When a Family Can’t Afford Emergency Surgery

young Indian boy posing for camera

NOTE FROM EDITOR: This content honors Compassion’s historical work in India. While we no longer have an India sponsorship program, we are grateful for the lives changed and meaningful work achieved through our sponsors and donors in our nearly 50 years there. For a detailed explanation of the end of our sponsorship program in India, please visit: compassion.com/india-update.

Superstitious beliefs and a fear of doctors prevent many people in India from taking their sick children to the hospital. They would rather get medicine from a local pharmacy, where pharmacists supply tablets and syrups without a doctor’s prescription.

Hemant’s parents had little awareness of health and education. Hemant’s father, Venkobrao, works as a load man in the market, loading and unloading fruits and vegetables. His job is seasonal and when there is work, he earns about 80 Indian rupees (approximately $1.50 U.S.) a day.

man and woman and child posing for photo

No one knew the reason for Hemant’s chronic sickness. All his parents knew was that he frequently fell ill and suffered. This affected his education as well. With poor school attendance, he fared badly on his exams. When health is a priority, education naturally becomes secondary.

When Hemant fell sick with fever, we counseled his parents and immediately rushed him to a nearby hospital. After a complete checkup he was diagnosed as having three holes in his heart. The doctor told his parents,

“If not treated within six months, your son will die.”

The surgery would cost more than $2,100 U.S. — a sum far above the family’s means. Radhabai, Hemant’s mother, shares,

“Even if we worked all through our life, we could never afford this.”

But thanks to the Complementary Interventions Medical Fund, Hemant received immediate surgery and his life was saved.

Today, Hemant is an active boy in the fifth grade. He is coping in his studies and is involved in sports. He loves to play football and cricket and dreams of becoming a policeman.

smiling boy

Radhabai shares,

“My days of pain and agony are over now that my son is no longer ill. How relieved I am. If not for Compassion’s help, I could have never seen my son alive. I am so grateful.”

Now Hemant’s family knows there is someone to support them in times of crisis. They realize that they are loved and cared for. As a family, they now believe in God and regularly participate in Sunday worship services.

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The Real ‘Iron Man’

Nagaraj is an inspiration who has overcome life’s limitations to achieve great success. Despite a shaky beginning and a ruptured childhood, Nagaraj built his life with determination.

When he was younger, his father abandoned the family and his mother, Yeshoda worked tirelessly in a garment factory to provide for them.

Nagaraj and Yeshoda

Her income was so low that there were times they couldn’t pay rent or buy food. Nagaraj tells us,

“I am glad that Compassion intervened in my life. All of a sudden, there was somebody to take care of me and give undivided attention to my growth.”

After successfully completing the 12th grade and earning his bachelor’s degree, Nagaraj became an officer in finance and accounting. A few years later he found a job as a pricing officer for Toyota.

That was not the end of Nagaraj’s success and achievement, though, and his sponsor is a great inspiration.

“Even though she is 93 years old now, she drives her car, goes to church and she does all things by herself. She is a great example of hard work and she instilled in me that I should dream big and achieve big in life.”


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A Change of Destiny: From 5th Grade Farmer to PhD

Forced to leave fifth grade to help provide income for his family, Masilamani had no choice but to become a farmer. Until his teacher helped change his destiny.

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helping the poor

Child Survival Program: Saving and Transforming Lives

Both Saroj and her unborn baby were in serious condition, and it seemed certain only one of them could survive. Her family members took her to three different hospitals, and every doctor had only the same words to say.

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Traditional Game in India: Seven Stones Handshake

Seven Stones: A Traditional Game in India

Seven stones is a traditional Indian game that is played across the country. It is somewhat similar to dodge ball but it has extra features and is even more aggressive.

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Would You Have Rescued This Abandoned Baby?

One morning Palani and Geetha heard cries and a scream. A newborn baby was thrown and left to die amidst thorns, in hunger and neglect.

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Speaking Out Against Corruption

The Leadership Development Program taught Arun a great number of things. He learned about time management, Christian discipline and social awareness. Most importantly, he learned how a Christian must respond to contemporary issues.

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The Road to Success Is Paved With Diligence

Siva is a timid school girl, but she is also a talented champion in silambam, a popular martial art in southern India. Siva is also one of the most refreshing personalities you could come across.

When Selvi and Kalimuthu gave birth to little Siva at Sandhapettai in Madurai, the odds were stacked against the girl. She was born into a family living in abject poverty. Her two brothers discontinued their studies at a young age because there was no money. In a family of eight with little resources, life seemed hard for little Siva.

Siva’s parents are uneducated. Her mother is a housewife. Her father works at construction sites, earning around $4 per day. They have two sheep and a cow. They sell the milk.

Siva practices silambam

Siva practices silambam with the utmost care and precision.

Fortunately, Siva was registered in Compassion and now she is in 10th grade in the Diocese of Madurai and Ramnad Girls’ High School. She has begun to set an example for others. She mingles well with the other children. She is responsible in her work and also very obedient.

She is especially known for time management. She completes all work on time. She is very disciplined in all that she does. She always stands first in her class. In fact, she even gets first place in general knowledge.

Siva prays and reads the Bible regularly. She always gets first in the Bible quiz. She participates in youth camps, youth meetings and games. She loves to be a part of all spiritual meetings. She shares about the Lord to her friends. She is a humble girl and loved by all.

Indeed, Siva wears many crowns. And this young girl has yet another talent given by the Almighty.

She is extremely good at silambam. Silambam is stick fighting, a traditional south Indian martial art. This style is supposed to have originated from Kerala, a coastal south Indian state. Natives used bamboo staves to defend themselves against wild animals. The techniques were perfected into the art of silambam.

The stick used in silambam is 1.68 meters long (5.5 feet), and its diameter is between 1.5 and 2 inches. Its weight ranges from 1 to 1.5 pounds. For training and sparring, a rattan staff is used since it is supple and does not break easily. But a hardwood staff can also be used to gain strength. At times, a little blade is added, acting like a short spear, with the same technique. (more…)

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Infanticide in India

Saving Baby Girls From Infanticide in India

The 21st century has witnessed a great rise in development around the world. Communications and scientific research are developing at a rapid pace. The world is moving toward great change in culture and lifestyle. Gender equality is becoming common in many places, and girls are achieving heights once thought not possible.

However, even as the world is moving toward progress, the age-old social evil of female infanticide still shows its ugly face in developing countries such as India.

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Vallarasu the Outlier

NOTE FROM EDITOR: This content honors Compassion’s historical work in India. While we no longer have an India sponsorship program, we are grateful for the lives changed and meaningful work achieved through our sponsors and donors in our nearly 50 years there. For a detailed explanation of the end of our sponsorship program in India, please visit: compassion.com/india-update.

Outliers are men and women who do things out of the ordinary; men and women who have drive, skill and talent, but who also are given an opportunity to succeed.

“When outliers become outliers it is not just because of their own efforts. It’s because of the contributions of lots of different people and lots of different circumstances.” – Malcolm Gladwell

man sitting at a tableVallarasu is an outlier.

Vallarasu hails from Srivalliputhur. He is now 30 years old. Though his physique suggests that he is very soft guy, his words are weighty and powerful. There is a passionate boldness in his face.

Vallarasu’s dad was a shopkeeper and sold household goods. When Vallarasu was 6 years old, his father was murdered by a gang. Thereafter, the family suffered greatly. They had no money to afford even one square meal a day.

One year after the murder, Vallarasu’s mother committed suicide, and Vallarasu and his two sisters were left orphans. His two sisters were brought up by an uncle, but Vallarasu was left behind in the streets.

Compassion found him in the streets, and he was taken into St. Andrews Child Development Center. The center supported him so he could study in the school. The school had a hostel facility, so the center provided him with not only education, but also gave him shelter, food and comfort.

The problems that Vallarasu experienced as a little child instilled a deep burden within his heart. He developed a burning desire to help orphans and desolate children. He took the initiative in solving every little conflict that arose among the children at St. Andrews, and even teachers marveled at his efficiency.

Some teachers commented, “In the future, you will become a big leader in the society.” While others said, “I am sure you will stand as an advocate speaking for thousands in days to come.”


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