Bhavani is only in the 5th grade, but speaks about her life as if she were many years older. She lives with her grandparents and her mother in a small hut in her village.
Bhavani was barely a year old when her father left the village to work in Chennai. They had no steady source of income, so he was forced to leave his family behind to find a way to earn more. Since then, he has rarely visited his only daughter. He has no permanent job, works wherever possible and sends home whatever money he earns.
Bhavani’s mother works as a maid at neighboring houses and brings home leftovers when she can. Bhavani has grown up under the care of her grandparents, as her mother works from 5:00 AM until 7:00 PM. She accompanies her mother on weekends to watch her work.
Bhavani seemed perfectly healthy when she was born but her family soon came to know that she had a skeletal limb abnormality. Her left arm is shorter than her right arm. Bhavani is not upset about her abnormality and says it often gets in way when she tries lifting things with both the hands, but she has grown accustomed to it.
When we asked her to describe her life, Bhavani spoke with such a clear tone, with no hesitation. She enjoys watching her mother work at the houses, as that’s the only time she gets to spend with her, and she learns a lot when she visits different houses and meets different people.
When asked about her local HoPE Learning Center, her face clearly brightens, radiating pure happiness. Always left with her grandparents and no friends to play with, she had a lonely childhood until she joined our HoPE Learning Center.
She said, “I enjoy HoPE Learning Center as we do a variety of activities every day. I practice yoga and Phonemic Intelligence regularly. I was tiny and weak from lack of food before joining HoPE Learning Center, but now after yoga and delicious evening snacks my grandma is very happy and says that I have become healthier and taller. Every month I look forward to the monthly events as they are very interesting and my friends and I, we work together happily.”
Bhavani continues, “I sincerely want to thank our sponsors and Tripura Foundation for giving children like us a hopeful childhood that we can have brighter future with all your support. I would also like to thank them for providing us the evening snacks as they are a major source of healthy food for us.
Villagers tell me that I speak very well and my teachers encourage me in pursuing a career in teaching. Though I am very young, I have decided to continue with the guidance my teachers offer and become successful person in whatever future that awaits me. I long for my father every day, and it is my goal to take care of my parents and grandparents all by myself when I grow up. My mother and father should never have to work again and can support me by staying by my side.”
It costs $350 to care for, feed, educate and support 40 children like Bhavani each month. Will you help us help more?