December 2018: Happenings@Home

Cyclone Gaja struck in the early hours of Friday, November 16. Its intense fury was felt most by the villages in the delta region of Tamil Nadu. As torrential rains and gales of up to 120 kmph whipped up a trail of destruction, lakhs of people became homeless, communication lines were disrupted, and crops decimated. It could take months or even years for these places to get back to normal.

Yet, in the midst of dark times, the indomitable human spirit shines through in the good work of local communities and organisations helping clear roads, distribute essential supplies to victims and helping them rebuild their homes. With both natural and man-made calamities on the rise, we are becoming more resilient. Instead of waiting for help, we’ve finally understood that we are the help, and that the greatest good is what we do for one another.

It’s been a week since Iyyappan (Sri Arunodayam's Founder) and the Relief Team camped out at Thiruvarur District doing their bit, but more on this later. In the meanwhile, here’s a quick roundup of the past month.

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The Joys of Diwali!


Loving their new clothes!

There's something magical about Diwali - the riot of bright colors, the happy sounds, delicious smells, joyful expressions, and as was our experience – the wonderful warmth of kind sponsors!

To be honest, we were a tad anxious as the countdown to Diwali began especially as a long-standing donor was unable to fulfil their promises. But kindhearted sponsors came along to provide the food, new clothes and crackers that day, so that our children lacked for nothing. All received new clothes - jeans and shirts for the boys, and pattu pavadai with earrings, bangles, and necklaces for the girls. Even the bedridden children had their new clothes on that day!

By reaching out and showing genuine concern for abandoned children, these sponsors taught them what family is truly about.


Student Sensitisation through Volunteer Programs


Happily at work and getting along fine together!

Around 40 students from Justice Basheer Ahmed Sayeed (JBAS) College for Women camped at our home for two days, working with Prayatna’s youngsters and vocational instructors. They helped pack around 1500 packets of organic sugar for sale, and crafted around 350 beautiful greeting cards and 60 paper bags.

Around 50 students, 4 teachers and the Correspondent of Vivekananda Vidyalaya School arranged a two-day Bhajans program at our home. The children enjoyed the melodious devotional songs that were accompanied by the miruthangam. The students donated provisions to our home, and distributed sweets and snacks to the children.

Around 160 students from Good Shepherd School, Nungambakkam conducted a four-day vocational training program at Prayatna, making paper bags and greeting cards together with our children. It was a great interaction and learning experience for all concerned, and a wonderful opportunity for sensitisation.


Maida Painting: New skills training at Prayatna

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Maida painted scribbling pads

Our vocational trainer, Kavitha, organized a “maida painting” training program, which was conducted by Mrs. Theresa.

Maida painting is a relatively new and innovative way to help fix colors and create great textures while printing. Our boys at Prayatna are learning to integrate maida painting in to excellently designed scribbling pads. They’ve just made a batch of 200 exquisite pads which will be on display at Pratibimb - an exhibition-cum-sale event in Mumbai to promote the socio-economic initiatives of the vulnerable sections of society.

To place an order, please contact our office on the numbers below.


Medical Camp by the Corporation of Chennai


The Corporation of Chennai Camp at our home

As a group, persons with intellectual disability have poorer health than the general population and a shorter life expectancy. They rely on the caregiver organisation to recognise their health needs, make appointments for them, and adequately advocate on their behalf. Complex physical, behavioural and social problems only add to their existing difficulties.

The Corporation of Chennai, Ambattur conducted a general medical camp at our home on November 23rd. The Corporation has decided to schedule monthly camps from now on, to help diagnose and treat seasonal infections and chronic disease. This is what we’ve been advocating all along, because it is crucial that government healthcare professionals try to truly understand the difficulties these children face from day to day, and be careful of the risk of diagnostic overshadowing (i.e. attributing symptoms to the underlying intellectual disability). It is important that they identify and treat medical conditions early on, to be able to manage chronic disease.


Cyclone Gaja: Relief Report

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1585 families across 3 Panchayats receive ration and rehabilitation kits as part of our Relief Mission

The massive damage that Cyclone Gaja has caused to villages in the Delta region is simply catastrophic! Over 1 lakh electric poles, 1000 transformers, 201 electricity substations, 5000 boats, thousands of cattle and birds, 18,000 hectares of coconut trees, and 56,000 hectares of crops and trees have been destroyed. Iyyappan had personally visited these areas to assess the people’s most critical needs. It’s been a week since he and a Relief Team (of school and college-going youngsters) camped out, distributing ration and rehabilitation kits to the most affected families.

The Relief Team focused on 18 areas in 3 Panchayats – namely Edaiyur, Pandi, and Melamarudhur (in Thiruthuraipoondi Taluk, Thiruvarur District). These areas were selected based on the extent of damage caused to homes and families. The team conducted surveys by speaking directly to the affected families about their most critical needs. Support was mobilised with the help of kind donors and 1585 families were provided ration and rehabilitation kits (consisting of 5 kgs of rice, ½ kg dhal, ½ kg oil, biscuits, tooth paste, candles, bed sheets, and mats. Tarpaulin sheets were provided to homes with damaged roofs).

The Relief Team’s approach was methodical and much appreciated by the village leaders. Click here for a quick roundup of this mission.



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Helping families affected by Cyclone Gaja

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Homes devastated and families disrupted by the cyclone

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There's something for everyone during Diwali!

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Want to donate to our projects? Click here.

For our 2017-18 Annual Report, click here.
Do consider taking an active part in our home’s child-centric and community outreach programs. We guarantee you'll love the experience!

Until our next update, stay blessed!

Sri Arunodayam is a secular organization with zero tolerance for discrimination against children, whether on the basis of caste, creed, religion, status, color, or gender orientation.


Sri Arunodayam Charitable Trust

Tel: 91-44-26511450 / 803; Mobile: 91-9444915803; Email:

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