Those We Often Overlook

by Delta Donohue / Oct 22, 2010 / 0 comments

Her father disappeared when she was around 6 years old. She lived with her mother, two younger sisters and her blind grandmother. They struggled to survive and often went hungry. Her mother approached Vatsalya ( about taking the children so they might have full bellies and a safe environment to grow up in. Most children that come to Vatsalya are orphaned or abandoned, but upon rare occasion, children, with a living parent, will spend significant time at  Udayan, the children’s home, until their parent is able to support them, or until they have graduated and gained the skills to make a living on their own. At Vatsalya, she is known as Anmol, which means Priceless.

About 8 years ago, a woman and her 10-year old daughter appeared at Vatsalya begging for a job. The mother was hired as one of the house mothers for Udayan. Her 10-year old daughter, Manju, has been with her at Udayan ever since. She left a life of extreme poverty and hardship to come to this magical place where children grow up loved and cherished.

Recently, the city of Jaipur, India held an art contest. Young adults were invited to Jantar Mantar, an astrological observatory that is a UNESCO World Heritage site, built between 1727 and 1734. Each was given 40 minutes to draw any portion of Jantar Mantar. Over 500 participated. Probably many of those participating had the privilege of studying art privately or having formal art education in their private schools.


Anmol, Vatsalya



Some of the older children from Udayan participated in the contest. Imagine the excitement when the winners were announced and 15-year old Anmol won FIRST PLACE and 18-year old Manju won THIRD PLACE. These children, often overlooked by our society, have had the good fortune of being nurtured by Vatsalya’s kind and loving staff, and by mothers who cared enough to find a better life for their children.


Manju, Vatsalya




Anmol and Manju’s talents were recognized early on and they have been encouraged to pursue them at every opportunity, even with the challenged resources that Vatsalya continually experiences. What an amazing story about what the power of love can truly accomplish.



Delta Donohue
Namaste India Children’s Fund

For more information about how you can be involved in helping
orphaned and abandoned children in India, please email

Delta Donohue is the Voices of India Editor for Wandering Educators