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Global Buzz Report: April 2020

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Words cannot express…

Words cannot express how we felt when we recently visited a village in Maharashtra, India named Maliwada. Jack, and I along with our adult son, Peter, were visiting India for the first time. We were guests of Sushil, Vinod and Kamela Parekh. Back in the 90s, our family sponsored, Sangeeta, Sushil and Sarah Parekh‘s daughter, while she was attending college in New Jersey. Some of you may remember way back in the late 70s when Sarah and Sangeeta were living in Kemper for a few years. Sarah brought Sangeeta from India to Chicago to attend a school that would teach the little 3-year-old to speak aloud in English. Sangeeta was born profoundly deaf. At that time, we became friends. Then in 1994 Sangeeta began her college studies in the US.

We had not seen Sangeeta since she returned to India in 1996. It was a lovely reunion with her and her family and also with her uncle and aunt, Vinod and Kamala and other dear friends along the way. We visited Mumbai, Pune, Aurangabad and Nashik.

While we were visiting with Vinod and Kamala, they took us to visit Maliwada. What an experience. The residents were dressed for a holiday. We were greeted in the Indian way with welcoming ceremonies, marigold leis, shawls, and the men with Gandhi hats. There was an extraordinary gathering at the Grand Panchayat Hall, when elders spoke and testified to the amazing development that had happened in their village. Pundlik Dhangare began by recounting the journey of using the methods to create their dream for Maliwada. He sang the songs of the village. I had been crying before but his testimony (in Marathi) was so gratifying, one couldn’t help but experience the emotions of this large group filling the hall. Other speakers included Shankar Davtkar, Dondiram Jagdhane and Ram Udavanti. Shankar spoke in English! Everyone was so excited to see Vinod and Kamala, who were greeted in such a loving and grateful way. We found ourselves being witnesses to the accomplishments of the villagers over the last 45 years.

We visited several homes, walking under the Maliwada gateway arch on the paved road. Not shacks, not small dwellings. No, these were large two or three story concrete homes with indoor toilets, ant-proof kitchens and rooftop gardens. The residents were so proud of the lovely dwellings. We visited with three different families. We also visited the sawmill, which makes wooden packaging for a local business. The hardworking men showed us how the wood makes its transformation from tree to thin planks, ideal for the job. There is a new petrol station in town! Since a new highway is being planned to come nearby Maliwada, this provides another opportunity for business. The women and children looked good, healthy, and happy with bright eyes. We loved talking with them. Some may remember Rukmani Dhangare. She is vibrant and loved showing off their new home. First, hosting us in their old small house, showing us pictures of the old days at the beginning of the project and showing us their notebooks full of planning and methods and then taking us to the rooftop garden of the new house next door with its grand view of the fort.

People gave us flowers, fruits, shawls, and great warmth and love. It is something we will never forget. We of course, were witnessing the gratitude of a place and people who for 40 + years have implemented their plans, together. They could never have done it without the amazing sacrifice, care and human resources so many of you brought to that little dusty spot below the ancient fort. We wanted to let you know that what you gave in those difficult early times has transformed a people and their community. We met a son who is a college-educated engineer. “India is a wonderful place, Maliwada is my home” sang Pundlik.

And so it is.

Louise Ballard   ballardica@gmail.com        



ICA Nepal expresses its sincere condolences to all families who have lost their loved ones due to Novel Corona Virus Covid-19. We wish for the quick recovery who have been infected by the virus. With sincerity, we urge all to cooperate with the Government and authorities to contain this virus. In Nepal, the Government has taken various precautions to prevent the spread of the disease with the recent announcement for whole nation’s lockdown for 14 days. So far, there are five confirmed cases in Nepal and one was recovered.

Signing Ceremony

ICA Nepal, in coordination with ICA Japan is soon starting a community development activities in Sindhupalchowk district which would be extension of the project carried out in the last year. On 5 March, 2020 a contract between ICA Japan and the Embassy of Japan was carried out in a Project Signing Ceremony. The project contract was signed by His Excellency the Ambassador of Japan to Nepal, H.E. Mr. Saigo Masamichi and Mr. Inui Tomoyoshi, Secretary-General from ICA Japan.

This year we are building irrigation system, installing mini-dairy plant, carrying out intensive skill development developing that includes plumbing training, sewing training, and napkin training.

Book Support Program

ICA Nepal has published a number of training and facilitation manuals and books. Currently, we are donating sets of manuals to local government, local libraries, public schools, local NGOs and CBOs. Interested organizations are requested to contact ICA Nepal office

NGO Support Program
ICA Nepal has been supporting various local NGOs in capacity building and fundraising. Entire Power in Social Action (EPSA) based in Kathmandu Nepal is one of those organizations for which ICA Nepal is working for. Recently ICA Nepal member with guests from ICA Japan visited EPSA and observed the activities being carried out. EPSA has participated in the leadership development training, proposal and fundraising training, social artistry training carried out by ICA Nepal as a part of NGO support program in previous years. In addition, EPSA has also received a micro grant fund post the massive earthquake. During the visit, Ms. Sangita Pant, Founder and President for EPSA recalled the past involvement and acknowledged for the support. The support was used to renovate the ceiling of the workspace which was heavily damaged by the earthquake. At present, EPSA has shifted to a new home which provides accommodation facilities to 25 physically disabled women. The organization provides skill development training to disabled and works to make them financially independent.

Book Launching Program
Our Founding Chairperson, Prof. Dr. Tatwa P. Timsina’s new book “Sambridhi ko Bigyan” was launched in the presence of Honorable Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ishwor Pokhrel and Honorable Foreign Minister Pradip Gyawali. The is available in the bookstores near your and also you can contact ICA

Distribution of Sanitary Pads and Books
ICA Nepal provided sanitary napkins and books to Shree Sindhu Deaf Basic School, Barhabisee Sindhupalchowk through All Leo Club of Kathmandu Area-2.

ICA Nepal mobilizes volunteers, Rotracts and Leos to reach the needed communities across the country.

Please see
Himalayan Voice.PDF for more information and pictures

Ishu Subba


Lynda Cock, Davidson, NC. 

The ICA Social Research Center and
ICA Global Archives Advisory Council

OE -- Order Ecumenical Community



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