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Published: November 15th 2012
So after Alleppey we caught a train to Trivandrum and stayed at the YMCA for a night. We managed to find a hotel that served a cool beer and ended up watching the start of the Diwali festival and fireworks from the rooftop of the hotel (I told Jess the fireworks had been planned in advance for her! Smooth ay! 😊 ) We then caught a train to Tirunevelli where SCAD is based while Diwali Festival was still in full swing . . .
We have been here for two days and there is a lot to take in. SCAD helps people who have been cast out of society for lots of different reasons. I could not believe the size of the campus! It’s like a massive university campus that houses a polytechnic, college, engineering college, nursing college, facilities for young people with learning and mental difficulties and a 14 acre plot of land used to grow plants and trees for the purpose of organic farming that is shipped out to local farming communities.
We visited a gypsy camp where they have developed a school to give the kids a chance of education, there were some characters there and
the kids sang for us. We then visited a village where people with leprosy live. Before this people with leprosy were seen as outcasts and in one story we heard how a woman had been shut out by her husband and kids and left to fend for herself!
Today we have worked alongside people in the physiotherapy and speech therapy ward. We have spent time with children from the mental health ward too and got to know them. Their English is brilliant and there are some real characters there who are really friendly and just want to get to know you. There is a young girl there who was found abandoned at a bus stop and became an elected mute due to what happened to her before SCAD took her in, she communicates through different vocal sounds, is always smiling and has adopted Jess 😉
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