District Significant Achievement Award
Dudley Rotary Club is the only Club
in District 1210 to have been presented with four District
Significant Achievement Awards.
Pebble in the Pool
If you drop a
pebble in a pool the ripples reach far and wide. Father Anthony
Fleming dropped his stone in the water during a four yearly visit to
the Rotary Club of Dudley, his home town, and with the help of Rotary
all around the world a new village for leper families in India was
wanted, with his belief and vision, to provide families shunned by
society with homes they could call their own. The first ripple began
when Father Fleming approached the Dudley Club to fund a project to
build 40 homes for leper families in Bargarh. Dudley took on the
challenge and the launch of the project brought help from other
Rotary Clubs in District 1210, France, Germany, schools, individuals
and Religious bodies throughout the U.K.
Leper families in
Bargarh were living in appalling conditions in mud huts on the side
of a river bank with no proper shelter, no drinking water and no
quality of life. They had become outcasts from society due to
religious dogma and had gathered together to survive. Father Fleming
wanted the lepers to have solid homes for their families to live in
instead of the primitive mud hovels that society had condemned them
As soon as the
funds came in, land was purchased and the ripples spread further with
work on the new solidly built homes beginning. More than £29,000
raised from all around the world went to buy the land, the materials
for the new homes and funded the labour costs over a period of 3
changed the life of the leper families in Bargarh: they had
their own houses, dignity, a purpose in life and a goal to work for. They worked hard to become
self sufficient, with their own animals, cultivated fields, and with a spinning and weaving business.
A hospital and
school were set up in the new Ashraya village (the name meaning 'Shelter') to provide medical care
and education to the residents and children with funds attracted from other sources that the ripples have reached.
made a matching grant to assist with funding an electricity supply
and sanitation for the village, essentials not previously enjoyed by
the leper families.
All this would not have been possible without the vision and compassion shown for
the desperately poor by Father Fleming. The lepers' lives were drastically changed by the help received. They showed their thanks by putting a plaque on each home
dedicated to each club or organisation that raised the money.
The Rotary Club of
Dudley feels privileged to have facilitated this project through its
connection with the Dudley priest Father Tony Fleming who gave 50
years of service to the poor in India. Sadly Father Tony passed away but his legacy lives on.