For some 80 tribal children from the Andhra Pradesh – Odisha border who have been rendered destitute by the death of their parents, help has come from unexpected quarters: a government official who is using part of his salary to run an orphanage.
Chintagada Das, an Assistant Excise Superintendent of Palasa, Srikakulam District started Gowthami Foundation to care for them eight years ago, and he is going strong. He bought 18 cents of land and constructed the orphanage, and his institution now engages autorickshaws to send the children to government schools. It hired two teacher-tutors, and provides space for games and sports.
“I used to travel extensively in tribal areas on duty, and observed the condition of the children. Other children in tribal areas also face difficulties in reaching school. My experience prompted me to start the institution. It gives me immense satisfaction,” Mr. Das says of his education effort.
Children in hill areas of Jakkuva, Kotturu, Diguva Rudi, Jakara Valasa, Golluru and other areas of Saluru mandal of Vizianagaram district which shares a border with Odisha are affected by the loss of their parents.
Students like Gajjala Vivek, Vantala Sandhya, Robba Gowrish, Janni Mahesh, Santi Raju and others express happiness at being cared for.
“Our institution is like mother and father for us,” says Vivek who lost his parents Gurumurthy and Nagalamma at a young age. “I came here eight years ago and am now at Intermediate level,” he adds.
The Foundation also conducts blood donation camps, medical camps, Aadhaar and birth certificate awareness programmes in rural areas. Recently, the State government felicitated Mr. Das with Ambedkar Seva Ratrna Award.
News Source: The Hindu