Seasons greetings to all our Asswin supporters and friends.
Since the profile given to the project in March by Sky TV due to the efforts of Andrew and Angie at Barron Productions there have been lots of changes to our programme. Because the Jeevashram Foundation found that it could no longer accommodate more donkeys at its shelter we had to keep a small number of injured donkeys on undeveloped land adjacent to our residence which caused a stir among certain neighbours who complained to the local Municipal Corporation (MCG). The Commissioner of the MCG became most supportive. He had already had built shelters for stray pigs and cattle in the continoually developing township of Guregaon and he was most obliging by allocating a ploy of land for the erection of a donkey shelter adjacent to the pig shelter and the 5 donkeys were transferred there in May. We took on 2 "boys" to help at the shelter. Despite the Commissioner's efforts his staff did not hurry with the construction work so the donkeys had to be housed in part of the pig shelter. We visited the UK during June and July and whilst ther we had a collection day at Victoria station and inspite of the economic situation in the UK we did quite well. On returning to India we found that the work on the shelter was no where being completed and it was further delayed by the prolonged monsoon.
The MCG, however, allocated an lready built barn and modified it so that we could house the donkeys in different stalls. We were then able to take in donkeys off the streets which were either abandoned or injured and also the donkeys from the Jeevashram Shelter. We now have
30 donkeys and Chestnut, the pony mentioned in our newsletters. The work on the second shelter is continuing and will have space for a further 30 or more donkeys. The shelters are surrounded by 35 acres of grazing land.
We have had a setback as far as Lily, the horse. and Edwina, the donkey, in as much that the German diplomats who had hoped to take them to Germany, found that they were unable to.
Arrangements are being made to house them in the new shelter as soon as possible.
Whilst the setting up of the shelters has been/is taking up a good deal of time the work on the donkey sites has continued aand the donkey owners have great in the Asswin Project.
For those of you who were worried that Fred had been returned to his owner, you may now rest easy as he is now back in our and is quite a levely fellow.
Once again we thank you all for your support and we will do our very best to reply to your individual e-mails as soon as possible.
Jean and Bob