This article appeared in The Hindu Times (Tirupati edition) on 2nd January 2009. Cake cutting on January 1 generally reminds one of the celebrations that are part of heralding the New Year, but it was a different event at Akshaya Kshetram, a home for special children. Thursday’s celebration at the ashram, tucked deep in Durgasamudram village of Tirupati rural mandal, was totally different and far from the city’s revelry. As is the practice at the home every year, the New Year’s Day was celebrated as the birthday of the inmates. First reason is that the mentally-challenged children cannot reveal their date of birth and the deserted children don’t know it. The second reason is to send a ray of hope and drive home the message that their life will be purposeful from the New Year’s Day. Well cared Out of the 120 residents in the home, 30 were abandoned children picked up from railway stations, hospitals and even dust bins. The Kshetram even provides shelter to the missing and unclaimed children at Tirumala. The birthday of these children was celebrated in the presence of the Kshetram’s well-wishers and philanthropists. “Our children are not orphans, they are abandoned. They too have a right to celebrate their birthday like the normal kids,” reasons M. Ramaswami, Kshetram’s founder. The octogenarian and his wife stay at the ashram and take personal care about their nourishment and skill development. Teaching value of life Of late, there has been a significant increase in public activity on the premises. Many residents celebrate personal events like wedding day or their child’s birthday in the midst of the special children by buying them sweets or clothes. School managements...Read More
Helping to create a better world for children
Akshaya Kshetram is a charitable organisation, based in Andhra Pradesh, South India, which cares for and educates mentally and physically challenged people of all ages. The organisation is based on 2.5 acres of land in the village of Durga Samudram – roughly 10km south of Tirupati, the site of the Sri Venkateswara temple.
There are 120 mentally and physically challenged people at the Akshaya Kshetram Ashram. Most are children and most belong to low income families, who are being supported by the staff with guidance on how to take care of their children when at home.
Akshaya Kshetram has launched a scheme to sponsor a child for just Rs. 1500 per month per child.
Donations from abroad are welcomed and can be made at a minimum of US $30 or equivalent per child per month. Donors are able to pay by cheque, direct debit or cash. Cheques should be made payable to “Akshaya Kshetram”.