My Name is Kumar supports the education and welfare of nearly 80 children from the Londor begging community in Tamil Nadu. We enable the education of children who would otherwise be forced onto the street to beg by providing them with school fees, safe school transport, equipment, uniform, after school homework support, healthy meals, and medical support. In addition to this we run out of school activities, trips and tuition for all the children in our programme.
Typically, from a tiny age children of the Londor begging community will accompany their parents to the temple to beg. From about the age of 5 - once the child has grown too old to be used as a prop for begging - they spend their days within the community, grow bored and receive no education. Once they reach their early teens it is very likely they will be pushed into marriage by their parents and are likely to have child as young as 15 or 16.
Without our support these children would continue to live in appalling poverty. They would never learn to read or write, would continue to live isolated from the rest of society and they would most likely marry and give birth to their own children before they turn 18. We believe that armed with a good education and given a loving, safe environment, these children can grow up to experience a life beyond begging and break the cycle of poverty they were born into.
We believe that by educating the youngest in the Londor community they will grow up to be valued members of mainstream society, get a job they enjoy and are proud of, earn a decent income, and can send their own children to school in the future. We hope that eventually the practice of begging will be eradicated and Londor families will have the freedom to choose their own path in life rather than live in absolute poverty.