Prasanna Jyothi site Visit Report: Shrikanth Voorakaranam and Kalpana

23/Aug/2003

 

http://www.ashanet.org/berkeley/projects/Prasanna/

 

Prasanna Jyothi,

Door 103, Puttanahalli

Kothanur Village,

J.P. Nagar, 7th Phase,

Bangalore - 78

 

 

This is a place housing destitute and orphan girls. Currently there are about 18 girls from age group 4 years to 18 years. By next year the Trust plans to house about 25 girls. The trust started in June 1988. Some of the first set of girls supported and brought up by the trust are still with PJ. Asha has been funding for the education and living of the children in PJ.

 

The children go to English medium schools. Small children are dropped and picked in an auto rickshaw hired by PJ. Big girls manage with the public transportation buses. A couple of girls are pursuing 3 year Diploma in Computer Science. They intended to continue their studies doing an Engineering course. One girl is awaiting CET counseling. We learnt that PJ graduated a couple of girls and helped them in getting jobs. The girls are no more staying with PJ as they have found their way of living independently. PJs policy is to support and bring up the child, educate them, help them to get a job and stand on their own. Once the girl finds a job, she may continue to stay with PJ for some time till she arranges for her own accommodation and lives independently.

 

Back in PJ, the housing environment is calm and clean. There is a cook and a warden, who stay with them full time and take care of the children. There is also a watchman who is accommodated in a shed outside for their security. Generally children are healthy. Their day starts at 5:30 in the morning with a prayer followed by their routine work to get ready to schools. They are given breakfast before they start to schools. They are packed with lunch box. They are given snacks when they return back home (PJ). They go to study room and come back for dinner at 8:30. While at home the bigger girls wear a full covering salwar kameez only and no other dress.

The bigger girls are taught to take care and maintain their own things like washing their clothes, keeping their premises clean. In addition they help in the kitchen, garden and they help the small girls too. Some of these girls are the toppers in their class. One diploma girl is awarded 50% fee scholarship by the college for her good academic scores. The visitors need not bother about the language to converse with the girls. Their spoken English is too good. They also speak in Kannada, Tamil, Hindi and they understand Telugu. Many have chosen Sanskrit as their first language in high school.

 

Apart from their studies and their daily routine tasks, they possess good talent of craftwork. They make greeting cards, paintings, wall decorations, show pieces, garlands out of artificial flowers etc.

 

Needless to say they have not left the field of music unexplored. They sing and dance. They are given classes in classical vocal music /Bhajans every week. They are also taught dance whenever they are called to perform at festival times in certain places like Nirguna Mandir a Meditation Centre run by their Parent Organization, viz., Prasanna Trust. They recently had performed for Gokulaashtami in Nirguna Mandir in Koramangala. One can see cups and certificates and medals in living room at PJ given in appreciation to their talent. The children also volunteer and help their schools in decorating the premises etc during festive season and other occasions.

 

Girls are not only taught to be self-reliant, they are taught Karate too for self-protection and defense.

 

They are not given pocket money as the trust takes care of all their expenses. In addition every year the children are taken out of Bangalore on a short trip. We were told that the girls understand the value of every paisa they are sponsored. They are very serious about their education and make full use of the opportunity they are given. Few girls also said they are inclined to do some service to the society once they stand up independently.

 

The smiles and their comforts make us believe that the children are happy living in PJ. They are very friendly.

 

Mrs. Sundari Srinivasan and her colleague Mrs. Rathna maintain their motherhood on these children teaching them the wonders of life and bringing them to live. Mrs. Sundari is happy that their efforts show good returns in the form of a good performance by the children both academically and socially.