The East West Foundation of India (TEWFI) was founded in 1993 by Dr. Natteri V. Chandran, conforming to the regulations in India to ensure transparency and accountability of all donations made in India or overseas. As a result of it proving its bonafides through its works, TEWFI is recognized by the Government of India as a charitable foundation, has tax deductibility status in India, and has obtained FCRA permission from the Reserve Bank of India to receive foreign funds directly into its account.
- TEWFI began by collecting medicines, medical and nursing textbooks and journals from overseas and organizing their distribution to a number of charitable health care organizations within India.
- Since 1993 TEWFI has assisted and worked with a number of Indian NGOs and organizations and formed strong affiliations with them over the years.
- In 1994, TEWFI worked together with the Schizophrenia Care and Research Foundation (SCARF), in assisting in the construction of a psychiatric hospital for the poor and disadvantaged in Chennai.
- The Charter of TEWFI states that it will engage a segment of rural India positively and meaningfully. In accordance with this, Project Mahabalipuram was initiated by The East West Overseas Aid Foundation of Australia (TEWOAF), a partner organisation in Australia, in 1994. It attracted 20 donors from around the world.
- In 1995, the remote rural fishing village of Alamparai was chosen by TEWFI. At the time, before the construction of the East Coast Road, this village was difficult to access. It took some 5 hours to travel the 110 kms or so from Chennai. Land was purchased there by TEWFI in 1996.
- This land was used to build a primary health care facility in 1998. The facility, called the Uluru Health Care Centre(UHCC), is the only provider of health care for some 26,000 people in the surrounding villages.
- Given the widespread incidence of female infanticide and foeticide, TEWFI then conceived of a home for destitute and abandoned children. Land was purchased and building of the Uluru Children’s Home(UCH) commenced in 2002. The first children arrived in 2003. The Home accepts and cares for particularly vulnerable girls, as well as some boys, from the community. At the Home, they are given food, clothing and shelter in an environment that is safe and loving. Further, they have access to the health care and education that are crucial to providing opportunities to pursue a life of their choice.
- The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami devastated communities around Alamparai. TEWFI established a Post Tsunami Health Care and Research Project(PTHCRP) to look after the long term mental and physical well being of the families in these villages. Following from the quality of the work, TEWFI was invited by the Government of India to present its work at the National Disaster Management Conference in New Delhi in November 2006. Read the paper presented here.
- TEWFI has been increasingly involved in community development work in and around Alamparai. It employs local staff, and makes all its purchases from local small businesses where possible. TEWFI fosters youth and self help groups and empowers women in the local community through a variety of programs. The recently opened UNDP Women’s Centre will cater for these, and other programs.
- TEWFI has provided the local State primary school with teachers, and essential infrastructure such as desks and fans. It has also built a toilet block at the school, which is used by more than 200 students.
- The recently built Vicki Standish e-Education Centre provides children at the Home and everyone in the surrounding community, with access to computer, and computer facilitated, education.
- The Coastal Environment Education Centre, built in conjunction with Pitchandikulam Bio Resource Centre – Auroville, will endeavour to provide the community with environmental awareness and education initiatives.
This provides a brief overview of the activities at TEWFI so far. Read an account of the history of TEWFI by our Founder, Dr Chandran (PDF / 27KB), and explore the activities of TEWFI further through this website.