Realign New Bypass that will Destroy Long-standing NGO for Differently Abled Persons

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Asha Niketan Nandi Bazar is a community of persons with and without learning disabilities who share life together. We are recognized by the Government of Kerala, India as a special school for persons with disabilities, but of course, we are much more than that. For over 40 years, our community has been residing on ten acres of land in Nandi Bazar, Kerala, India. Here we live, work, pray, laugh, and grow together. We are over 75 people large. Around 25 persons live on the land permanently, and another 55 persons spend their days here, gaining access to fair work, education, social activities, and meaningful relationships. We maintain three residential households, a vocational training centre for adults, a day care centre for children, a garden programme to collect harvests, and an outreach programme for the families with children experiencing multiple disabilities.

Asha Niketan Nandi Bazar is a member of the international federation, L'Arche, and one of over 150 communities worldwide. Together we strive to be signs of hope in the world, especially for persons who experience disabilities. Asha Niketan Nandi Bazar is leaning on that hope now more than ever.

On December 26th, 2017 our community was informed that half of our land was to be acquired by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for the Nandhi-Chengottukavu Bypass Road. This is unacceptable. The community was well aware of the coming bypass road, even supportive of it, but the previously proposed alignment would have caused minimal loss to our property and way of life. Now, five of our seven major buildings (including two newly constructed buildings funded by donations) and three of our four water wells are to be destroyed by the realignment of the bypass. This would completely alter our way of life, forcing us to downsize and attempt to develop an entirely new lifestyle that is sustainable and functional. Not to mention, the change would leave many of our community members without shelter or work until necessary solutions are designed and implemented. This has the potential to take years, meaning the future for our community members, especially those who are orphaned, looks incredibly uncertain, unsettling, and unfair.

We cannot let this happen. Asha Niketan Nandi Bazar is a place of spirituality, justice, and love. With these three, we move forward, raising awareness and attempting to stop construction on the newly aligned Nandhi-Chengottukavu Bypass Road. Please help spread our story. Please help save our way of life. And please join us as we strive to continue to be a sign of hope for all.

Thank you,

Asha Niketan Nandi Bazar

+91 49626 91620