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On one of my visits in 2001, there was a female child in our school in Dundlod that the principal was worried about. The principal had stated that she was not getting enough food to eat at home. One evening, Ganga (the head of our school and princess of the village) and I went to visit this family. Ganga translated our conversation. 
The house was in the poorest section of the village. There were two rooms and one bed, which was only half woven. I remember thinking that they didn't even have enough yarn to finish their only bed!  The family cooked outside under a homemade clay oven with whatever sticks they could find.




The other room was empty. They needed to purchase day by day what little food they could as they had no refrigerator or even electricity. This beautiful, thin, frail woman told me that she was a widow with five children. They were very poor and she did not have enough food to feed her family. I told her that we were concerned about her family and assured her that I would like to help in some way. As we held hands, she cried, explaining the hardships she had been through.
I could not help but feel a bit guilty for having such a lucky life for being privileged to be born in America. Just luck I thought that I was born privileged and she was not.  I wondered what I could do for her that would not be a "quick fix". Thoughts of purchasing rice for a month, food or even clothes that would not be enough went through my mind.
Many of the other families in the village had goats. These folks could do more with a goat's milk than we would ever think of! The goats provided milk, cheese, and yogurt to name a few. Then when it would die of old age, it would be a meal for some. 

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I asked the teary eyed woman if I purchased a goat, could she feed it. She explained that there was a field behind the house and the goat would not lack any food.  I told her that I was going to buy her family a goat. I didn't think she believed me at that moment. After all, who was this strange white woman that wandered into her home to offer such a thing? Imagine!  

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With the help of Ganga, I "ordered" a goat from a local shepherd. (There were herdsmen all over the place!) The next day while I was at the school, I was told that the goat had arrived and they had summoned the woman from the village. I went to meet them. When I arrived at the Dundlod Fort, there was the woman, her child from our school and a healthy black goat! 
The woman had her face covered in a pretty pink sari cloth. I approached her and she pulled me close to her. She removed her veil and made eye contact with me. We did not speak the same language. We did not need to. She grabbed my hands with both of hers and started gently shaking them back and forth. Tears started flowing from her eyes as she was thanking me for this lovely goat. She smiled as I responded through my teary eyes and told her to enjoy the goat for her family. She smiled, squeezed my hands and covered her face again. I paid the man his $40.00 for the goat and he handed the young girl the leash, which was attached to the goat.  The girl smiled and waved as I watched them leave together. The girl was skipping with the goat on a leash taking her to its new home!

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Six months later, Ashok returned to Dundlod. I could not go because I didn't have enough vacation time. He visited the widow and her family. There, next to the house was that black goat as healthy as it could be. The mother told Ashok that the goat had been very helpful in providing the family with milk. They had named the goat, Linda.  :)   
This was such a valuable experience for me that I decided to do more. In December 2002, I asked my family and friends to purchase a goat for a needy family for Christmas for only $60.00. What a unique gift! Very quickly, I had enough to give away 35 goats in the village of Dundlod and $600 worth of grain in the village of Kuran for starving cattle.  
I arranged with Bonnie (Raghuvendra Singh, the "prince" of the village) to purchase goats from several herdsman in the area.  I wanted to spread the wealth around. Purchasing that many goats would make those folks rich for some time to come! With in the village they already have a list of the poorest of poor. Bonnie arranged the neediest families to receive the goats.

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When we arrived, Bonnie had arranged an entire ceremony for giving away the goats. The entire town turned out for this interesting spectacle. I had name tags made up ahead of time. When folks from the USA donated money for the goat they gave the goat a name. I handed each selected resident a goat and told each person what the name of the goat would be. They were aware that the goats came from caring people in America. A few goats had kids with them, so some lucky families got two goats for the price of one! Each recipient of the goat had to sign for it.


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Most of the people could not read or write, so they put their thumb prints on a paper and signed for the goat that way. They held out their thumbs so quickly because they were used to that for their signature. I remember thinking how happy I was that their children, who attended the Indo-International School, would be different from their parents for the rest of their life. Unlike their parents, this family would never have to put a thumb print for a signature!

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However, in the village of Kuran, where there was a three year drought, the milk producing cows were starving. The head of the village told me that they had enough goats but needed food for the cattle. We donated $600.00 for the grain. That money would feed the cows for over six months.  What a rewarding experience for all of us that we were involved in this charitable event! 
 Thank you to all of you! 
The goal of the Ninash Foundation is "to spread literacy among children and adults throughout the world." However, this was a side project that I wanted to do. Throughout that trip, I was "spreading GOATS" and joy. 

The Goat Project:
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I have continued the wonderful goat project! As of Jan. 2011, we have given away 153 goats to the poorest of poor people of the village of Dundlod. If each goat gives at least one gallon of milk a day, we are feeding so many people! They are making cheese and yogurt. A goat will have a kid (a baby) once a year, often having twins. This is truly the gift that keeps on giving for years to come! Thanks to your wonderful donations!



As of 2013, a total of 178 goats have been given away! Thank you all for your donations!







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