I keep in touch with the children and the carers at the Illam. This is Marimuthu. I'd describe him as the silent and most sensitive boy at the Illam. I hadn't realised that he was an "at risk" pupil and not making good progress. I found he had a real talent for seeing pictures that the other boys just did not see. It was this sensitive creative side that photography brought out in him that enabled his teachers to find a way to turn him around, progress his talents, and organise the best program for him going forward, on the right path. When I departed the Illam this was one of the true success stories of the project. Today I was shocked to learn that he had fallen into one of the disused wells. He is very very lucky to be alive. Thanks to the quick actions of the boys warden he was rescued and resuscitated and is now recovering.
He has spent more than a month in various hospitals to get the medical attention he so badly needed. There is no NHS equivalent or free health care in India. The hospital bills for his treatment are an enormous expense that can't really be borne by a poor Indian family the costs have been paid from the Illam's budget. The Illam's meagre budget that is dedicated into giving disadvantaged children a better chance in life and these costs really strain it and it means other things can't be funded for the children.
This is Indira and this lovely portrait of her was taken by Suruthi, one of the other children of the Illam. Indira had been complaining of headaches for several years. It was not easy to figure out if it was simply hormones experienced in adolescence or something more. The Illam ensured she got the medical attention she needed. Many tests later it was revealed that Indira needed radical surgery as she has TB that has infected her brain. The Illam has funded the surgery but she has ongoing medical costs. Her father is an unreliable alcoholic and her mother is very poor and does what she can to find the money to pay for the medication that Indira needs, but there is no way she can afford to pay all the costs.
Marimuthu and Indira's medical bills are very expensive in this part of India, where £10 is nearly a months salary and most of this will be taken up in one child's medical costs. For us outside of India the exchange rate and our incomes mean this is a tiny amount of money for us to find.
How can you help?
Could you give up the price of 2 cups of coffee a month (London prices) to give these two families some assistance to pay for the medical bills for their children.
You can make a donation here on the just giving page
We'll all be very grateful for whatever you might be able to give.