Sunday, January 8, 2017

ST College Girls Hostel--Completed 17 Nov 2016

ST (Scheduled Tribes) College Hostel is located near a junior college in Rajahmundry. The age 18 to 25 girls who live here are from very poor tribal villages deep in the rural parts of India. Most have never been anywhere far from their village. They come, wide-eyed and worried about being in a "big" city--even though Rajahmundry is basically a half-million population village.

480 girls live here. No beds, just a thin sheet on the cold concrete floor; 45 girls per room in a three-story concrete building that has few fans to help move the 

air during the scorching summer months of April-June. 

We decided they need something more than a thin sheet for a mattress. So, we ordered 480 new mattress pads. No room for real beds with so many girls in each room. they were elated!!

Their kitchen, at one end of the dining hall, is basic--large pots to cook rice and vegetables.

And cement blocks to set the pots upon as the staff cooks with scrap firewood.

Rations of vegetables and rice arrive each week.

The dining hall was dreadful. Paint that was worn off. Dirt everywhere. Not conducive to eating a nice meal.

With the help from members from the Rajahmundry Branches, we put on the Helping Hands Vests and set out to Get 'er Done!

Brother Augustus wrestles with his vest!

Everyone came to lend a helping hand.

Branch President Prathi...

District Presidency member President Chinna...

Young Single Adults...

The staff from the Hostel even grabbed a brush and helped.

Girls from the Hostel came from classes and also wanted to help make their dining hall nice...

Raju Neelapu really enjoyed the work...

Towards the end, it looked pretty good! Almost Done!!

We decided to give each girl a personal hygiene kit with such items as shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, feminine products, comb, toothpaste-toothbrush, etc.
Here the items are stacked in our apartment ready for packaging.

Relief Society Sisters came to our apartment and spent a half-day assembling the hygiene kits into "The Indian Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints"* bags.

*That is what we are named by the Indian Government since we are not a recognized Church in India, yet.

It was fun.

We had to find enough boxes and big bags to place the kits into for transport to the Hostel!!

Transport of the hygiene kits to the Hostel was a challenge. We ended up loading all 480 kits into two Autos--filled to the brim!

When we arrived, there were plenty of people on hand to help offload the hygiene kits.

It was quite a task!

Brother Ramesh Chinna, brother of President Chinna, was ready, willing and able to help too!

A few days later it was Celebration Time!

We had a small banner made for the occasion...

The Hostel staff recognized our efforts with this permanent sign posted prominently at the entry to their office in the building...
Oh yes, we also provided and installed 20 fans (with the help of Brother Augustus' friends NGO), and a new 1,000-liter water tank at the dining hall so they could store clean water for drinking and for the washing of the girl's dishes after meals.

We all gathered in the freshly-painted dining hall...there was electricity in the air! The girls were so excited to celebrate their new conditions at the Hostel and their new mattress pads and hygiene kits.

Sudhira Neelapu, Branch Relief Society President, helped to give out the hygiene kits...

Nothing but smiles of gratitude!!

It was hard to say good bye.

Another day of "spiritual highs" as we go about doing the Lord's work of  giving and helping. 


  1. That's a big place to paint. It looks like the girls are pretty excited about getting gifts.

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