There are more than 100 million street and working children in India; together, they work to produce more than 20% of India’s gross national product. They are seeking out a grim existence in India's towns and cities. Children as young as six have to resort to car washing, begging, carrying luggage, fetching tea, or working in small industries to support themselves - and sometimes their families. Girls as young as eight are forced into prostitution in order to survive. The average age of street children are: 33% 6-10yrs, 40% 11-15yrs, 27% 16yrs +
The genesis of RAN’s Children home lies in the story of its founder, Vijaya Sastry Meesala. Since the Childhood he had a strong compassion for the poor, needy and underprivileged. Vijay was always touched by the devastation caused by poverty especially on the children. When he was fourteen years old a couple of incidents he witnessed had a great impact on his life and shaped his thinking and motivated him to start this children home. He explains “Then I was fourteen years old. One day I was walking on the streets of Vijayawada, India where I have seen some thing which my eyes could not believe. There was a function hall on the road side, several people gathered together and were having lunch. The leftovers were brought out and dumped in the garbage bin. There I saw few children, so shabby, very skinny. They were trying to grab the food from the garbage bin to fill their empty stomachs. But at the same time I heard dogs barking at these hungry kids and trying to chase them away from the garbage bin so that these dogs could eat those foods. That scene will never disappear from my mind. This incident shook my thinking and then I dedicated my life for the cause of hungry and poor children. Upon the completion of my education I began this children home. I had the privilege to sponsor this home for one year on my own”
It was these experiences that led Vijaya Meesala to commit himself to the service of the poor children. This children home is called “Our Home” project. It was established in 2005 in Ventrapragada, Andhra Pradesh, India. Initially it was started with ten children and now there are twenty five children. They are provided with food, shelter and education. Day by day more and more children are being given the opportunity to come and experience the bright side of the childhood. Our ultimate plan is to accommodate nearly thousand children in this “Our Home” project.
“Our Home” project is located in a small village called Ventrapragada, in the state of Andhra Prdesh, South India. The primary aim of the home is to provide the forsaken and poor children with suitable shelter, food, medical facilities, and education. It is with the hope that one-day these children will be able to stand on their own feet, independent, responsible and respectable citizens of the country.
RAN is working to alleviate this tragic reality with homes, education, and health care for children in desperate situations. With this aim this Children Home was established by RAN as one of its program in 2005 in Ventrapragada, Krishna District of Andhra Pradesh, India.
The program’s goal is to touch the lives of these children. Our hearts long to bring hope, love, and the opportunity of a purpose-filled life to each child. We cannot measure the reward of seeing lives restored and transformed. This Children home is dedicated to restoring the joy in the lives of these children. We provide residential care for abused and neglected children in a home-like setting. Our aim is to restore the emotional and physical well -being of children through a loving and nurturing environment. It is our hope that one day these children will be able to stand on their own feet as independent, responsible, and respectable citizens of the country. Currently, there are 30 children living in the home. The need for this service is immense.
Children coming from Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Dalit (untouchables), and tribal communities, and between the age 5 and 15, both boys and girls, are given accommodation in the Home. Most of these children are poor and semi orphaned; they have been rescued from the street, child labour, and flesh trade (commercial sex work).
A recent study shows that many street children (45.6%) would like to live in a secure place, while 71% are very eager to change their present life. 63% of children have an ambition to do something meaningful in their future. The vast majority of them have a survival instinct and the tenacity that helps them survive the day to day trials of street life. That does not, however, provide them a future.
“Our Home” program was begun with an intension and hope to rescue hundreds of children in India from a life of poverty and hopelessness by giving them education and introducing them to the love of God. For just $30 a month, you can cover the cost of one child's meals, shelter, tuition, books, uniforms, and a yearly medical checkup.