Quality of Life Trust – India: By Richard Clarke

My wife and I have started working with Quality of Life Trust – India – http://www.qualityoflife.in/.

They are located right next to Tiruvannamalai and working on village issues. India is going through many changes, and the villages are seeing the most change, so we thing this is a good place for our efforts.

There are two projects they are working on. The first is with the elderly in the village. Some have no place to live and are sleeping on the doorsteps of houses, etc. In some cases it is the doorstep of the house they owned. Then their children got them to give the house to them. Then there was a problem like drinking, and the child lost the house, and the parent had no place to live. The Trust is providing meals to these elders, and helping them with medical treatments. They hope to build some kind of housing in the future. My wife has experience working with the elderly and will help this project.

The other project is for composting toilets. In villages many many people do not have toilets. People will go in nearby fields. Sometimes they are bitten by snakes. Always there is the concern for personal privacy, expecially for the women. There are also problems of disease, etc. This project is building a kind of toilet developed else where in India that does not need water or a sewer connection/septic tank. To add to the appeal, and based on what these local vilages said they are also adding a shower room. This trust has gotten funding from another trust, Bless, and has just started a project to build 50 toilets in the village. I am helping them with project management. These toilets seem to meet a real need, and in addition they produce high quality fertilizer that can be used in the fields.

Working with them this week I got a chance to see the excitement that this was creating in the village. As we were at on house, planning for the foundation (and taking down some banana trees) the neighbor got so excited that he had the crew go to his house and see what kind of site that he had to build on.

These are small things that have a real impact on the lives of the villagers. You should see how proud the man was to be involved in this project, and making life better for his family.

Bill Gates On The Way We Give: By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

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This essay, adapted from a speech of Bill Gates, is one of the most beautiful, eloquent, and inspirational pieces I have read.

I was reminded of the the passage quoted by Sri subrahmanian of the Advaitin list to me recently which states:

“As life is dear to oneself, it is also just so to other beings. Men show compassion to other beings by putting themselves in their place”. [MBh 13.116.21cd–22ab; YDhS p. 31]

Surely people like Bill Gates are touched by some divine energy that not only opens their hearts but through them delivers the healing balms to soothe the suffering of millions of others.

We bow to such people.

May all beings be free from sorrow.

Bill Gates: Technology and Philanthropy – Jan. 9, 2007