Our Story    
How it all started….
It was the summer of 1972, the year I got married and shifted to Bombay. With a lot of time at my disposal, I went and visited some Orphanages and Remand Homes in Chembur and Sion. I was appalled at the living conditions of the kids and touched by their desperate yearning to be cared for. Somewhere in the computer brain of mine, the desire to reach out got embedded that very day.

Years rolled by. We moved to Singapore and had our own children to take care of. Apart from just setting aside some money for this or that organization, my home became my priority. Other interests also took precedence and
I became a writer, teacher and an artist at various points of my life. After twenty years zipped by, when our own son and daughter were well settled in the US, my husband and I decided to return to India and Chennai became our preferred destination.

We began to look for land to build a Home for the Underprivileged. We encountered a lot of pitfalls; false papers, fraudulent owners, etc. For a year or so, we spread the net wide- from Manjakudi, the village where I had conducted workshops in English for rural children, to Koonoor, from Bangalore to Orissa. I realized age isn’t on our side. My dream might remain just that; merely a lovely thought, if I didn’t act fast.

I began to pray. “Start small!”, came the advice from some quarters. “Forget it, join an institution that is doing good work and donate when you feel particularly generous”, suggested another.

“Hmm…So, is that it?”, I wondered. My husband was worried I might get caught in the Government net on some fictitious charges and be framed, if I were to start a residential program for girl children, thanks to many tricksters who had used orphanage as a front for trafficking young virgins.

Providence sent my sister-in-law to us. She lived in the US, but when Cancer struck her, she came to live with us in her golden months. She slowly found it more and more gratifying to donate to charity institutions. One day, she called me aside and blessed me, “I want to give you some seed money for your dream project; I think it will take off and soar high!” I was speechless. God’s grace, Swamiji’s blessings, my sister-in-law's well wishes and my own prayer, all seemed to have come together that day.

Then there was no stopping. We registered our Trust in her name, got all the official documents ready and within 2 months, we were all set. A house with 8 rooms and 2 big halls came up for rent in Neelangarai, near the fishermen’s’ colony and we settled for it.

Three years thereon, we bought land at Manjakkudi and built our own dream structure to convert Kamalalayam into a residential home for severely underprivileged girls. Today we see it growing like what we had envisaged; a home away from home for children. Children today are singing Bhajans, Stotrams, why, even reciting the Bhagavad Gita, exuding confidence and happiness.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   - Radhika Srinivasan

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