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Enchanted by temples, crowds and traffic jams

Seeing is believing; their experience in South India turned out to be impressive for a group of French students on a recent visit to spend time with inmates of Friendship Children Home near Siruganur.

The visitors, all children of philanthropic parents who had come to the home in two batches during this month for a better understanding of the lives of their underprivileged Indian counterparts, say they only knew India as a developing country and were enamoured by the cultural richness in the diversity during their first visit.

"We are so impressed by the charm of Hindu Temples. A great tour for our holidays,” said Victoria and Vincent who live in Paris.

"It is so different from my life in France. So many people and traffic jams. We met very kind and welcoming people," said Marine from Biarritz.

Florence Vieben, under whose care the visitors are in India, said the experiences were indeed enriching for the students.

The first batch of students were lucky to witness Independence Day celebrations at the Home, A. Gregory, Trustee of the Home, said.

There was learning too. For the first time in their life, perhaps, the visiting students were witness to the frugal lifestyle of the children at the home.

They readily joined the children in tidying up the campus.

The visitors built a strong friendship with the children at the Home during their stay for just a few days. “Language was no barrier. Gestures were more than sufficient,” the inmates recalled.

The inmates who joined the second batch of guests for a visit to the Butterfly Park near Srirangam enjoyed their outing to the fill. The French students cemented their bonds with the children at the home through conducting cultural programmes before departing for Puducherry.


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