Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The UK Bash Raises $$

Many thanks to Matt Ryan and his friends in the UK for raising a nice sum of money for our kids and programs in Mysore!

Two cool dudes -- Matt Ryan, friend of the kids, and Johnny Marr, from the Smiths

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Pavan Kumar

Pavan Kumar, one of our older boys, came to Karunya Mane in June 2010. When he arrived, he could not even read or write in Kannada, even though he supposedly just finished up fourth grade.

Pavan has no siblings, and lived with his mom in Mandya, about a two-hour drive from Mysore. Pavan's dad left them years ago and hasn't bothered to return. Pavan is a great kid, respectful, happy, and kind -- he just had no support at home because his mom worked, and he was often left alone.

Pavan started at Deepa School with our other kids in June 2010, and spent the first half of the year in 1st grade, trying to at least get a good foundation in the basics. He was then moved to 4th grade because of his age, and struggled. About midway through this year, now in 5th grade, Pavan finally started to catch up and has been doing quite well for most of the year.

Pavan on parent's visiting day with his grandmother, mom, and little cousin.
Pavan is also a funny kid; he likes to play around and dress up, like below -- he actually went to school dressed up like and elderly village woman! Everyone got a good laugh.

Pavan as old village woman, he's even got the seating posture correct!
Next year, Pavan will be in 6th grade. Let's hope that he'll continue his excellent progress in school. It is nice to watch kids who aren't able to read or write finally begin to improve in school and, most importantly, see their enthusiasm for school grow in the process. All they need is the right support and guidance. Many thanks to Deepa School's patient teachers and Pavan's after-school tutor, Jyothi!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

LA Rocks -- again! Garth's Fourth Fundraiser on March 31st.

The fourth LA Rocks! Operation Shanti build-a-new-orphanage fundraiser will be held on March 31, 2012.

For more information, please see:

The Numbers

A recent article in a local paper talked about the problems that children in India and other countries face, and the staggering statistics.


Increasing Evils towards Children

     In India, thousands (lakhs) of children are deprived of their fundamental rights. Everyday, they are exposed to exploitation, injustice, and evils. Many children are seen in cities working as scrap collectors, beggars, and coolies in hotels and factories, and at bus stands and railway stations.

     Around the world, more than 1 billion (100 crore, 1 crore = 10 million) children work on the streets. Children are used in criminal activities like begging, prostitution, and selling illegal substances, all of which are very harmful to a child’s psyche. Such children have to deal with fear, violence, insomnia, an inferiority complex, and suicidal tendencies.

     Our society is embarrassed because of the poverty-stricken parents who sell their children and because of the teachers who sexually, physically, and verbally abuse students. An alarming percentage of Indian girls below 18 years of age are sexually exploited. Pressure from family members and caregivers forces children to sacrifice their natural instincts and give up their innocent childhood.

     India has more than four million (40 lakhs) child prostitutes. UNICEF reports state that 147.5 million (14.75 crores) children in India are homeless and stay in temples and public spaces. Thirty-three million (3.3 crores) children in India have never seen a school and 50,000 to 60,000 children are infected with HIV. According to the 2001 Karnataka census, the state has more than 350,000 (3.5 lakhs) child workers. The international publication Lancet stated that, in the past 20 years, one million (10 lakhs) female children have been killed because of female infanticide.

     Child marriages, child abuse, injustice, child labor, prostitution, criminal activities, and female infanticide have affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of children in India. We say that we have no actionable laws in place to solve children’s problems. However, child offenders must be tracked down and caught, and measures must be taken to prevent children from being involved in criminal activities. Programs must be put in place that constantly remind us of the problems that these children face, and we must help solve these problems. Governmental and non-governmental organizational involvement and cooperation is essential.

Original article: