Eighth-grader E. M. Ebin, a resident of the Malankara Boys’ Home, takes a break from studying.
(photo: Jose Jacob)
In the summer of 2013, we took readers to a home for boys in India that was making a profound difference in many young lives:
The home is steeped in Christian values and Catholic teaching. But as with much of Indian society, it dwells side by side with other faiths — literally. The home is located between two family homes, one Hindu the other, Muslim. D. Vijaya Kumaran, the Hindu neighbor, and Nazim Ibrahim, the Muslim neighbor, have been associated with the home from the beginning, with Mr. Kumaran’s two sons and Mr. Ibrahim serving as tutors for the boys.
Mr. Kumaran, a retired bureaucrat, describes the Malankara Boys’ Home as “one of the best institutions in the area.” Mr. Ibrahim, a Kerala State Transport Corporation official, hails it as a “model” for those trying to help the poorest of the poor.
Mr. Kumaran says he has seen an amazing transformation in the home’s children.
“When they first arrive, they are timid and withdrawn,” he says, noting that such behavior is to some extent culturally instilled in people coming from backgrounds with lower social standing. “But by the time they leave, they are ready to face any challenge in life,” the 69-year-old upper-caste Hindu explains. He commends the home’s priests for giving individual attention to the children.
Read more about “Reaching the Young ‘Untouchables’” in the Summer 2013 edition of ONE. And to learn how you can support this project and so many others in India, please visit our @VVVV-1.