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A light in the lives of the forgotten
  
            The Frequently Asked Questions that come up regarding  Morning Star ...

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The Name of the Organization: 
DIDIER CHARITABLE TRUST ,
Registered Office: #255/2/10, Kothanur Village & Post,
Bangalore, 560 077
The Children's house is called 'Morning Star', and expanded as Morning Star Learning Center. Recognized under Section 80G(5)(vi) of the Income Tax Act of 1961.


What are the Aims of the Organization?

What is the Background Experience available with the Organization to run this Project?
Who are the Persons In-Charge and responsible for the Project?

Mr. John Kennedy Samson.
Age: 40 plus, Born in Bangalore, Marital Status: Single, Education: B.A.
He started the Project in 1991.

Mr. Joy Honorius.
Age: 34 plus, Born in Bangalore,
Marital Status: Single, Education: B.Sc.

Mr. A. Dharma Raj
Age: 65
Advice/Guidance.

Except for Mr. Dharma Raj, the rest are living with the boys, in the house, taking care of all responsibilities and needs, totally dedicated, full time.

All are Indian by nationality.

Where is the Location of the Project?

Initially, the children were housed at the Registered Office address,
but as time went on, there were difficulties and the house became overcrowded with 60 people.
"Morning Star",  #255/2/10, Kothanur Village & Post, Bangalore 560077.
Now after the Land has been acquired and registered with the katha or Land Deed, the permanent address is :

Morning Star Learning Center,
Survey # 146/3, Chagalatti Village,
Jalahobli, Yelahanka,
Bangalore 562149


This was a house with asbestos sheets, four rooms, bathrooms and kitchen. The place is North of Bangalore, and is situated 12 km away from the Outer Ring Road (ORR), central railway and bus stations. The area is very quiet, ideal for children to heal from past hurts. This is soon to be the new International Airport Link Road, presently known as the Hennur - Baglur Road. There are Bus services, but sparingly in frequency which may improve because of the impending change of status of the road.
The distance from this place to Vidhana Soudha, Bangalore's centre, can be estimated in 20 km. The place is linked with the down town by bus (293 D, 293 E, 293 F, 293 J) and it is not an isolated place, as there are many schools coming up and other possibilities for education of children. "Morning Star" is the name of the 'home', and "Morning Star Learning Center", is the name of the 'facility'.

Communication  Facilities:

Phone: (080) 28469840 (Land line), E-mail: morningstarblr@yahoo.com

What are the Geographical characteristics of the area?
 
Bagalur was formerly a village that now has been annexed to Bangalore City and comes under the purview of the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA). It is still an open area suitable for these kinds of projects. It also has the tranquil atmosphere of a countryside, with many modest families dedicated to agricultural labors.
The architectural project for the new "Morning Star" is already done by the architect Mr. Anup Naik, residing in Bangalore. It contemplates not only housing, but the needs kids have for playing, caring animals and pets, cultivating vegetables, etc.

Which are the best months to travel to this area?

There are not special difficulties. The area can be visited any time during the year. However one must take into consideration that the climate of Bangalore is changing rapidly due to pollution, but this area being far away from such a threat is spared for the moment. The roads are fairly good and tarred, except at the entrance to Morning Star which is still a mud road. The onus of putting an interior road is with the BDA, so there is no motivation to improve the situation earlier than necessary.

How did the idea for the Morning Star Project originate?

The necessity of buying a piece of land and building a new house originated in many factors, namely:
Space at the Registered Office was limited and insufficient to take care of the immediate demands, as many children wanted to use the facilities of the shelter. There was no playground for the children to let off steam and be themselves as children. Open area was very small on every side. All paths are built up with houses and the children were curtailed in their freedom so as not to disturb neighbors.

Further, as the neighbors knew of the origins of the children, they looked down upon them. In fact, the neighboring children hesitate to play with them, and it was felt that the neighborhood rejected the presence of these assorted group of 'special' children. The house being very small, the same places were used for everything, dinning room, study hall, dormitory, recreation room, etc. There was no place for outdoor games like football, cricket, throw ball, where running was part of the activity. The very little garden plot on the premises was insufficient to provide the children an ideal place for working and  cultivating vegetables or other convenient tasks.

 There was no place when a boy was sick, to isolate him.  Due to this, there was a constant dependence on hospitals, which resulted in much inconvenience, mainly because of the distance and lack of time. Also it disturbed the flow of administration and management of the house which housed 60 inmates, and so few helping hands.

Describe any preliminary studies or activities undertaken in identifying the need for implementing the Project.

Bangalore, formerly a pleasant residential town of mainly retired people has now become a bustling industrial city with nearly five million people, mainly poor from the outskirts entering daily to seek a livelihood. Among them are many children, especially boys, who have run away from their homes for various reasons. There are children who have broken all ties with their families and live in bus stations and on railway platforms, earning their livelihood by rag-picking or committing petty thefts. There are also illegitimately born and thrown to the streets who roam around without a home or guardian and add up to the above group.
Many of these children can be seen working in hotels and coffee shops, small scale industries and constructions as a means to earn food, being exploited by unscrupulous employers using child labor.

Give a detailed description of the social, economic, cultural and political conditions of the area.

As in the cities the unity of family breaks down, many children are thrown in the streets. The problem is acute in Bangalore as like any other metropolitan cities. The sense of community, present in little villages, is completely lost in big cities, where everybody just looks for his own problems. Children without family cannot find an alternative for themselves and easily fall prey to unscrupulous people. The Government has Laws that nobody fulfills. The lack of control of these social problems in India is well known, like a kind of "social epidemic disease".
A personal inspiration brought me to dedicate myself to this task, nine years ago. I started going out to the slums, contacting street boys, inviting them to find a shelter or a place for bath or food, and so winning their confidence.
As the simple assistance was manifested insufficient, slowly provisions were made to provide a home and a more complete education to these children. So the first idea, simple assistance, culminated to integral education.
Children were selected with priority to these do not have family, thus giving them a home and a family.
The task of "Morning Star" finishes when the boy is able to find a work and to set himself in life, renting a room and finding a means for living.

Specify the problems and needs which the Project intends to solve, and why is it necessary.

Certainly "Morning Star" cannot solve the "street children" problem in Bangalore. It just helps, in a little measure.
Anyway, the Project was necessary because of the urgent situation on hand at that time:
The necessity of starting the construction before completion of the time bound stipulation of the Government which could result in loss of permission to run the Organization or License to do so. Although it does not say so in print and words, but inferences can definitely be summarized between the lines. The possibilities of a better home and more integral education in the new location. The possibilities to increase the number of beneficiaries, that was not possible only because of the lack of place. The possibilities to prepare a more complete Project beyond the age of 16/18 for young people, preparing in different stages, according to the necessities. The necessity of giving stability to the whole Project, until then lacked a proper and definite place.

Project's aims: What is the general purpose of the Project? What are its objectives?

To continue offering the work it is presently doing, in the social field with street children.
To increase the number of housed children, until the number of 80-100, according to new possibilities.
To prepare a complementary project for working youth, after 17 years old

Project's goals: What initial specific goals did Morning Star have and hope to achieve?

To settle in the new property that was acquired
To build the new house for the children, according to the architectural project
To have better facilities and premises for housing and education of children: More place, separated places for different activities, a more complete project beyond 17 years.

What activities Morning Star intended to undertake or measures necessary in order to achieve the goals?

Measures already taken: The land had been already purchased. The architectural project has been prepared. The pedagogical project has been checked during these ten years, as to prove the validity of our style and methods. Construction of a provisory shelter in the compound. Now it is the Construction of the additional rooms and facilities for the Challenged Children, brought out by the necessity of expansion. The foundation has already been laid, now the new section of the building has to come up at the northern side of the existing building.

What measures had been taken to achieve the goals?

To move to our new location before date of the expiring permission, and to build the new premises as soon funds are received. This part is complete, the move Morning Star  from the Registered Office location at Kothanur Village to the new premises at Chagalatti Village.

Material and Human Resources: Number of persons required, experience and salaries. Materials required.

Because of the characteristics of the Project, the necessary human resources are Architect and Contractors. The Architect, author of the Project of the building is Mr. Anup Naik, with the studio in the following address: IN ANTIS 3/2C, Zubeida Mansion, Lady Curzon Road, Shivajinagar, Bangalore 560 001. Contractors for the new schedule of the Project are still to be designated, and be concluded with the receipt of funds. Materials required are the standard requirements for a building, granite, cement, sand, steel, paint, wood, electrical, plumbing, etc..

State the total time required for implementation and completion of the Project:

The time for the total achievement of the project is 12 to 18 months if funds are available.

What are the total number of direct beneficiaries:

Presently, 55, In the future, 80-100 boys after the new block is completed and the challenged children have their own area, now they are shared with the normal children in one building.

Male-Female ratio:

Because of the special characteristics of the Institution, until now has been only for boys and two girls. With the lack of place there was no other possibility. Perhaps in the future, the number of girls could increase after finding dedicated matrons to look after them and share in the same life style as the founders.

What are the Criteria employed in the selection of beneficiaries?

There are not previous conditions. Children from the streets are invited to come to the house. There they are befriended by other children who make them to feel free at home and teach them the basic rules of the house. They can remain there or go away. Not all children who come here continue to stay at home. But the house keeps open doors for all those with whom it has good contacts. Street children may come and stay for a night or two, sleep, take a good bath, eat and go back again. But this home is not a shelter for working children to stay for the nights.
The policy of "Morning Star" will be to take these boys who have a desire to go to school and become educated and literate, in whatever branch, technical or commercial training, and eventually grafting them into the mainstream of social life, which so far has rejected them because of who or where they were once.

State how the target population has been involved in the preparation and decision making process of the project and to what extent they will participate in its future development and continuity:

Even if children, because of their age, have not participated in the decision making process for the purchase of the land and construction of a new house, the simple possibility of a new home and better premises, with place for study, games, a piece of land to be cultivated, with animals and pets, has been very much welcomed.

Ethnic groups:

Everybody is well accepted, irrespective of religion and caste. There are Hindus, Muslims and Christians, without any differences.

Explain how the Project will work once external financial aid is over:

As far as external aid is immediately required for the construction of the building, once this financial aid is over, the Organization will continue as it has done until now. It has been registered as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), and it is entitled to appeal for and to receive grants and donations. There are arraknut and coconut trees planted which should give a turnover to help run some of the expenses. Ragi crops are grown and consumed as standard meals at Morning Star.

What are the Future Projects :

Because of these reasons when MOrning Star started, long time ago the organizers started to find out an alternative to this situation. They tried to find a plot of land of their own, where a bigger house could be built and place for games and manual work would be found.

A plot of land in a suitable location was found, according to the the organizer's economical possibilities in Bagalur (Bangalore District.) It is 3,675 acres or 147 guntas (1 acre = 40 guntas), with a total cost of 918.750 Rs (250.000 Rs per acre). (Note: An acre equals 0.4 hectare or an area measuring 64 x 64 m. The land bought already, while the special permission from Karnataka Government to buy "agricultural land" is completed.

The Main Future Project is the completion of the Challenged Children's section of the house. This will have the necessary facilities for movement of the physically impaired, ramps, toilets, sleeping cots, medical room for physiotherapy, easy link to the main building which at present houses the normal  and challenged children, which consists of a dinning room which doubles as a dormitory at night, a kitchen run on gas, a library, a dormitory  with double row bunkers for the normal children upstairs, a quadrangle and guest rooms.


Is there any Tax Benefits available for donating to Morning Star?

Yes,  the Didier Charitable Trust is Registered with the Office of the Director of Income Tax (Exemptions), Bangalore and holds a valid Recognition  Certificate No: DIT(E)80G(R)/234/W-1/2005-06 DT: 02/09/2005 Valid till 31st March 2008, under Section  "80G(5)(VI)" of the Income Tax Act of 1961.
donors in India can avail of this benefit as per the Income Tax Rules.
ALL DONATION PAYMENTS/CHEQUES, ARE TO BE MADE ONLY IN THE NAME OF "DIDIER CHARITABLE TRUST".


What Morning Star and the Orphanages in Bangalore don't need

There is so many tragic events around the world, and people and organizations are involved in donating to these events. However, some do consider donating their mite towards the less fortunate children in local orphanages and homes. What the Orphanges do not require is 'Negative Reporting' by newspapers who like to spice up their headlines trying to grab attention to something which is a half -truth. This causes unnecessary doubts in genuine donors, and those who toil to look after the children have an extra burden of trying to always prove that they are legitimate instead of utilizing their time more effectively for the children.


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Photographs on this Site: Courtesy Mark & Jude Lazaro, Lyn Fernandez and Ronnie Johnson
NEWChristmas at Morning Star 2005 and A visit to Morning Star on 30th October 2005 >>> REX the Children's new companion. >>> Morning Star Children's Photo Gallery 13 November 2005. >>> Visitors to Morning Star from overseas, on 5th January 2006.

Road map Please Click on this << Ikon for the Road Map to Morning Star . The Map is not drawn to scale, but gives an approximate direction with landmarks that you would see enroute. Take care of speed breakers that have been placed on the road to prevent trucks from over speeding.

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