate that we have good childcare women for our Namaste House seniors.  

We have been given funds for new wheelchairs and protective footwear. The footwear is a must now as when they go out, with their disabilities, many have been hurting their feet. Added to the reality that even though they are watched carefully, they do wander out in the summer sun and the ground is simply hot – too hot to walk on without footwear.

Several months ago, the Government Medical Department asked us to bring all the Namaste House ‘children’ in for medical check-ups – something they should be doing annually and from our Centre (the situation that has been rectified for next time)!

Many who have visited Muniguda will have met Sakuntala who started as one of the first three Health Workers in 1996! She is now Shire Vice Chairperson and ensures that ‘her’ Namaste House family are given attention when needed


We had just formed New Hope and with the words ‘Leprosy’ and ‘Rural’ – but on my first visit to Muniguda checking as to why there were so many leprosy-affected persons in that area, I saw a girl crippled with Polio crawling across a muddy road after a sudden rain storm.

That is when we became what we call a ‘horizontal’ working organization. Not a ‘single’ subject, single object work. This helps explain how incredibly happy all our Trustees are with the reality of seeing senior girls VOTE. At that time 1985, not one of the wives of our Trustees voted. It was a ‘thing’ across India – women didn’t vote and yet we had a woman Prime Minister – India!
This month has been a rather mixed one. Seniors have sat final exams and 90 per cent have done extremely well, and only one needs to sit for one subject to pass. I can say that the exams were very challenging as agreed by our senior Teacher here who tutors students with us.   

This was a major time of activity. The joy however was something different. Our senior girls (18-plus) all had the Voters Cards, and all voted at the State Election. It’s a dream come true for the Trustees and especially Ruth. The girls had political discussions and no one asked what they favoured in what party and policy. It was like a very real individual vote of their choice. The long-term effect of them voting is the big picture. 

When Ruth and I married there was no concept of a woman – a wife – voting. It was a very, very male thing. When we moved to Muniguda it was one of the first and important things – Ruth received a Voters Identity, and this meant that the three then-senior Health Workers also received Voters cards. The three of them were the first Tribal women to vote in Muniguda/Rayagada District. The Voter Card became a key to them having an identity to join in a Self Help Savings Group promoted by New Hope, and the women were able to open bank accounts in their name. It was a bit hard for the Bank Manager to accept the concept of women in the bank depositing small amounts!


This year we are truly indebted to so many, especially Friends of New Hope Broome, for the support to give Love Bundles to people living in leprosy colonies.

Post covid we have seen several widowed, poverty-line women with one or two children come to several of the colonies. Rejected when they became widowed – a throwback to superstition sadly – I sometimes think of it as a ‘Widow’s Mite’ situation.

Together with funds from so many supporters in Australia, we reached out to more colonies than ever. A number of colonies are close to us now – what is an expanding town (whereas when we started in these colonies they were on the far extreme outskirts of any town). Business people are giving more meals in several places – but the concept of giving what you all know as a Love Bundle is not in business people’s minds. The act is good – giving a meal – but the intention is often for their own ‘giving’ sense and that is different to giving because the recipients, aged leprosy persons, need it regularly not haphazardly! 

Much of the Love Bundle distribution was done for many years by the late Nana Sahib who was ‘righthand’ to Maggie Sister when she was here volunteering. This work is now done by his widow, Teba Bhag, and son Anil. For Broome people, giving at Jhan Jhur Colony is a little special as this was the main workplace for Maggie Sister. What we call Hiracud Colony, together with Jhan Jhur, is now on our website for giving meals. It has become a priority due to the more aged and disabled people in colonies.

Thank you for your time, if you have any questions please write to


Eliazar T Rose

This man was in Jhan Jhur when Maggie Sister started her first leprosy colony visits. Anil (above and above left with Ramu) is the son of our late Para-medical Worker Nana Sahib, who accompanied Maggie on her visits. Anil (and Ramu) have taken responsibility for all the Sambalpur District Colonies where we give medical and social care. 

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