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Supporting the Widows in India (October 2016) may contain: one or more people and closeup
Image may contain: 8 people, people sitting and indoorImage may contain: 2 people, indoor
Image may contain: one or more people and indoorImage may contain: one or more people, people sitting and indoor

Officers of the Order Ralph and Sybill Jarrells led a delegation to India, specifically to Mandapeta. Mandapeta is a town and municipality in East Godavari district in the India state of Andhra Pradesh. It is famous for rice mills and for many famous leaders. It is main the centre for 50 villages and the main junction for going to Vijaywada, Hyderabad from Annaparthi and Ramachandram and it is a well developed town.

However, just a few miles away from Mandapeta is a village composed of widows. Due to the caste system unofficially still prevalent in India, and also due to archaic customs and mores, once a wife becomes a widow, she loses all her legal and financial rights accorded to her when she was still a wife. This inevitably leads to acute poverty, illness and disease. There are 40 million widows in India.

Ralph and Sybill Jarrells have been, through their registered charity The Golden Years, aiding and assisting widows in need in this part of the Indian sub-continent. The photos featured in this page are of the initiatives of these Hospitaller volunteers who have teamed up with a local group of missionaries called Loves and Fish

The first photos feature widow Kavati who is 76 years old and her home is a tent. She said to our volunteers that all she wanted was to die. Kavati was one of dozens of widows who are fed daily by the volunteers. This is a program of the church that the Order is working with in Mandapeta. The program is called Loves and Fish (LOF). Members from the US Grand Priory and the Supreme Grand Priory donated funds so as to ensure that this Hospitaller work is continued in aid of these poor widows.


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