In India, extreme poverty and a lack of awareness and access to resources prompt parents to abandon their mentally challenged children. Children are abandoned in public places such as hospitals, bus and railway stations, and even in dustbins! Child Welfare Committees, the Police and India's ChildLine services bring such children to Sri Arunodayam where they are nurtured, restored to health, and rehabilitated. At present we have 106 children in our care.
Sri Arunodayam is one among very few homes that actually accommodate abandoned mentally challenged children. Most other homes act as day care centers which are funded by the parents. In our case, parents have completely abandoned their children, so we undertake to give them the home environment that they are missing. This means that we are solely responsible for their well-being, providing good food, accommodations, medical care, education, physiotherapy and vocational training.
Sri Arunodayam has built its foundation on humanitarian values that uphold the dignity and rights of such children. We offer them the opportunities and rehabilitation programs that regular children receive because we want them to enjoy as normal a life as they possibly can. Through rehabilitation programs, we help them become more self-reliant and gain self esteem as they become productive citizens of society.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
Sri Arunodayam's official website
Short film on Sri Arunodayam's work with children
Sri Arunodayam is building a new home for girls
Volunteering opportunities at Sri Arunodayam