Friday, July 11, 2008


Manodthi - the name has always fascinated with me since my childhood. Its our native village about 40 kms from Delhi. No its not a tourist place, rather off late it has become popular due to the rising crime rate in and around the place. Its a dusty old village, where nothing has changed in three and a half decades of my memory. On my last visit, I heard some history from a octogenarian friend on my late grandfather. The village was founded by two brothers from Rajasthan who migrated here few centuries ago. They were called Silku and Bahadur. After sometime one of the brothers build another hemlet somewhere in Uttar Pradesh, India. My research on the internet about the place has generally resulted in frustation and this is purely based on what I ve heard at different times. Any history on this is welcome here.

The village hasn't changed much except the population and lot of concrete structures now visible around the village. The old school on the outskirts is trying to recover its old glory and thats something that got me back to the village. I don't recall when I went there for the first time but have a distinct memory of our various trips to the place. Sometimes it was during the election time, when every elder went there for voting, sometimes it was some one's marriage, sometimes I just tagged along with my grand father. I always saw that school, just outside the village, on a large plot of land with some rooms. And then there was a gap, a gap of almost 10-15 years. As I grew up, the distance increased and I had no reason of going there. Even though I wished occassionaly to visit the place where my grandfather & grandmother were cremated, where my father was born, where I had a heritage, but I couldn't go as I was looking for a reason to visit. And then I found a reason and a good one at that. My uncle had created a foundation in Germany to help the poor people of Mandothi especially the elderly, the children and the handicapped. Channo Devi Foundation was formed for this reason and I found this as a great opportuinty to do something for my own people.

We started with a distant cousin of mine who was paralysed and bed ridden for many years. The foundation supported his medical costs and we made futile attempts to restore him to normal life. Unfortunatly, we couldn't do much in the little time we had and he passed away. The foundation then reached out to the local school to help the poor children with money for their fees, books, uniforms. Last year has been a stuggle to make people interested in comming forward for taking the initiative forward. I hope in the times to come the foundation will be able to support some of these students to a higher level of education and offer a better life. I wish we could change even one life...