Star Action India News
Jenny reports: All twenty children in our Save the Babies home are doing well. Our youngest child, MAYAKANNAN (2 years) and his sister DANA LAKSHMI (4 years) have settled in well and will learn enough English from Sasees to pass the ‘English Test’ all children take before Primary School. PADMINI (5 years) and MARCUS (8 years) have already passed this test. Marcus is proving particularly bright and is learning Tamil (the local language) along with Hindi and English. POPPY (3 years) now at nursery school is also good with English and could be very clever. Our cleverest older child is VELAMMAL (13 years) who in spite of her terrible start in life as a street beggar, dead mother and father suffering from leprosy, has blossomed in Save the Babies’ care. At senior school now, she came 10th out of 60 girls in the top group. She hopes to train as a nurse.
We have three other ‘new children’: Sisters VALLI (10 years) and little NAGALAKSHMI (age 5½years). They come from a broken home with a violent and drunken father, but have recovered and settled in under the excellent care of Richard and Sasees. Valli speaks and understands some English and seems very bright, with sparkling eyes. Then we have older SANGEETHA (11 years) who has also had a very difficult life as an orphan, cared for by her grandmother, whose only income was from picking up rubbish.
I was very impressed with the happy atmosphere and the lovely way all the older children care for their younger brothers and sisters. Richard and Sasees are truly super parents. It is no small task to create such a happy, united family out of 20 young people from such very different and often extremely disadvantaged beginnings. All the older children do many things to help, and Sasees is teaching the girls to cook. We really enjoyed their superb efforts.
Highlights of my stay were my first ever visit to a Tamil movie with all the children, and being a guest at the wedding reception of one of Sassess’s friends. (All 20 children were invited too, and behaved wonderfully.)
Our Old People’s Home Project:
We viewed the land which has now been purchased. It looks a lovely site and we are very excited about this new project. We expect to have the final design within the next month, and will embark upon the building as soon as funds permit.