Murugan’s grace flows as water from Washington DC to Vanni, Sri Lanka‏

Greetings:
During my travels through Sri Lanka last year, I recognized a water problem in resettlement villages in the Mullaitivu District. Because this region was greatly damaged during the war, people build temporary shelters and living quarters. Among these resettlers, there are ten families living in the far end of this large village where there are no water facilities. They must walk long distances to obtain water for their daily use. Last year we built a tube well for these ten families.
Since then we have bean receiving requests for tube wells from many villages. In some areas there are up to twenty five families living without water facilities, facing the hardship.
At the end of last year a devotee of Washington Murugan Temple, who is aware of the Vanni water problem, contacted me and told me that a group of Washington temple devotees was interested in helping the Vanni water project. They conducted a fundraising and contributed the funds to Manitha Neyam Trust for the water project.
We are happy to let you know that in the past three months through the Manitha Neyam Water Project we have competed six tube wells and two conventional wells in the Vanni region.108
Water in these villages existed, but reaching it would require drilling over 100 feet. We accepted the challenge and brought machines from miles away to begin drilling the wells. Thankfully, we reached water at a depth of 120 feet. Next, we constructed a handpump for these six tube wells, as well as two conventional wells. Now these villagers are relieved they no longer have to walk long distances for water.
It is an awesome experience to witness the completion of each well. The villagers all gather and perform the Puja to the new well,  and they do the  Pongal and enjoy the Prasadam together–young and old thanking us for building the well for them. It is a humbling experience.
My sincere thanks go to the devotees of the Washington Murugan Temple and their friends for their generosity. Also, thanks to Manitha Neyam Trust and its Jaffna coordinator, Mr. Jeyasingamm, and our local coordinator, Mr. Sutharsan, and everyone who helped us accomplish this worthy project. Herewith, I am enclosing for your enjoyment some photos of the new wells.
In Peace,
Rishi Thondunathan105

Child of the Month- V Brundha

Meet V Brundha, a bright-eyed and intelligent 19 year old at Ratmalanai Hindu College who is currently doing her A levels.V Brundha

Her Story– Originally from Kalutara, a large town south of Colombo, she has been at Ratmalanai for the past 8 years. Brundha only has a mother and 4 sisters. Her older sister already graduated and another sister is at Ratmalanai with her.

Her Life Goals-Brundha has always been a focused individual say others at Ratmalanai; in fact, she came in the top of her class. In the future, she aspires to do electrical engineering and she hopes to find a job in a company. Other than her career, she hopes to bring awareness to the Tamil Hindu tradition, inspired by seeing loss of faith by Tamil Hindus.

Brundha has a bright future ahead of her thanks to generous individuals across the globe, like you, who have constantly supported her and others like her.

For more info on donating, please visit www.manithaneyam.org/donate-us/.

If you would like more information on how to get involved, please contact us at www.manithaneyam.org/contact-us/

Manitha Neyam Trust USA Fundraiser

On October 11th of 2014, a wonderful night of music and the arts took place in the auditorium at Keefe Technical School in Massachusetts. Manitha Neyam Trust put on a show with a very talented music group named AAROH, who took the audience back in time to the vibrant music of Ilayaraja and more. The audience cheered and smiled as the band brought back favorites from the 50s and 60s through the 90s.

The AAROH group in action

The AAROH group in action

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The beautiful jewelry being sold outside

While the concert was on a roll, outside there were tables stationed with handmade crafts, jewelry and information. Volunteers came from near and far to help organize and set up the event, and the event could not have been pulled off without them. It was truly a blessed night.

By the end of the night, Manitha Neyam Trust had raised over $10,000 thanks to the audience, the volunteers and most importantly the wonderful AAROH group. We hope to hold more successful events like these in the future!

Anjali’s Bicycle Project

Nine year-old Anjali lives with her family in the suburbs of Toronto, Canada.  One day, Anjali saw a fund-raising program on TV about the “Me to We” Foundation. This particular program was about children raising funds to donate bicycles to  poor students in Africa who walked many miles to school every day. Anjali asked her mother how poor children in her native country, Sri Lanka, travelled to school.  Anjali’s mother replied that when she was growing up, she also used a bicycle to go to school, though many less fortunate children did not have bicycles and had to walk to school like the children in Africa. Immediately Anjali replied, “I have some money from birthday gifts … I’d like to donate a bicycle to the poor children in Sri Lanka.”

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(Pictured above – Suwishana receiving the bicycle from Thondunathan Swami’s mother)

Anjali’s mother contacted me and shared her daughter’s wish. We found a young girl named Suwishana whose family lost everything during the war and are now temporarily living in Jaffna. She walks more than a mile to catch a bus to go to school everyday. With Anjali’s donation, we purchased a bicycle and gave it to Suwishana.  One month later, Anjali raised money from her family and friends and she told us that she was ready to donate a second bicycle. This time, we found a university student who had also been greatly affected by the war who needed a bicycle for her commute to university everyday from home. We gave the university student that bicycle and told her that the bicycle was a gift from a little girl named Anjali from Canada. When she heard that, tears rolled from her eyes.

Both students who received bicycles from Anjali, wrote beautiful thank you notes to their little sister, who lives half-way around the world and still cares about them. With more Anjalis among us, the world we live in would be a much better place!

(Pictured below is the university student who received the bicycle along with Thondunathan Swami and his mother)

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As shared by – Thondunathan Swami

(The story was shared originally in 2011. Anjali is now, Twelve years old and has continued to expand this project since then)

Child of the month – June – Suganya

Meet Suganya, 18 year old resident at Shakthi illam, who is originally from Valvettithurai, Sri Lanka. Suganya is currently in grade 13 preparing for her A/Ls in Ratmalana Hindu College.

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Her story – Due to civil war strife Suganya was restricted from going to school. However, things became worse when her home was destroyed due to Tsunami in Sri Lanka. Her father – a fisherman, lost his equipment and tools to continue his job. Her family moved to Colombo following the Tsunami and she applied to study in Ratmalana Hindu College.

Life in school – Suganya enjoys being in Shakthi Illam. Her hobbies include singing and dancing, and she also enjoys spending time with her friends.

Her goals – Suganya aspires to be a journalist and work for the media someday. Her motivation is to be able to tell the truth in people’s stories and to emphasize the need of first hand information.

Your support and contribution help to give Suganya and strong young ladies in Shakthi illam – an opportunity to make their dreams into reality.

Introducing our children – Thasan

Help this young dreamer reach his goal of becoming a high court judge.

Help this young dreamer reach his goal of becoming a high court judge.

Hello readers,

Welcome to our very first blog post! Starting from this month – we will publish interview excerpts from various people who are supported by Manitha Neyam Trust in Sri Lanka.

Meet R. Thasan, an eleven year old boy from Batticaloa, Sri Lanka, who is currently at   Hindu College Hostel in Ratmalanai.

Thasan’s story – His Appamma (paternal grandmother) raised him after    he lost his parents long ago, due to causes he does not know. Working as a cook, his Appamma was unable to support Thasan, and applied for him to come to Ratmalanai Hindu College a year ago.

Life in Hindu College Hostel and hobbies – So far, Thasan enjoys being at Ratmalanai hostel. Like all young boys, he stays active, and loves playing cricket, table tennis and break dancing in his downtime.

Life’s goal– As for his goal, Thasan aspires to be a high court judge. When asked why, he responds: to save innocent people by making sure bad people get in trouble for their crimes.

(As narrated by Thasan to our Interviewer, Suhasini Aravinthan)

 

Your donations/ support for Manitha neyam will help this young boy and others like him achieve their goals and make their aspirations become a reality.

Donate at www.manithaneyam.org/donate-us/ .

For more information please reach out to us at www.manithaneyam.org/contact-us/