Manimegalai (10 years) is an independent girl who knows what she wants. She is very smart en gets good grades at school. While playing you can see how smart she is. If tactics are used, she figures it out pretty quickly and she often wins. Sometimes she wants to make someone else happy and consciously lets the other win. Manimegalai is not just smart, but she’s also a good dancer and often joins performances with Gayathri. Manimegalai has flourished since she came here, but in the beginning she cried a lot and could react strongly to small things. She was very protective of her elder brother Mani, if something happened to him she would cry as well. It hasn’t been easy for Mani and Manimegalai, as their father left with another woman. Their mother had never finished school and couldn’t earn enough money. Mani had to work from the age of four to help the family, he had to wash cars. The neighbor advised the family to let the children live in a shelter and since then they have been living with us. They still have contact with their mother and are always very glad to see her when she visits.

Jayaguru (7 years) hasn’t been living with us for very long, but everyone immediately adored him. Jayaguru has an innocent and friendly character. School is still difficult for him, because he hasn’t gone to school for a while and he is behind in his learning.

As the photo shows, Ashok loves playing and his favorite game is playing with marbles. Life was not easy for Ashok before he came here. Nothing is known about his parents, and Ashok and his little brother Satish were roaming the streets. We were notified about this and so gave them shelter. At first it was a bit strange for the brothers and they were somewhat withdrawn, but now they have made many friends and are becoming more and more forthcoming.

Karthika (12 years) is a real dear, she wouldn’t even hurt a fly. She lives with us and her elder and younger sister. The sisters take good care of each other, at night they like to sleep close to each other. Karthika is a quiet girl, but always happy. She gets along well with the other girls who live with us.

This is Akash (11 years). There is hardly anything Akash can’t do, he has many talents. He is good at school and is musical, but he loves dancing most of all. Together with his friends Mani and Hari he sometimes dances at performances. Akash’s father left the family a couple of years ago. Akash’s mother lives and works at a hostel, but this hostel is only for women, so Akash cannot sleep there. His mother came to Isai Ma(i)yam to ask whether he could live with us. Akash sometimes misses his mother and two sisters, but luckily they still have good contact with each other.

Gayathri

Gayathri (11 years) has now been living with us for a year together with her brother and sister. She really loves dancing and is very talented. The children sometimes dance at weddings when Isai Ma(i)yam’s music band is hired. Before they have reached the level of performance, they often need many lessons. Yet Gayathri is so talented that she could go along to performances already after a couple of months. She really enjoys dancing and when she’s not in class, she likes practicing dance steps together with the other girls. Gayathri has had a difficult youth, her father wasn’t there and her mother was often ill. When she came to live with us, she behaved in a very strange way, always looking for negative attention. Her younger sister did exactly the same. After three months things started to improve; the structure and regularity in the chlidren’s home seemed to do her very good. She has become much more stable and now seeks attention in a positive way. To new people she can be very closed, but when she starts trusting you, she becomes more open. She has a very friendly character and is always prepared to do chores.