Category Archives: India

Apr 11 2013

New year celebration in India features food, emotions

Ugadi pachhadi ingredients

Ingredients used for ugadi pachhadi, a traditional dish for the Telugu new year.

By Sreekanth Gundoji, CFCA communications liaison in India

People in south central India spent today marking a new beginning as we celebrated the festival of Ugadi. Ugadi is a new year for the Telugu people.

Telugu is the local language in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Children, families and aging friends in CFCA’s Hyderabad project speak Telugu.

The name of this new year is Vijaya, which means success. Our new calendar will start from this day onward.

We prepare a special dish to start the new year. It’s called ugadi pachhadi (pachhadi means pickle).

Mango tree in India

Sreekanth Gundoji, CFCA communications liaison for India, displays unripe mangos from a mango tree. Mangos are a key ingredient for the ugadi pachhadi recipe.

Ugadi pachhadi has a traditional value. It’s a mixture of six varieties of tastes symbolizing six feelings, good and bad, that everyone experiences in life.

In the spirit of the Telugu new year, we’d like to offer this ugadi pachhadi recipe. Note the special meaning of each ingredient.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of sugar, signifying happiness (the traditional sugar used is jaggery, made from sugar cane, date palms or coconut)
  • 3 cups of tamarind juice, signifying disgust because of the sour taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of neem flower petals, signifying sadness
  • 1/4 tablespoon of salt, signifying fear
  • 1/2 tablespoon of pepper, signifying anger
  • 3 tablespoons of unripe, green mango pieces, signifying surprise

Directions:

1. Mix all the above listed items in a bowl. (This signifies that everyone has to accept all life experiences equally.)

2. Serve in cups.

Happy Ugadi, Telugu new year!

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Apr 5 2013

Bananas foster growth for one family in India

We recently heard from our Hyderabad project in India about several mothers of sponsored children who are exemplifying the potential of families living in poverty. Here’s the story of Sujatha, enjoy!

My husband used to work as a daily laborer for a contractor. He would sell bananas on the side of the road from morning until late in the evening. The contractor would only pay $2.77 USD per day.

We were never assured of a regular income. If my husband fell ill or if the contractor didn’t have fruits to sell, we lost our income for that day.

My husband and I decided together to purchase a puller cart (a large, flat cart with handles used to sell items), so we could sell bananas on our own.

My daughter, Shoba, is sponsored through CFCA. In January, I obtained a loan through my CFCA mothers group and bought a puller cart. Luckily, a store owner allowed us to place our cart in front of his shop on the main road.

My husband goes to purchase the fruits, and I manage the stand until he returns. When he arrives with the new fruits, he continues the work and I go home to manage the household work.

The group loan helped us to purchase the puller cart and the fruits we sell. Now we are receiving a good income to support our family. We are planning to take out another loan through my mothers group, so we can purchase a second puller cart and sell a wider variety of fruits.

My dream is to own our own home and also give a better future to my two daughters.

I am also interested in helping people. I learned this charity from my daughter’s sponsors.

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Mar 11 2013

Food stand in India supports family of 12

Dosa

Meena preparing dosa, an Indian food.

We recently heard from our Hyderabad project in India about several mothers of sponsored children who are exemplifying the potential of families living in poverty. Here’s the story of Meena, enjoy!

Ours is a large family. We have a total of 12 people staying under one roof.

I am the eldest daughter-in-law of the family. My husband and his two brothers run a food delivery service on the side of a busy street. The other ladies of the household and I support them by preparing chutneys, curries, mixing the flour for dosa (a type of crepe or flat pancake) and also by washing dishes.

My husband’s family has been in this business since before we were married. My son, Shiva, is sponsored through CFCA.

When I got the opportunity to take a loan from my CFCA mothers group for the first time, I purchased a grinder.

Before this, we used to mix the dough and grind it manually in a stone grinder.

Now with the help of an electric grinder, our work is much easier. Read more

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Feb 28 2013

Pilgrims celebrate Kumbh Mela festival in India

By Annie Vangsnes, CFCA correspondent

Pilgrims on the Sangam

Hindu pilgrims gather for this year’s Kumbh Mela festival.

Kumbh Mela in India is the largest spiritual gathering on Earth.

The celebration comes to Allahabad, home to 617 children and families in the CFCA program, every 12 years.

It is a time for Hindu pilgrims across the country and world to gather to take a dip where the Ganges and Yamuna rivers meet. Bathing in the waters during the festival is believed to bring Hindus holiness and salvation.

An estimated 100 million people are expected to bathe in the waters during this Kumbh Mela.

For sponsored children and their families taking part, the celebration takes much planning and preparation.

Although the festival lasts almost two months, Suman, the mother of sponsored youth Vibhor, said she prepares to have guests for the six main auspicious days. Read more

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Feb 5 2013

Two of a kind: sisters in India open food stand

Curry Point

Jesintha, left, and Prakash at their food stand, Curry Point.

CFCA strives to help families achieve economic self-sufficiency. The Hope for a Family program aims to partner with families so that over time they may rely less on benefits from CFCA and more on their own income-generation activities to meet their basic needs.

We recently heard from our Hyderabad project in India about several mothers of sponsored children who are exemplifying the potential of families living in poverty. Here’s the story of Prakash and her sister Jesintha ó enjoy!

In 2010, my sister, Jesintha, and I started a food stand called Curry Point.

We prepare food items like dal, sambar, potato fry, brinjal curry, tomato pickle and chapattis (Indian bread) and other foods. We sell our meals at reasonable rates, so it is affordable for many.

I am Prakash. My sister and I are part of a mothers group in Hyderabad, India. She has a son sponsored through CFCA, and my son is sponsored as well.

My sister and I both took out a loan from each of our mothers groups to start this curry business. Read more

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Jan 22 2013

Helping end violence in India by empowering women, girls

Elizabeth-AlexBy Elizabeth Alex, CFCA community outreach and media relations director

The voice of powerless women in India has been heard.

It’s tragic that it took the rape, torture and agonizing death of a promising young physiology student to bring that voice to the world.

“I am heartbroken about the news of this young woman,” said Paul Pearce, CFCA director of global strategy. “She was heroic to hold her head up high and go to school. I hear she had big dreams of building a hospital back in her village.”

CFCA has more than 35,000 sponsored children and aging friends in India. We also support a home for boys from the streets in Delhi, the city where the young woman was attacked.

Our staff and families understand how the simple act of boarding a bus can become a deadly decision; women and the poor are vulnerable and become targets just by reaching for their dreams.

“The heroic journey on the path out of poverty can be a daunting and even lonely task,” Pearce said. “Many in the communities where we work live in a state of isolation.”

We are learning that most of the five young men, who are charged with luring the 23-year-old woman and her friend onto a bus with the promise of a ride, came from a slum neighborhood. They have no jobs, and are unable to hire an attorney to represent them.

CFCA works in India and 21 other countries to end this violent cycle with a model that focuses on the individual and his or her needs while building safe and responsible communities. Read more

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Jan 15 2013

Mother in India starts family business

Sathya

Sathya opened her own store with help from a CFCA mothers group loan.

We recently heard from our Hyderabad project in India about several mothers of sponsored children who are exemplifying the potential of families living in poverty. Here’s the story of Sathya – enjoy!

My family and I live in a remote village in India.

My husband used to be a contract worker; the income he earned was not enough to support our family.

I had an opportunity to take out a loan through my mothers group.

I talked with my husband, and we both shared the idea of opening a store in our village.

He supported my idea and agreed to purchase the required materials for the store.

First, I opened the store in our home.

I soon repaid the first loan, and I took out another loan to purchase a kiosk made with wood.

After that was repaid, I asked for a third loan to buy a refrigerator to keep a few cool drinks in the store.

After a few years, my husband left his job and is helping me run the business. Read more

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