Indian Grant Chairman, Progress Report – 164 Years in the Making*

*Excerpts from Dr. James Taylor’s, Indian Grant Chairman’s reporting on his recent visit to the Arni Higher Secondary School, Arni, India.

“An eye-opening visit to Arni Higher Secondary School:”

Since we have been sending money for many years, I took an afternoon to have a look, and meet the people.

Arni is a town of about 65,000; a one hour drive southeast of CMC Vellore. Arni Higher Secondary School teaches 175 students, the vast majority are nonchristians. Of these, 106 are boarding students, all orphans or near orphans, having lost one or both parents, or cannot be cared for in their homes. They are pitiful kids.

Boarding students assembled in front of the banyan tree planted in the courtyard of Arni Higher Secondary School. The banyan tree is a symbol of the Church of South India because it always plants new roots and never dies. Notice the students with trumpets. We had a parade with a brass band upon my entry into the school.

Squatter camp along edge of school property. The school will use our increased donation this year to work on completing a perimeter wall around the property. Once squatters occupy the property, they will be difficult to legally remove.

By my estimate, the school is doing very good work on a tight budget. Our donations here are money well spent. The current donation, increased from $2000 last year to $4000 this year, will be spent on completing the peripheral wall to prevent squatters from occupying the property.

At the request of Bishop Rajavelu, Dr. Anbu Rao accompanied me, acting as guide and interpreter. This service proved invaluable, as I struggled to understand even the English of the Correspondent, Dr.V. Thiyagarajan. The position of Correspondent is something akin to a Chief Executive, which seems in this case to be a voluntary position. Dr. Thiyagarajan’s primary occupation is a physician in Arni. Rajan Sundar Singh, the head master did not speak English during my visit. Mr. Singh also works as a police officer in Tindvanam.

 

As our car pulled into the driveway, a small brass band greeted us with a ragged fanfare. After handshakes all around, we followed the band and a group of students in a rehearsed, but still irregular, parade into the school courtyard.

Dr. Anbu Rao, Correspondent Dr.V. Thiyagarajan and Head Master Rajan Sundar Singh join me for a ceremony and to address the students.

Since my visit was on a Saturday, none of the day students and only about half of the boarding students were on hand. The school is coeducational, but I only saw three female students at my visit.  

Bottom line:

Our money is well spent. This is a viable on going entity expanding the kingdom of God.

I thank them for carrying forward the Scudder family legacy.

jim

The Scudder Association is grateful to Dr. Taylor’s and wife, Susan’s tireless efforts on behalf of the Association.


Arni High School, The Back Story and funding request: The following quotes are from an email received 12/21/16 from Arni Higher Secondary Correspondent, Dr.V. Thiyagarajan

“The 3rd son of Dr.John Scudder by name Dr.Rev.Joseph Scudder along with his wife by name Sara Anna Chamberlin were entrusted the role of establishing a Church in Arni in 1853 and selected the place near the riverbed at Arni and constructed in 5.61 acres land and finished church in 1854. In the year 1857 he constructed a Bunglow to reside and dedicated the Bunglow for Reverend as Parsonage for 2 pastors to go around village ministry

In the year 1857 he started constructing an Elementary school with country tiles mud walled school cum hostel for the poorest children to stay and to get educated and it is our great joy that the school is being upgraded to +2 (Higher secondary education from Elementary Education). The local church and the Diocese had taken several measures in realizing the school to get upgraded to this level. With great burden we are sustaining the level of education being imparted to the children.

The development of the school as of now is a great achievement of the local Church and the Diocese. However we would like to present a small obligation in regards to the developments of the school. One of the most needed and less attended needs is the complete safety wall for the school. The encroachment is being made by the vagabonds and those who are against the Christian movements. So they are trying to encroach as there is no full compound wall for the properties which were made possible the Scudder family. Thus we happen to request to enhance the grants and enable us to realize a complete safety wall which shall prevent the school buildings and the properties to be properly used for the intended activities.

We have great interest and burden towards the maintenance of the present campus and its properties which were made possible to us with great sacrifice by the Scudder family. But the costs of maintenance has considerably increased and thus we earnestly request you to kindly increase the annual grant to US$5000 which shall be of great assistance in maintaining and also gradually improving the assets created.”

 

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