Karunya Mane now houses 53 kids -- 28 boys and 25 girls. We've got several new kids this year, all from very poor backgrounds and most with just one parent (a single mother) or no parents. Some of the kids came to us from another organization that works with HIV+ women, and their mothers are single and are unable to properly for their kids by themselves. In most such situations, the fathers either abandoned the family or died.
The new kids have all gained weight, are all well-integrated into life at Karunya Mane, and attend Deepa Primary School along with our "old timers."
Three of our new kids, Pavankumar, Shivuprasad, and Kavyashree, came to us from nearby villages and have no fathers. Although Pavankumar and Kavyashree were in the 5th and 6th grades in school, they could not even write the alphabet. Now, they can not only write, they are also reading and enjoying the company of our other kids.
Akshith's mom and dad were day laborers on the coffee estate of one of our volunteers. Mom and dad battle significant health issues and were no longer able to properly care for Akshith. Akshith, age six, is a sweet, very well behaved little boy who now has many friends to play with at Karunya Mane.
Raju is a very cute, polite little boy whose mother begs on the streets of Mysore for a living. She earns about 30 rupees a day. Raju now lives with us at Karunya Mane, and is in lower kindergarten this year. He does his schoolwork every day and is a very happy, cheerful kid.
Manjula, Suma, Renuka, and Manu came to Karunya Mane after her mom, a street vendor, died from liver failure caused by her alcoholism. The three sisters had attended a government school in the city, where they were doing relatively well despite only four working teachers at the school for 1st to 7th grades. The kids have gained weight, are much healthier, and have settled in nicely at Karunya Mane. Manu, who had not yet attended school, now goes to lower kindergarten with our other little ones.
Kartik's father is a street vendor who sells various trinkets and toys. His mother passed away a few years ago from a bus accident, and dad often returned home late, leaving the boy alone after school. Kartik and dad lived in a small room off a cow shed in a village outside of Mysore. Although Kartik was in the 3rd grade, he was not performing at that level. Now, Kartik studies well and does his homework nightly.
Prakwal's mother was our cleaning lady at Karunya Mane. She stopped working when she got gravely ill and almost died this past year. Prajwal then came to stay with us at Karunya Mane as his father had run away years ago and his other relatives have refused to care for him. Prajwal is a very well behaved boy and is an excellent student. Mom, who is now in better health, visits him once a month on Sundays.
Arabia, Sadif, and Razak came to Karunya Mane after their father fell ill and suffered serious bouts of depression. Their mother died about four years ago and their father is no longer able to properly care for them. Arabia is a very well behaved girl, quiet, and very caring of others. Sadif and his younger brother Razak are also good kids and enjoy their new friends at Karunya Mane.