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Bro Chinna and Br Raj visit Dundee

Raj and Chinna with Bishoip Stephen Raj And Chinna in Arbroath
Bishop Stephen Robson with Raj and Chinna
Raj and Chinna in Arbroath Harbour
Civic Reception Exchanging Gifts
Civic Reception with Monsignor Aldo and Lord Provost Bob Duncan
Exchanging Gifts


After a great deal of preparation and expectation, we finally greeted our Brothers from India. They came over to a rather cold and ‘dreich’ Scotland. Their itinerary was a very full one and as well as visiting our colleagues and supporters in Dundee they were scheduled to go to meet our friends and supporters in Glasgow. There were so many of our friends and colleagues who wanted to meet them and take them into their homes that very few rest periods or sightseeing  ventures were built into their programme.

On their first day of the programme the Brothers visited St. Paul's Secondary School.  They were introduced to our ancient Scottish tradition and were led into Mangamanuthu Hall, by the Queen's Piper, where they were greeted by both staff and pupils.  Following their introduction they were treated to a concert, planned with a Scottish theme and performed by the pupils, to welcome them. After a short break, where they met with the Brother Provincial and the Senior Management Team, the Brothers were then shown around the school and had the opportunity to visit various different departments. Later that week, as part of the India Week curriculum they had an extended visit where they met the pupils in their working environment and also visited St. Paul's Academy feeder primary schools.

The next day the Brothers were up bright and early to visit St. John's High School where they were invited to participate in Mass followed by breakfast  with the Senior Management Team, before being shown around the school. They were especially interested and impressed by the Anne Frank Exhibition organised  by the school and visited by many hundreds of visitors over a two week period. This was followed by a special Staff lunch, prepared by Lillian Vance and her helpers and served by the pupils. This was organised to raise funds for  the Indian Village Projects.

After their lunch they were delighted to be given the opportunity to meet and have afternoon tea with  Bishop Robeson in Lawside Convent.  They spent a very successful and interesting afternoon discussing  the work of the Brothers in Mangamanuthu, Trichy, and P.U. and how we in Scotland support their work. They informed the Bishop of their work in the schools in Mangamanuthu and P.U., Operation Rainbow (the AIDS project) and the little village of Mangamanuthu from which The India Village Project originated.

Their second day was rounded off  in the evening with a ceilidh to introduce the Brothers to even more Scottish culture. They learned the art of Scottish Country Dancing and again how funds are raised to help and support the youngsters in India.

Saturday was a rest day, with a visit to some local areas, Arbroath and Broughty Ferry followed by a visit to the football match at Dens Park where Dundee took on St Johnstone in the Tayside derby.

On the Sunday the Brothers had the opportunity to take part in the Armistice celebrations at the City Square and they also attended a ceremony at Discovery Quay.

Monday saw the start of India Week in St. Paul's. This involved workshops provided by the members of the local Bharatiya Ashram - yoga, Bollywood dancing, India crafts and an introduction to cricket in India which culminated in a game between staff and pupils followed by the traditional cucumber sandwiches and a cup of tea. There was also extended workshops on the connection between India and the Jute mills of Dundee.

In the afternoon they visited SS Peter and Pauls Primary School where they were entertained by the Head Teacher, her staff and the youngsters.

In the evening, a Mass of welcome, was organised in SS Peter and Pauls Church followed by a buffet attended by the friends and supporters of The India Village Project. This was a very warm and emotional evening for all concerned and gave the Brothers the opportunity to express their gratitude for the support given by The India Village Project over the years.

On the Wednesday the Brothers attended a Civic Reception hosted by the Lord Provost, in the City Chambers. The Lord Provost Bob Duncan gave them a very warm welcome on behalf of the City and presented them with a little gift to take home to India. There was also a lovely buffet provided by the City Council. It was an opportunity for Dundee City Council to express its appreciation of the work being done by The India Village Project.

By Thursday the Brothers were in need of a well deserved  break and were taken to St. Andrews and East Neuk. Sadly, the weather was not at its best and Stewart, their guide and mentor for that day, told us that it was difficult to stand up straight due to the strong winds. Another new experience for the Brothers who were provided with heavy coats, gloves and woolly hats for the duration of their stay.

On Saturday morning Brother Douglas took the Brothers  to Glasgow to spend some time with the community. In the evening Chinna and Raj met up with Mary Gallagher and the members of her Zumba Group. She had visited India with her sister Margaret Anne, who is head teacher of St. Ninian's Primary School in Hamilton. Mary and her Zumba friends had prepared a surprise for Chinna and Raj, in the shape of a social/fund-raising event. It was a wonderful evening of reunions, music and dancing and a large cheque for the India Village Project was presented at the end of the evening.

Unsurprisingly, Sunday was a day of rest. After Mass we had a quiet and most enjoyable day with the Brothers in the community. The Brothers also enjoyed a visit to Celtic Park where they were told the story of Brother Walfrid and his work.

Monday saw us on our travels once again. This time to Hamilton to visit St. Ninian's RC Primary School. Margaret Anne was waiting for us at the door and it was touching to see how pleased Chinna and Raj were to be reunited with her..  We were shown around the school by four Primary 7 'guides' who stayed by our side for the whole of our stay in the school. The Brothers were very impressed by the efficient and friendly way in which the school is run. They spent a great deal of time in the classrooms chatting with the teachers and the children. At morning break we were taken into the hall to take part in the little market which was being held to raise funds for the Project. Brother Raj was persuaded to have his nails painted, which took a bit of explaining when we returned to Dundee.

We were taken to lunch by the Knights of St. Columba and again presented with a cheque. As we arrived back at St. Ninian’s we were greeted by the sound of bagpipes, played by another Knight of St. Columba. We were ushered into the hall and treated to a wonderful concert which involved the whole school - music, dancing poetry. The grand finale was an Indian medley in which everyone took part. Once again, we were presented with a substantial cheque to further the work of the India Village Project!

On Tuesday the Brothers were invited to our India Concert in St. Paul's. This consisted of a number of Indian dances, Scottish dances, songs and instrumental melodies. Our good friends from the Bharatiya Ashram provided much of the entertainment and prepared the India Meal afterwards. A wonderful way to end the Brothers' visit to Scotland.

It only remains to say that the visit of the Brothers was greatly beneficial to them and more especially, to us, as we learned a great deal from them and we hope that they benefitted from spending time with us.

There is no way in which we can properly acknowledge the generosity and support  of all those involved with The India Project.  Brother Chinna and Brother Raj returned to India with so many  happy memories and on their return, sent messages of heartfelt thanks and appreciation to everyone.





By 31st July 2014

we had managed to raise

...and this is where it has gone...

Eight new homes in Mangamanuthu Village

A herd of goats for the Village

A Generator for the Computer Lab in St Marcellin High

School fees and support for 35 Children in Operation Rainbow each year

Sports equipment to P.U. Secondary School

Sewing Machines for Special Unit in P.U. Secondary School

Repainting the Primary School in P.U.

Laptop and Printer to help manage the schools

Digital Still and Video Cameras to P.U. Secondary School

Networking upgrade in Marist House in Trichy

Complete set of desks and chairs for Exam Hall in St Marcellin High

Buying enough land to allow the completion of St Marcellin High

Repainting the Secondary School in P.U.

Video/DVD equipment in P.U., Operation Rainbow and St Marcellin High

School bags and equipment for children in P.U. Primary School

Bringing visitors over from India

Football strips and equipment to P.U. Secondary and St Marcellin High

Digital Still and Video Cameras to St Marcellin High

Sports equipment to St Marcellin High

Sewing Machines to Operation Rainbow

Material for school uniforms to Operation Rainbow

Photocopier to St Marcellin High

Fitted out class rooms with desks and chairs

Provided materials to finish off new extension to St Marcellin High

Fitted out and stocked the Science labs in St Marcellin High

Digital Still and Video Cameras to Operation Rainbow

Audio equipment for St Marcellin High

School texts books, jotters and other stationery in St Marcellin High

Fujifilm Digital Camera for Marist House in Trichy to record projects

A new deep well to ensure the water supply to Marcellin High School

A new kitchen and storeroom in P.U. Primary School