Harish’s search for his mission in life

The Prana help alliance project in southern India also looks after disabled children.

A little while ago, an old woman and her grandchild came to the therapy centre for disabled children of the Prana help alliance project in Periyamudaliyar Chavadi near Pondicherry in southern India.

It was immediately obvious that the five-year old Harish was blind. His grandmother explained that his mother had disowned him, “he only brings bad luck”, says project manager Hilde Link. Before that, Harish’s father had left his wife because of the disabled child. Now the mother also did not want to have anything to do with her child. He now lives with his grandmother who took him in.

“We immediately arranged for Harish to be examined in a large specialist eye clinic”, says Link. Modern technology will help him, she thought. “We were sure that the doctors would be able to operate and make the boy see again”. But that’s not what happened.

“During the consultation, the attending doctor, Dr Veena, explained that Harish was born without optic nerves and that he can’t see anything at all, not even differentiate between light and dark”, says Link. “When she saw me crying she said that every person had their mission in life. And this boy did, too.” Now the project leaders are doing what they can to help Harish look for his life’s mission. And they were successful: Harish now has his own carer who plays and studies with him for one and a half hours each day. Toys for blind children were purchased and for some time now the five-year old has been getting keyboard lessons, which he loves.

Once a week a teacher from the Prana school visits the nearby school for the blind, where she receives educational advice and lessons in Braille. In the summer, Harish will attend that facility. 

In the therapy centre for disabled children, a physiotherapist, a massage therapist and a carer not only provide the children with pain relief, but they also ensure that they retain their dignity and are no longer excluded. It is part of the Prana projects, whose key element is a special school for children from very poor families. In addition to daily special instructions, the school also provides free medical care and meals. In addition, women and children who are ostracised by society can find a place to live in the “lucky children” housing project . Prana also awards scholarships for secondary schools and provides six young people, who are looked after by a teacher from the project, with vocational education.

Project Location

Periyamudaliyarchavadi, Pondicherry, India