08/01/2004 - The SOS Children's Village near the Indian city of Hyderabad will be officially inaugurated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on 9 January. The decision to construct this children's village resulted from an SOS Emergency Relief Programme, which was launched in 1999 to provide aid for more than 200 abandoned children.
The SOS Children's Village in the outskirts of Hyderabad in the Indian province of Andhra Pradesh will be officially inaugurated on January 9. Prominent guests attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony include the SOS Children's Village President Helmut Kutin, Deputy Secretary-General Siddhartha Kaul as well as senior officials from SOS Children's Villages in India, local government officials and several major European donors.
The construction of this children's village resulted from an SOS Emergency Relief Programme, which was launched in 1999 to provide aid for more than 200 children who had been sold for adoption by their poverty-stricken parents. The children, most of them under the age of two, had landed with unscrupulous child traders before police officials handed them over to local authorities.
As local authorities lacked the required infrastructure to care for all the children, they turned to SOS Children's Villages in India for assistance. The children's welfare organisation was able to provide immediate homes for 30 of these children at the SOS Children's Village in Visakhapatnam.
In order to help the other children, the organisation's relief actions included, among others, the taking over of the children's orphanage in Hyderabad, which was in dire condition, as well as engaging in intensive attempts to reunite the children with their natural parents, and provide these families with financial aid if necessary.
SOS Children's Villages provided all of these children with health care. Some of the children required long-term treatment for a vitamin D deficiency, while one child with a harelip was provided surgery from an American specialist in a nearby hospital.
In March 2001, when it became clear that many children would remain in the care of SOS Children's Villages, the organisation began with the construction of a new village with twelve family homes on land it had purchased near Hyderabad. The new premises also include an SOS Kindergarten for some 60 children.
The children and their SOS mothers, who will be staging a cultural programme for guests attending the official inauguration ceremony, moved into the new village in November 2003. The SOS Children's Village near Hyderabad is the 35th of its kind in India, where the organisation has had a presence since the early 1960s.