Dear friends of IndienHilfe Deutschland e.V., it is a great pleasure for me to welcome you today as the new patron of IndienHilfe Deutschland e.V. India is a country that is very close to my heart. When I travelled there for the first time in 2011, I was immediately overwhelmed. The great kindness of the people, their openness and their completely different way of trusting in life fascinated me so much that I quickly packed my bags and moved to Mumbai for two years. Two years that have shaped and enriched me very much. And although I am now living in tranquil Berlin again, my love for this country and its people is unbroken. At the beginning of 2016 I seized the opportunity and returned to my old adopted country for one month. I took a look at some of the projects that the IndienHilfe Deutschland e.V. supports thanks to your donations and at the same time I did research for a new book, the proceeds of which will partly benefit the association.
I stayed with the Pilar Fathers in Calcutta, who gave me a very warm welcome. Every morning we went outside together at 7 o'clock to provide the poorest of the poor with a warm meal. And although the pictures are so familiar to me, I was again deeply shocked by the conditions under which the people there live ( and survive ). Some families take shelter in a simple plastic cover, which they have provisionally fixed next to a rubbish dump from which they feed. Others live without any protection on the curb or under bridges.
You can imagine how important this one warm meal is for them, which does not have to be fought for with great effort. This one plate of rice with Dal is so much more than "just" physical food, it is also emotional food. It lets people know that they have not been completely forgotten by the world.
But the main focus of IndienHilfe Deutschland e.V. is helping people to help themselves - and therefore education is naturally at the top of the agenda. During my trip I visited numerous schools, both in Calcutta and in the remote jungle villages of Jharkhand. A proper school education is the only way for children to break the vicious circle of extreme poverty, and even the very youngest seem to understand this intuitively.
It was incredibly touching to see the great joy with which the children go to school there. For them this is not something they take for granted, but a privilege.
Your donations make an huge difference in the lives of these people. Let us continue! I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support.
Yours, Judith Döker
Actress and author
The German actress Judith Döker spent two years in the Indian film metropolis Mumbai. "This completely different way of confiding in life fascinated me from the first moment." With great curiosity she immersed herself in the everyday life of very different people. She shared a single room with a Muslim cook and her three children, got to know Mumbai's upper class through a businesswoman and finally became a member of a Hindu middle class family. She has written about her experiences in the highly acclaimed book "Judith goes to Bollywood". She now lives in Berlin again, but her love for this country has never faded. Nowadays she is patron of the IndienHilfe Deutschland e.V. and gives it a new face.
Judith Döker was the leading actress in the successful comedy series "Weibsbilder", acted in various German films and series and received international awards for her self-written and produced short film "Marlen & Bijou". In 2015 her book "Judith goes to Bollywood" was published by btb Verlag.
Impressions of the book in a short film can be found here
» Watch the book trailer on youtube
India, which conquers the world market with its colourful films full of dance and love. India, which confuses and enriches with its chaotic, emotional and timeless way of life. India, which in its boundless diversity unites so much life, and yet so much misery. Judith Döker has got to know and written all this down. The result is a remarkable book, which was the initial spark for the IndienHilfe Deutschland e.V. to have the author and actress as new patroness.
"Children who are sent out on the streets to beg unprotected under the glaring sunlight are part of the Mumbai street life. More than half of the 18 million inhabitants live in slums", says Judith Döker, who met the board of IndienHilfe Deutschland e.V. in Berlin in November. "But especially the warmth of the people who are not on the sunny side of life has touched me deeply." Impressed by the success of the association, it was a matter of course for the actress and author to take over a patronage for the IndienHilfe Deutschland e.V.
But that's not all: Through donations, the association specifically supports orphanages, schools, supply and education projects, which are looked after by the Order of Pilar Fathers and its head Father Franklin on site. "When I heard that the order saves the lives of around 200 children every year thanks to German support, I wanted to know more", Judith Döker describes her motivation for flying to India in December 2015. As patron, she will visit the many projects of the IndienHilfe Deutschland e.V. on site and of course also get to know Father Franklin.
"Father Franklin dedicates his life to children who otherwise would have no chance at all. We in Germany can help him. Even small amounts make a big difference in the lives of these children," explains Judith Döker. She herself already has an idea for a new book, the proceeds of which will also go to IndienHilfe Deutschland e.V.
Jürgen Fluhr, Chairman of the Board of IndienHilfe Deutschland e.V., is delighted about the new patroness and especially about the planned book. "Life writes the best stories, and there is nowhere more life than in our numerous projects.