Saturday, December 5, 2009

Day 18: Thannal

In August this year, I happened to go back to Kerala for a short holiday. During my stay there, I visited an orphanage. There were a couple of reasons for that a) I was going through a bad phase and I told myself that sometimes it is eye opening to see how much others go through since relatively every problem is small and b) I had this vision that if I could identify a few key requirements that a very under-supported charitable organization faces, I could work to raise some money for them via creative ventures in Singapore.

And I did find out their requirements. They didnt ask for food or clothes or toys. Not because they were sufficient in those, but because they seem to have made peace with what they already have (for perspective, the children were having a dry dosa with black tea for their meal but were happy with it). They said what they needed was a washing machine and also a few cots. There was a reason too. Everyone used to sleep on the floor without any problem but recently all the kids got some skin infection and developed bad sores all over their bodies. So now they think it would be better to get cots as they believe the infection might have been caught from something on the floor. Also, three ladies wash the clothes of about 45 children every day, manually. Earlier the washing was done about once a week. But after the body sores breakout, they are washing the clothes every single day - on top of cooking, cleaning and all their other chores. And hence the need for a big washing machine.

That gave me a clear goal - I had to get them washing machine and cots. There was a team to support the cause in Singapore. We decided to put up a play to raise funds and went full swing in to preparations. I was the producer and director and I had a strong cast and crew working with me.

Unfortunately things took an unexpected turn when I got a new assignment at work and a lot of business related travelling came up as a result. The same thing happened with a couple of key actors in the team. In a nutshell, the project had to be postponed indefinitely.

When they heard the story of the children at this orphanage, one generous friend contributed the washing machine and another generous one offered a part of the required amount for the cots. But there was still a good amount pending and the thought bogged me down. I felt personally responsible for not seeing the production through and not being able to send them what they truly deserved. So I decided that whatever it takes, I will send them the entire amount by December 8th, the day the play was scheduled to go on stage and technically the day by when we should have raised the required amount.

This blog entry is for December 8th (it's just a bit past midnight). And am happy to share that with the help of those two friends and my husband, as well as with some calculated savings on my part over the last couple of months, we have raised and sent enough for the washing machine and the cots. Now I can move on.

982 more to go.

In case you are interested to know more about this charitable organization, it is 'Thannal' located in Mayannur, Kerala (


  1. Prantik: Thats inspiring stuff man...well done...keep the good work on...really, smetimes its so important to count one's blessings and do/share as much as one can.

  2. Thanks! :) I totally agree! :)

  3. Amazing stuff, Shilpa. Awed by your commitment to the cause!

  4. Thanks Sherene. :) But if you visit those kids, you will automatically want to do something.