Briefly: Vicente Ferrer

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The Independent Online

Vicente Ferrer, who died on 19 June aged 89, was a revered Spanish humanist who founded a vast network of schools, clinics and other programs to help destitute people in India. The former Jesuit died in the Indian city of Anantapur, where he had lived for 40 years.

Ferrer and his Rural Development Trust operated in the south-eastern state of Andrah Pradesh. He was revered by poor people and Dalits, or “untouchables,” in the underdeveloped, drought-prone Antantapur district.

In Spain, the Catalan received several prestigious awards for his charitable work.

Ferrer and his Rural Development Trust operated in the southeastern state of Andrah Pradesh.

The trust ran development projects that focused on education, housing, women, health, agriculture and people with disabilities.

The network is now spread over nearly 2,300 towns and benefits 2.5 million people of the Dalit community and other people at the lowest rungs of the Hindu caste system.

T. Chiranjeevulu, head of the district administration, said of Ferrer: “his work benefited not less than 700,000 families over the last 50 years.”