Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pallavi and Sumitra -- eight years later!

If you were with us in 2005 when we first started our work, you may remember Pallavi and Sumitra, two little girls we met on the streets of Mysore, where they lived with their moms. See how your support has helped change the lives of these two little street girls.

Before we met the girls in 2005, we ran into Sumitra one day in early 2004 -- her grannie was out begging with Sumirtra and, after we gave her a few rupees, she put Sumitra down on the sidewalk and scurried away for a few minutes.

Sumitra in 2004
Back in 2005, even when living on the street, Pallavi and Sumitra were happy little girls. They sure got dirty and were malnourished, but they smiled a lot and played with each other and were happy kids most of the time. They and their friends captured our hearts with their big smiles. 

Pallavi in 2005
Both Pallavi and Sumitra had tuberculosis as little girls. Sumitra was severely malnourished as a baby and got a viral infection that likely affected her brain. When they lived on the street, their moms struggled to feed them each day. They overcame their illnesses but the effects linger. Sumitra is small for her age and Pallavi suffered chronic ear infections. She recently needed to have both ears operated on. 

Pallavi and Sumitra in 2006
Back then, Pallavi and Sumitra were really good friends. They went everywhere together, played together, and slept on the same sidewalk at night. In 2008, they moved to our children's home together and, today, they remain good friends.

During the past five and a half years at KM, a lot has changed for Pallavi and Sumitra. After her ear operations, Pallavi's hearing noticeably improved and, with that, her performance in school. Both girls love karate and dancing classes at KM. They are a bit slower in school than our other kids, so they get one-on-two tutoring each day after school with their teacher, Chandrika Miss, who also talks to them about basic good habits like staying clean and neat and keeping their belongings tidy.

Pallavi in 2012
Sumitra in 2012
Sometimes we wonder what life would have been like for Pallavi and Sumitra had they not come to Karunya Mane to live--we can guess that life would have been difficult and they likely would not be in school right now. We're just happy for them that they are doing much better now. They also can't imagine going back to their lives on the street and tell us often that they like living at the "ashrama."

Sumitra and Pallavi with their tutor after school
We're pleased when their mothers refer other poor children to us because that tells us that they might be happy with how their girls are doing at Karunya Mane. Best of all, Pallavi and Sumitra get to be kids and are just enjoying their childhood, as all kids should.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Welcome Yashavanth!

We've got a new boy at Karunya Mane! Little Yashavanth is six years old, quite a cutie, and definitely mischievous! Yashavanth and his sister lost their dad about two years ago, and they now live with mom in grandma's house in a slum area of Mysore.

We heard of Yashavanth from one of our other moms -- our moms are usually the best source for other destitute children who need help, for obvious reasons -- and introduced us to Yashavanth and mom. Mom works from 9am to 9pm, and grandma often works daily labor jobs, so there is often nobody at home to watch the kids. This is a common problem among destitute single moms.

We admitted Yashavanth to the local private school in 1st grade, and he now catches the school bus every morning with our other kids. He attended a government school for one month but was not yet reading or writing, so he's starting from scratch. Yashavanth is very enthusiastic about school, so we believe that he'll catch up and do just fine, and we look forward to watching him grow and develop in the coming years!

Yashavanth's sister will join us next year, closer to the age of six. New government rules prevent us from taking kids under the age of six, even though starting with children earlier than later is always preferred, and we endeavor to provide our youngest with the best possible early education, nutrition, attention, and care.

If you'd like to sponsor Yashavanth, please do so at


Monday, September 2, 2013

Happy Belated Krishna Janmashtami !

Krishna Janmashtami is the annual commemoration of of the birth of the Hindu deity Krishna, which fell on August 28 this year.

Darsha, Yashavanth, Manu, Mohan, Darshan, Jeevan, Umesh, Venky, Adarsh, Vishnu, Vishnu, Raju!
There were celebrations throughout the country, including at Karunya Mane! On Wednesday morning before school, our little boys got dressed up as Krishna and had a good time playing their "flutes"!

Little Venkatesh!