A former Peterborough GP is preparing to celebrate his charity’s 25th anniversary of helping disadvantaged children.
Alwalton resident Dr Koneru Prasad, who worked at Westwood Clinic before retiring, set up HEAL ((Health and Education for All) in 1992 to bring hope into the lives of impoverished, orphaned and abandoned children.
The charity will now celebrate its silver jubilee with a gala at The Cresset in Bretton on Saturday, October 7.
An evening of colour, food, music and entertainment is promised at the HEAL India Night which will reflect on 25 years of utilising health care and education as a way to escape generational poverty for countless Indian children.
Dr Prasad, who recently met the Queen at a Buckingham Palace reception, said: “It is important to take stock of what has already been achieved and to move confidently forward into the next quarter of a century and consider what lies ahead for our young people.
“We will not rest on our laurels but continue to work for the benefit of future generations who would otherwise be denied their basic rights to an education and healthcare which can offer them a long and productive life.
“We must be unrelenting in our quest to forge new partnerships with investors, foundations and donors across the globe.
“As we enter the next 25 years, our day-to-day running costs have never been higher and the need for strong financial backing has never been more important.”
HEAL began when Dr Prasad donated his family home in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India, to establish an orphanage which became home to 26 needy children.
The first custom-built HEAL Children’s Village was created five years later in a nearby village and today is home to well over 200 children, accompanied by 16 house mothers.
HEAL is now an international charity, with chapters in the United States, Australia, the UK and India, with supporters, donors and child sponsors across the world.
But the real jewel in the crown is HEAL Paradise Village, a stunning educational campus developed on a large area of wasteland in rural Andhra Pradesh which will become home to 1,000 severely disadvantaged children by the start of the next decade.
Work is beginning on phase two of the multi-million pound development, with a health centre, sports academy and vocational training centre, among other facilities, to be added.
Tickets for India Night are £25 for adults and £15 for under 16s. Fill in an application form at www.healcharity.org/uk/india-night.