Checking in on a struggling family

You may remember the story of a young mother from the village of Anjeneya who was killed by tuberculosis (TB) back in 2019.

Her widowed husband, with their two children, returned to his native village to live with his elderly parents, moving away from our educational and community  activities.

Sekar with his two daughters

Recently our director, Rupakanthan, decided to visit the family and check on how the girls were doing. The elder has finished the fifth grade without putting in much effort: thanks to Covid, this is the second year in India that children have been promoted to the next class without checks or assessments and sometimes without school lessons at all. This is often the case in public schools where distance learning is only an idea.

The family lives in extreme poverty, since the girls’ father only manages to work occasionally. His parents are now too old to work and there have been fewer opportunities for him in the last 18 months, due to fear and continuous lockdowns. The three adults and the two girls live in a small concrete cube of 6 square meters with a tin roof.

Sekar father and mother

Immediately we gave them 15 kg of rice and some provisions and we also decided to build a small hut in the typical Irula style next to the cube. That work has already begun.

The elder of the two girls, who is attending 6th grade, has now been admitted to a girls’ residential school for tribal children in Pattipulum.

kanniyammal admitted to Pattipulam hostel