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Elders Should Be Respected, Not Forced to Suffer

Since elderly Vellimalai does not have any income, his son and his daughter-in-law sent him out of their house several years ago. The villagers claim that Vellimalai is 90 years old.  Due to his advanced age he cannot walk or even stand up. He cannot bathe or even attend to nature’s call unless he crawls to a nearby pond.

Before Tripura Foundation learned of Vellimalai’s struggles, he lived on the pavement with hardly any cover over his head, and when it rained, he had to cover himself with a waterproof banner.  During winters, the old man shivered with cold.  There was no protection from insects or poisonous snakes.  The old man survived with just one meal a day.  He was ill, lonely and hungry.

Like Vellimalai, millions of senior citizens who are poor and live alone find themselves vulnerable, powerless, and neglected by their grown-up children. Elderly women are often widows or have been abandoned by their husbands. They are physically weak and thus unable to find work. They do not have money for food, medical care, or other basic necessities. They are forced to beg, and are often homeless. Moved by the plight of destitute men and women, Tripura Foundation made a program to sponsor elderly ones on an urgent basis.

Now Vellimalai and other destitute elders receive monthly groceries (including rice, Toor dal, sunflower oil, chili powder, pepper, cumin seeds, mustard, pickle bottle, bath soap, washing soap, shampoo, tooth powder, coconut oil, cough syrup, and pain relieving gel) to help keep them fed, groomed, and in less pain. They also receive occasional items of clothing. More importantly, these otherwise forsaken elders know that they are cared about and not completely forgotten by humanity.

Though his living conditions are still rough, Vellimalai is leading a better life, knowing he will receive food three times a day. He feels that his pride and dignity are restored. He is thankful to his sponsor for uplifting his life.

For only $40 a month, you can feed, clothe, comfort, and provide companionship to a poor elderly person like Vellimalai. You could save a precious life! 


Iswarya Saves for a Brighter Future

Last year, HoPE Learning Center children shared stories about Hundial savings (money saved for the future in small clay banks, much like western piggy banks).

Eighth grader Iswarya set the bar high when she shared her story.  She saved Rs.1500 in one year.  This is a respectable sum, more than what many adult day laborers earn in an entire month.   So, her parents opened a proper bank account in her name.  This transformed her life because she then had power to make decisions about her future.

She still saves most of her money, but she also buys stationery, books, and her school uniforms.

She also loaned her mother Rs.700 when she was unable to pay for a self-employment group loan program from the Village Panchayat. This inspired many of our HoPE students at Marani to start their own savings accounts.

It doesn’t take much to increase the odds of future success for a special child, like Iswarya. Right now, only $9 a month covers the costs of HoPE Center sponsorship, tutoring, lessons, materials and daily mini meals. For only $300 a month, you can sponsor an entire HoPE Learning Center filled with 40 children.

Heartfelt Feedings to Those in the Most Need

As regions of the western United States recover from years of drought due to the generosity of recent storm clouds, people in India pray for rain, since they are now facing water scarcity. Children at our HoPE Learning Centers are doubling their prayers because the recent drought has also led to damaged crops, food scarcity, and widespread hunger.

Mr. Akash Mahabir, sponsor of the Thippanur HoPE Learning Center, stepped up above and beyond his commitment to sponsor his children’s learning and daily mini meals for an entire year, by treating the eager children to an impromptu feast of delicious vegetable biryani with kurma and jalebi, a national sweet of India made of fragmented wheat flour dipped in melted sugar.

We at Tripura Foundation welcome our HoPE Center sponsors to pay, within their means, for special treats for their children, to write to their children, and/or to schedule a visit with their children at the centers that they sponsor if they are able.

Even in times of drought and hunger, it doesn’t cost much to bring HoPE to children in need. It costs only $300 a month to sponsor an entire HoPE Learning Center. If that is not within your budget right now, only $9 a month covers the costs of HoPE Center sponsorship for one child, including tutoring, lessons, materials, daily mini meals, and national holiday activities.

Wish Dr. Pillai a Happy Birthday!

Christmas In India!

Q: Do people celebrate Christmas in India?

A: Some do, including the 4040 children within our 101 HoPE Learning Centers!

Every year, children celebrate the occasion with talents shows, feasts, trees and even gifts. They are taught about Jesus and Santa Claus, but they mainly learn the importance of giving and gratitude.

Here are a few colorful examples of cards that children made to express how grateful they are to the sponsors of their HoPE Centers.

It doesn’t take much to transform the life of a child… or the lives of 40 children! Right now, only $9 a month covers the costs of HoPE Center sponsorship, tutoring, lessons, materials and daily mini meals for one child. For only $300 a month, you can bring the spirit of Christmas to an entire HoPE Learning Center all year long!



Anu Masters English and Matter

Anu is a lively 7th-grade girl who is well loved by all of her classmates. Despite living in dire poverty, she always shares a bright smile. She enjoys Science more than all other school subjects and longs to follow in the footsteps of her role model, Madam Marie Curie, the scientist who discovered the radioactive element Radium.

Though she was an average student before coming to Tripura Foundation’s local HoPE Learning Center, Anu now spends her free time studying chemistry equations and memorizing formulas, like atomic weight.  She proudly states that she mastered Mendeleev’s Periodic Table regarding the arrangement of elements.

Despite all of this progress, her dreams of becoming a great scientist would unlikely come true if she didn’t learn to speak English, because the worldly arena is less open to her native tongue.

Fortunately, Anu says that her HoPE Center teachers helped her improve her English vocabulary as well as her academic grades in subjects other than Science.  Due to the help of her classmates, teachers and generous sponsors, Anu is tremendously grateful to have the opportunity to turn her life dream into reality.

It doesn’t take much to help a special child, like Anu, reach for her dreams. Right now, just $9 a month covers the costs of HoPE Center sponsorship, tutoring, lessons, materials and daily mini meals.  For just $300 a month, you can sponsor an entire HoPE Learning Center, including Anu’s Center, Vellanaipatti!

Mohini’s Birthday Wish: $9 Diwali Gift for a HoPE Child

My birthday is Oct. 18th and Diwali is Oct. 30th.  I’m writing this letter to request a birthday gift that means everything to me – a $9 Diwali gift that provides a set of new clothes for one of my 4,040 children at our HoPE Centers in India.

Diwali is like Christmas for my children, and a set of new clothes is the greatest joy of the year for every Indian child on Diwali.

A new set of clothes represents a new beginning with the victory of Light over darkness during Diwali, when millions of lamps are lit all throughout India.

A few years ago, I was present at one of the Grand Diwali celebrations that we host for our children.  When I arrived, over 400 children in the room jumped to their feet with utter joy and excitement, as they knew the festivities had begun – dancing, singing, receiving a set of new clothes, and a grand banana leaf feast for the children, as well as destitute elders they invite to the celebration to gift with clothes.  Our staff carried in massive bags of new clothes through the crowd of children to the adorned stage- it looked to me like the ultimate Santa Claus experience.

The joy, excitement and gratitude of my HoPE children hit me like a tidal wave of LOVE more tangible and powerful than I have ever experienced.  And as I handed each child their new set of clothes, they looked up at me with eyes shining with Light… This Light of a new life is what we really give at HoPE Centers.

To me, my HoPE children are like the Diwali lamps lit all throughout India – they have transitioned from the darkness of despair to a life of Light and HoPE.

And they are transforming their families, friends, schools and villages by performing deeds of kindness everywhere and sharing everything they learn at HoPE Centers.  Indeed, they bring Light to the darkness of rural poverty in India, and are a role model for many others to move from despair to HoPE.

Can you please help to bring that special Diwali joy of a set of new clothes to one of my children with just a $9 donation?  I have 4040 children who need a Diwali gift, so if you can also invite your family and friends to give a Diwali gift for one of my children too, I would be so grateful.

If you choose to select a recurring monthly donation of $9, then you can also sponsor the ongoing monthly education of a HoPE child at our HoPE Centers.  I have over 400 children in need of sponsorship, so your ongoing support would be deeply appreciated.

Thank you for anything you can give – it is truly the greatest gift for me and my children.

Love, Mohini


Sithayammal is Wise for Her Years

Sithayammal is a very quiet girl who frequently speaks about being inspired by Tripura Foundation’s founder, Dr. Baskaran Pillai.

She likes to sing and dance. She is a free spirit who spends her time practicing dance moves and listening to music.

She is also well known in her village for her tendency to help others even at such a young age.  She spends time walking the streets of her village, meeting old people and helping anyone who expresses a need. She listens to their worries and other things they like to share with her. She is of the opinion that sometimes people don’t need money; they instead need someone who will sit next to them and share their time. She says that no matter what she becomes in the future, her main aim will be to help others in every way possible.

It is obvious to everyone who meets her that Sithayammal is special. She is wise for her age.  She is influential and inspirational to people of all ages around her.

It doesn’t take much to help a special child like Sithayammal. Right now, only $9 a month covers the costs of HoPE Center sponsorship, tutoring, lessons, materials and daily mini meals for one child. For only $300 a month, you can sponsor an entire HoPE Learning Center, including Sithayammal’s Center, Sakkudi!

Divya Draws A Brighter Future

We at Tripura Foundation receive many stories about brave, intelligent children facing and overcoming steep obstacles. This is one in which our heroine takes extra steps to create a bright future for herself, her family, her friends and her community.

Like many HoPE Learning Center children, Divya comes from a family that struggles each day to bring in enough wages to keep food on the table. Her father works in a local factory and her mother takes on temporary labor jobs.  Their parents worked as laborers for most of their lives as well.

They come from a long line of family members who were unable to escape similar fates because they were unskilled and illiterate. 

Divya would likely face a similar fate if she wasn’t motivated to do everything she os able to end this cycle of familial poverty by improving her circumstances. For one thing, she is a very good student. She is quite adept at reading, dancing, yoga, Phonemic Intelligence and sports.  She feels happiest when she has time to sit and draw pictures of a brighter future and when she is able to teach her skills to other students and village children.

Amul, her HoPE Center teacher, now encourages Divya to reach for her dreams to become a teacher so she can empower her family members and people around her with skills, knowledge and literacy.

Divya now saves money from village bake sales in a mud pot hyundial (piggy bank) to help pay for the actualization of this dream. So far, she has saved more than Rs. 500.

It doesn’t take much to help a special child like Divya draw a bright future by ending a long cycle of poverty. Right now, just $9 a month covers the costs of HoPE Center sponsorship, tutoring, lessons, materials and daily mini meals for one child. For $300 per month, you can sponsor an entire HoPE Learning Center, including Divya’s Center, Perungalathur!

Independence Day = Cultural Pride

In India, August 15th is a day of rebirth. At midnight on August 15, 1947, British rulers handed the country back to Indian leaders, ending a remarkable struggle that lasted 200 years. On this date, sovereign India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, unfolded the tricolor flag of the nation on the Red Fort. The day is significant in the history of India as restoring independent governance and cultural pride.

Within our 101 HoPE Centers in India, children eagerly learned more about the history and great leaders of their nation. They participated in festivals and parades in bursts of spirited enthusiasm. They made elaborate works of art and gave speeches and performances to demonstrate and reinforce pride in their collective cultural heritage.

At our HoPE Learning Centers, we provide traditional academic tutoring and innovative lessons to give children the skills they need to lead successful lives. We nourish them with daily mini meals to keep them physically fit and sound. We also ensure that they participate in career-oriented events and cultural celebrations, like the Indian Independence Day, to build them up into strong, proud citizens who are each a unique part of something bigger and as beautiful as themselves.

Here are a few photos of the proud, beautiful, colorful children of India:

It doesn’t take much to bring HoPE and cultural pride to children. Just $9 a month covers the costs of HoPE Center sponsorship, tutoring, lessons, materials, daily mini meals and special events for one child. For $300 per month, you can sponsor an entire HoPE Learning Center.

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