Thursday, January 31, 2013

Our new boy has a sponsor!

Just a quick update -- we just got a sponsor for Padmanabhu!

Dear sponsor, thank you so much! We can't adequately express our gratitude for the generosity that you have displayed for our newest little boy. If you are ever in Mysore, please let us know. I'm sure Padmanabhu would be tickled to meet you!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A new boy for Operation Shanti

Our newest boy at our children's home is Padmanabhu, a cute little 12-year-old boy from Mangalore, which is about a 10-hour trip from Mysore. Padmanabhu lost his dad and mom a few years ago, as well as his little sister Pallavi. Padmanabhu then went to live with his grandpa. Then, grandpa passed away last year and his relatives put him into a residential school in the area.

For some reason, the school decided he wasn't "fit" to be in their institution and asked the boy to leave. The relatives, who were reluctant to keep Padmanabhu with them, heard about our place in Mysore and asked if he could be admitted with us.

Sometimes, relatives who just don't want to bother with their nieces or nephews tell us all kinds of stories about why they can't keep a kid who has nobody else in his life. We really aren't sure why this happens but it happens frequently. In any event, we took Padmanabhu in at Karunya Mane because, obviously, he needs shelter and people to care for him.

At his old school, Padmanabhu was studying in 5th grade, but he'll likely start over in 3rd grade---this often happens if the kid's old school did not have a strong curriculum. We aren't concerned, Padmanabhu is an eager and very active child, and a few of our other kids have had to repeated a grade when they first come to KM---they are now excelling as students!

Padmanabhu going to school on Monday
Padmanabhu is adjusting well to life at KM, and sure does enjoy being with our 22 other boys. He's making fast friends with them, and started participating in our activities right away---karate on Sundays and Wednesdays with the other boys, and some yoga and chanting with a couple of volunteers this past Sunday.

If you'd like to sponsor Padmanabhu, please see our website: sponsor Padmanabhu!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Two New Kids -- Project Food and More

Project Food and More, our effort to assist children orphaned by HIV/AIDS with monthly care packages, added two new kids to the program (names have been changed for privacy reasons).


Dilip, age 9, lives with his mom and grandmother in a two-room house in a slum area of Mysore. His dad, who was a truck driver, committed suicide a few months ago by drinking poison. Mom is quite distraught as she can barely support herself and her son, and she must now travel to Bangalore once a month to get Dilip's HIV medication -- second line therapy is only offered in Bangalore. 

Dilip is a very cute little boy, looks more like he's 6 years old, and sure does like to play with his friends in his neighborhood. 


Pooja is a sweet 13-year-old girl studying in 8th grade in a slum area of Mysore. Her mother used to work as a housekeeper but cannot work now because of her health issues. Pooja and mom live in a tiny two-room rented house with her uncle, his wife, and their two children. Pooja's dad died five years ago from HIV. 

If you'd like to help Dilip and Pooja with monthly care packages, you can do so with a $25 (Rs.1200) donation at: Project Food and More Donation. Thank you!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Best (BEST!) Students in School

In our last post, we mentioned that two of our girls, Mamatha and Shilpa, were selected as the best students in their schools, Mamatha for Deepa Middle School (grades 5-7) and Shilpa from Deepa Primary School (grades 1-4).

Well, here they are, getting their awards at the recent school day program for Deepa School. Such excellent recognition for our two girls, who both come from such difficult backgrounds--as do all of our kids.

Shilpa lived in a slum area of Mysore for seven years, until she came to Karunya Mane. She never attended school but was forced to stay home to take care of her little brothers when mom and dad went to work in the city, collecting paper and cardboard boxes to sell by weight. Shilpa came to KM a couple of years ago and started in 1st grade at Deepa School, and has gotten only A+s since. 

Shilpa's dad recently passed away, and she was very sad to see him go because they were close. Dad called for Shilpa often during the days before he died, and his kids got to see dad before he passed.

Mamatha came to KM a couple of years ago, after her mom died suddenly and very unexpectedly. She had a rough first two or three months as she adjusted to the new environment, after living with her mom for years in their little house. Now, she's fully integrated into KM and Deepa School and is consistently an outstanding student and really well-behaved girl.

Mamatha has a father but, after visiting her twice, he hasn't come to see her.

The award presenter in the photos is Mr. KM Puttu, an Officer in the Government Education Department.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

SO many prizes!

About this time of year, the schools usually hold their School Day events, including games and contests among the students.

Twenty-five of our 34 kids enrolled at Deepa School won a total of 43 prizes! Here is the list of prizes won. Check out Prema with 4 prizes and Devaraj, Sharath, Vijayalakshmi, Manjula, and Suma with 3 each! Even little Adarsh was the fastest little froggie in his kindergarten class frog race!

Name Grade Contest Prize
Vishnu 1st Running 1st
Shilpa 2nd Grouping the grain 1st
Jyothi 2nd Recitation 1st
Pallavi 3rd Lemon and spoon race 1st
Razak 3rd Grouping the books 1st
Devaraj 4th Sack race 2nd
Grouping the bangles 2nd
Janapada nruthya 2nd
Renuka 4th Recitation 1st
Arabia 4th Lemon and spoon race 2nd
Netra 4th Recitation 2nd
Kartik 4th Sack race 2nd
Shwetha 4th Grouping the bangles 1st
Sadiq 4th Drawing 1st
Prema 5th Singing 2nd
Pick and axe 2nd
Throwball 1st
Discipline and attendance 1st
Pooja 5th Singing 2nd
Throwball 2nd
Shanti 5th Singing 2nd
Throwball 1st
Mamatha 6th Throwball 1st
Sharath 6th Drawing 3rd
Throwball 1st
Ball throwing into the wicket 3rd
Vinod 6th Singing 2nd
Volleyball 2nd
Pavan 6th Volleyball 2nd
Vijayalakshmi 5th Dance 3rd
Recitation 3rd
Drawing 2nd
Divya 5th Drawing 2nd
Dance 3rd
Prajwal 6th Singing 1st
Drawing 1st
Adarsh KG Frog race 1st
Manjula 8th Throwball 1st
Running race 1st
Lockie corner 1st
Suma 9th Throwball 1st
Shotput 1st
Running race 2nd

We're so proud of them.

KM Kids at School with their Prizes