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    1
    A SHORT HISTORY OF THE CHENNAI (MADRAS)
    INDIAN ORPHANAGES


    International Christian Schools India, Inc. (ICS) was founded by Dr. Everett R. Anderson of Dallas, Texas, USA and registered on 30 May 1970 in compliance with the Registration of Societies Act XXI of 1860 in Chittor. His prime responsibility was the raising of funds in the USA and Canada. The first orphanage was built at Nagari for 50 children and was initially personally supervised by Dr.Anderson with the assistance of one cook, Ayha (washerwoman) and teacher who each received monthly salaries.

    The first orphanage was such a success that five more were opened in Andra Pradesh State, one in Kerala State, one at Bangalore and for in Tamil Nadu State. All the buildings were rented. Once every three months the Board of Directors of ICS visited the orphanages to monitor their progress and, once Dr.Anderson had returned to the USA, to report to Dr.Andersonís US office. The Vice President of ICS, Dr.Monei. would make regular medical checkups of, and give treatment to, the children.

    A Leprosy Centre was subsequently begun in Ponnur Village, Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh State where previously patients had been suffering without any sort of medical care. Dr.Anderson was responsible for the raising of funds to construct two buildings for out patient wards. An x-ray unit and laboratory were installed under Dr. T.D.Pradesh Rao, a specialist in leprosy, who did his best to take care of the patients. When Dr. Rao died of a heart attack in 1985 the leper centre was managed by his widow. The clinic continues to operate with the support of the local Lions Club who provide medicines and other assistance.

    After the death of Dr. Anderson funds for all the orphages ceased resulting in a financial crisis. All the orphanages were obliged to cease operations. In 1988 Dr. Monei, Vice President of ICS, approached Christopher C. Warren in England through a mutual contact and requested his assistance. The result was the immediate establishment of a new orphanage in Anna Nagar in 1988-9 to be followed by a second one in 1996.

    A new orphanage was started on 1 August 1990 in a slum area of Madras called St.Thomasí Mount and based in rented accommodation. By the end of 1990 the orphanage (under the management of Mr. Daniel) was well under way with 100 children (70 from the slums and 30 from refugee camps) thanks to the combined support of donors in Norway (under the management of Christopher C. Warren who replaced Dr. Anderson as President of ICS), local doctors, business people, shop keepers, and city school children. Many shop owners gave gifts of mats, plates, cups, blankets, cloth, etc.. But the local and federal government were unwilling to assist until land had been purchased so that the orphanage had a permanent location with the possibility of expanding. Education was provided from nursery up to 6th grade. The cost of running the oprhanage was 21,300 rupees/month.

    Between 1989 and 1990 ICS attempted to secure help from NORAD (The Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operation) without success owing to the smallness of the project. At this time inflation in India quadrupled the price of staples like rice and daul (oil rose 7 times the 1989 value in 1990). Some support from Sparebanken NOR was secured for a short period. Matters were made worse for the Norwegian sponsors when the Indian Government drastically devalued the value of the Indian Rupee in 1992. The result was a cutting back of the activities of the orphanage, viz. turning away needy souls. The same year a key worker in ICS, Dr. Moneiís wife Mrs. Tara, contracted tuberculosis, and subsequently died in 1996, aged 50.

    Notwithstanding severe setbacks plans for a new orphanage at Vedanthangal went ahead following the unexpected donation of land by the local government. Estimated cost: Rs.112,951.

    In November 1992 cyclones, causing extensive flooding, devastated the area in which the orphanges were located though the orphanages survived. The following year earthquakes had a similar, devastating effect, but the orphanages miraculously survived. Four years later, at the end of 1996, we were not so lucky -- cyclones and floods completely demolished the orphanage buildings, effectively putting ICS operations back to where they had begun when the Norwegian team became involved in 1988. To make matters worse, cyclones hit again in 1997.

    All contact with the orphanages was lost when two years ago Dr. Monei died. This was a time of great anxiety for us, most especially as we had hopes to securing help from an influential and wealthy Norwegian donor who was disposing of his wealth to various charities.

    Inspite various attempts to re-establish contact (we ourselves were not able to afford a visit to India), no further news reached us until the summer of 2001 when the late Dr. Monei's daughter, Mrs. Anuradha Martin, contacted us for advice.

    Mrs. Martin has now replaced Christopher C. Warren as President of ICS (since 2000) but is still using us for advice. As we are no longer directly involved in the financing of this project, those interesting in lending their support may email Mrs. Martin.

    The New Covenant Church of God financially supported and advised ICS (a division of the Church of Christ, Campbellite, denomination) Madras (Chennai) orphanages for over 10 years. Since 2001 we have now shifted our attention to our own orphanages in that country.


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    This page was created on 7 March 1998
    Updated on 29 August 2001

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