Friday, 8 January 2016

A happy birthday in India

8 January 2006: Ali's last birthday celebrations in India.
Pictured with Sk. Nagoorsheda who has Down's Syndrome.
Recalling - naturally - Ali's birthday today, it is easy to remember many of the birthdays celebrated with her over the years.

Between 2001 and 2006 Ali spent two weeks in India each January.  She was normally there for her birthday on 8 January.  If we went to India later in the month she had a birthday celebration there anyway.

Although she also went to India in 2007, Ali's last birthday celebrations there were ten years ago, in January 2006. On the day of her birthday a new home, named after the charity she founded - the Enable Home for Disabled Children - was opened in Ongole, Andhra Pradesh, with joyful festivities. At that time there was no indication that all that Ali had worked so tirelessly to develop would disintegrate just a few months later because of the corruption of a few people in India who betrayed the trust that had been put in them.  What happened was heartbreaking for Ali.

While Ali appreciated the celebrations that were put on in her honour, she was happiest of all just being with the children.  They called her 'Mummy Alison' and she loved them as intensely as any mother would love her children.  Being with 'her' children made those birthday celebrations between 10 and 15 years ago so special for Ali.

Returning for Ali's birthday on 8 January 2006.
 College students Ali had been supporting since 1995.
8 January 2006:  Ali's 51st birthday.
With some of her children at the newly opened Enable Home in Ongole.

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