Spanish founder of aid organisation in India in hospital

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Vicente Ferrer, the founder of a humanitarian organisation in India and considered Spain's equivalent to Mother Teresa, has been hospitalised after suffering a stroke, his foundation said Sunday.

MADRID - Ferrer, 88, has been treated since Friday in a hospital in the Anantapur district of southeast India, where his condition was described as "stable, which could indicate a positive outcome," the foundation said on its Internet site.

Ferrer, a former Jesuit, has been working in India for 55 years. In 1969 he founded the organisation which bears his name with his English journalist wife Anne Perry.

His NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) is active in many villages in Anantapur, one of the poorest districts in the state of Andhra PRadesh.

According to the foundation's Internet site, at the end of 2007 the NGO had taken charge of the education of more than 120,000 children, and helped more than 60,000 women and 15,000 handicapped persons.

Ferrer was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of civil merit at the end of last year by the government of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. He received Spain's top distinction, the Prince of Asturias Concorde prize in 1988.

AFP / Expatica

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