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).
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.
- 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
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!
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.
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
By Annie Vangsnes, CFCA correspondent
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
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
I found my old passport the other day while cleaning my kitchen. I have no idea why I chose the kitchen to store this important document, but that’s a story for another time.
When I found my passport, I realized I was coming up on my one-year anniversary of my CFCA awareness trip to India.
I still remember that trip vividly. The bright colors of pinks, blues and golds woven into the women’s saris; the lovely smell of incense; the happy smiles on the faces of CFCA friends and families; discovering delicious foods; and also witnessing the extreme poverty, which impacts much of the country.
When I came back, I promised myself that I would do my best to always be grateful for all the blessings in my life.
I remember a time over the summer when I was having a rough day; I was becoming more and more frustrated with whatever was bothering me. (I was probably mad at my flat iron.)
I made a conscious decision to stop and reflect on the things I was grateful for, and my frustration started to melt away.
Working as a writer/editor at CFCA I learn so much about the sponsored friends and their families ó I learn about their love for life, their strength and their daily realities.
The everyday necessities and comforts in life I sometimes take for granted are not easily accessible for families living in poverty. Here are some examples: Read more