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Religious Youth Service

Roads Widened in India with RYS

Participants: 100 Nations Represented: 7

Karukutty, Kerala, South India—

Background: Kerala, South India had hosted international and local RYS projects since 1991. This project attracted the attention and presence of the Governor, education leaders and tens of thousands of local citizens in public events.

Duration: February 15 - 25, 1996

Work: RYS worked on widening rural village roads along with local villages based on the foundation of Gramswaraj, a Gandhian rural development outreach based at the Mohatma Gandhi University.

Summary: This was a model project in that it drew on the cooperation of the Gandhi University and its Gramswaraj grassroots foundation. Funded largely by the university with the IRF bringing key staff which included the site couple.

Such a strong grassroots support occurred with the village planning meeting attracting 100 volunteers and the work drew 100-250 volunteers. Five thousand villages welcomed RYS and the governor after a large peace parade. RYS visited five villages for programs in which thousands of locals shared words and cultural offerings with participants and staff.

Project Director: John Gehring:
Co-ordinator: Jo Jo Augustine
Site Leaders: Drs. Kazi and Azizzun Islam
Advisors: Fr. Anthony Chiriapanaptha, Dr. Munuswamy, Cardinal Anthony Padiyara.

The project drew a wide range of influential advisors from the government, religious world and community.

Media: A good press conference with the Islam's as spokesperson's led to much newspaper coverage. Radio coverage was on Radio India.

Contributors: Gandhi University, IRF, WFWP and IRFWP

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