Friday, April 1, 2016

Jasoda Anath Ashram Orphanage in Odisha State--Completed 29 Mar 2016

The Jasodha Anath Ashram Orphanage is the home to 75 children ranging in age from 9 months to 18 years old.

We began gathering the needed items. Sheets, blankets, pots, kitchen utensils and much more.

We also provided  soccer balls, writing tablets and some children's books that have been donated by some generous people.

Young single adults from the Rajahmundry District assembled hygiene kits for each child.

Loading the beds and mattresses...

Is the truck large enough?

We had local Church members and neighbors all helping load the truck.


Elder Newton shaking hands with the truck driver and wishing him a safe trip.

The truck had to be labeled "Charitable Donation"
so the driver would be able to cross state lines without a problem. However, we ended  up paying a second tax as they left Andhra Pradesh State and entered Odisha State.

We boarded the train at Rajahmundry at 12:45 a.m. on Tuesday morning and arrived in Kesinga at 10:00 a.m. 

Dr. Kumar met us and took us to his home about two hours away at the Bhagawati Rice Mill in Junagarh, Kalahandi. These are his two children and niece.

We had a wonderful pure vegetarian lunch.

Here is where the Kumar women make it happen!! Dr. Kumar's wife, mother and sister-in-law.

Dr. Kumar and his family help support the Orphanage. He has helped to get the needed funds and supplies that allows it to stay operating.

We arrived to a wonderful welcome by the children and the staff.

Meeting Mr. Shyam Sundar Jal and his wife. Mr. Shyam started this orphanage about 30 years ago. He brought four children to a little grass hut. His wife was not happy about this. She said that they could barely feed their family and here he was bringing home more children. She left and was gone for some time--a year or two. She finally had a change of heart and returned. Mrs. Shyam is now the heart that runs the orphanage.

When Mr. Shyam started rescuing children on the street, he was often beaten up by people who thought he was taking the children for other purposes--but this did not stop him. He was more determined than ever to help. Today they have 75 children in their care.

The children have been sleeping on the hard, cold concrete floor. 

They were so excited to check out their new soft beds!

Showing the children some of the books we brought.

These are Indian fables written in English. The books were a donation to LDS Charities.

This girl spoke excellent English and they gave her the responsibility of caring for the books and sharing them with others.

The children loved to see the colorful illustrations and hear their native fables told in English.

Playing a little volleyball before we had to leave...

Group photo time!

Saying goodbye was the hardest for us...

The children did not want us to go either...we were asked to stay the night but we could not.

On the way out to the main road, we passed the safe house.
The sign on it says:
"Please don't throw away children. Leave them here."

People who do not want their children can drop them off in this safe house, no questions asked. The orphanage staff checks the house every hour for unwanted children.

The children here are happy, well cared for, and definitely know they are loved!

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