Punarnava Healing Community Inc.

262 Upland Road, Cambridge, MA 02140, USA

© 2018 Punarnava

a 501(C)3 corporation
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  • Geetha Mohandas

BALAGRAMA-THE HOME FOR THE VILLAGE BOYS

Punarnava Ayurveda Trust, is working in the villages of Thirumalayampalayam Panchayat since past 7 years. Our vision is to create a local sustainable community based on the principles of Ayurveda and natural farming. Towards achieving our objective we started our free Ayurveda medical camp, community lunch, eye camp, women empowerment programs like sanitary pad manufacture, Project Annam- free meal for abandoned elders, Therapy training for youth, Summer camp for village children, and Balagrama- a home for the village boys. The goal is to groom the boys to be leaders in the villages, to bring the much needed progress.



We found that the motivation to excel in their studies is lacking in the village children due to lack of proper guidance from the families which are mostly disjoint. Illiteracy is another factor which needs to be addressed. All these factors prompted us to start the home for the boys- namely Balagrama.


Infrastructure creation- With help from our friends and well-wishers we created a space, 4000 sq ft, with 12 living quarters, and 4 rooms for office, storage, and library. We also built a kitchen for Balagrama.

Selection of Boys- We went into each and every village, met the villagers and selected the students from such homes, which had either single parents, or only grand parents and who needed support to raise the boys. All of them are from underprivileged homes. We started Balagrama in 2017 with 9 boys chosen from the nearby villages. Now we have 16 boys staying with us, who are in the age groups of 8-17 years. The youngest is studying in class 4 and the eldest in the first year BSc.( Bachelor of Science)



Daily Routine- The elder boys- Alagu Jegan, Surya, Shakti, Venkatesh and Ranjit wake up at 4.30 am to study. The rest of them wake up at 5.30 am. They start the day with Prayer, where in they recite prayers of all religions, as well as recite the Guru stotram, in praise of the teachers in life, Bhagavad Gita chapter 15( they are learning this presently), followed by Yoga practice, sun salutation, taught to them by their teachers, Commander Rajesh and Shanna Dadisman our Karmayoga co-ordinator and volunteer. The children go to school by van at 8.15 am after breakfast and carry lunch with them. They return from school at 5 pm and have a meal. Prayer in the evening at 6 pm and there after till 7.30 pm, they study. Dinner is at 7.30 pm and Sleep time is 9 pm. On weekends, they do natural farming, play games, help in the community kitchen and also study.


Vimal-13 years, Vishnu 14 years, Ranjit-15 years-

Vimal and Vishnu are brothers. Their father just recently got out of Jail, confined for helping burglers. He is a drunkard and the mother left the kids in Balagrama, and escaped the abuse at home by the drunken husband, at herself and her kids.

Ranjit is son of a singleworking mother, who needed us to bring the boy well as she could not care much due to the long distance travelling and insufficient resources.



Alagu Jegan-17 years, Ashwin-13 years, Parthiban-12 years- Alagu jegan and Ashwin are brothers and are children of a deserted mother who is young and hard working. She is working in our home.

Parthiban also is from a broken home. The children are very bright and deserves a chance in life.


Manikandan-11 years, Venkatesh-15 years and Suryanarayanan-16 years

Manikandan, never went to a proper school in the formative years, as his mother left him and the father married another lady, and he was left with his grandfather who was rearing goats. He used to be unruly, and undisciplined and his grandfather brought him to Balagrama to make a good boy out of him.

Venkatesh is also from a broken home, with an invalid father, and a mother (who left home and married another guy), and an old grandmother. He worked in a factory when he was only 12 years old. He was brought to Balgrama from Tirupur. In his words, he is happy to be in balagrama, as he didnt get even proper food in his home. He is very bright and does well in school. He wants to be a computer expert.

Suryanarayanan is not fond of studies and is son of a single mother. His working mother found it difficult as he didnt go to school and was whiling away time, in the village. Today he is a good student along with the peer group at Balagrama.


Gokul-11 years, Shaktivel -16 years, Bathmanathan-13 years

Gokul is from a family where the father is no more and the mother has married another person. He was left with his grandfather and due to old age he couldnt look after gokul. He is a young resident of Balgrama,. and now doing well.

Shaktivel and Bathmanathan are brothers. They lost their mother two years back., and the father drinks alcohol doesnt care enough for the boys. The mother left the boys at Balagrama before she died of Crohns disease and Tuberculosis. Shaktivel passed SSc with 81% marks and is in class XI. While his brother Bathmanathan has a learning disability. We are encouraging him to study, so he can pass and join a vocational training institute after passing class X.


Raghu-9 years, Santosh-8 years and Vasanth-14 years. Navin-14 years

Raghu and Santosh are children of HIV+ parents. They are normal and hence cannot stay in the home where their parents are staying. They go to the local primary school. The children are happy and realise the expectation that all of us keep from them of studying well, and making a difference in the world.

Vasant is son of a single working mother. He was in the company of dropouts from his village. He is sharp with help from learning Yoga, prayer and counseling, he is blooming well.

Navin lost his parents at a young age. His relatives are not able to look after him and hence he is living in Balgrama. A very smart boy, Navin is a born leader. We have great expectation from him of leading the boys in Balagrama and himself supporting his village in the coming years.

All of our Balagrama boys are thriving. They need your support, to grow well and make a difference in their villages.

We seek your help in raising and grooming these boys well.

One year expense for one boy is USD 600/-including their food, clothing, education, medical and other miscellaneous expenses.


We need to raise USD 10000/- to fulfill one year expenses of all the boys.


Any amount you can spare, will make a difference to Balagrama. You can give even USD 5/- monthly or any amount you can spare through our paypal, by monthly recurring donations or make a one off donation. Tax exemption is available in India (80g)and in USA ( 501c3).

Follow the link for donations in other than Indian Rupees

https://www.punarnavacommunity.org/donations

For Indian rupees

Punarnava Ayurveda Trust, Current ac 815020110000802, Bank of India, R N Puram Branch,IFSC-BKID0008150

or

https://www.onlinesbi.com/sbicollect/icollecthome.htm



Thank you for being with us in this journey. We pray for your wellbeing.



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