Here are Raj Kumar and Harikala, holding their letters of acceptance to a six-month training course in Mumbai for Child Development Aides.

What a thrill! We are all so proud of them and so excited at this wonderful opportunity they have been given. The course is being run by our good friends in Ummeed – a beautiful organisation in Mumbai dedicated to child development, inclusion and empowering parents.

Vibha Krishnamurthy, director of Ummeed, called me two weeks ago to say that suddenly, out of the blue, the funding agency had offered to pay the accommodation costs for people attending the course from out of town: did we want to send anyone?


I have watched this course take shape over the past year and quite apart from knowing that anything Ummeed does is going to be great, I knew this particular one was just perfect for our Foundation. And Raj and Harikala were the natural ones to send.

They have both been with us for several years (Harikala almost ten!) and they have distinguished themselves by their eagerness to learn, their innate understanding of children and their creative approach to their work. I knew they would want to attend, but I wasn’t quite prepared for the total enthusiasm with which they responded.

Without a moment’s hesitation, they both eagerly agreed to go – even though Harikala has a little boy of five whom she will be leaving with her husband for six months and Raj has family responsibilities to his mother and siblings. It is a tribute not only to them and their desire to grow as professionals but to their families who are willing to support them in their growth.

And everything has fallen into place. Their train tickets were waitlisted – no problem. My friend Anupama put in a word and miraculously, their seats were confirmed. No place to stay in Mumbai – no problem. My friend Fr Jose Parrapully wrote to a colleague and single rooms with attached baths, under our budget, miraculously became available. Their going would leave gaping holes in the organisation – no problem: suddenly, out of the blue, the perfect candidates presented themselves, once again, natch, miraculously.

In the picture, they are standing at Latika Vihar and the hectic activity you see in the background (kids learning bamboo weaving, playing the guitar, running toward the jungle gym) is just a tiny slice of what these two are involved in and responsible for here at the Foundation. By sending them for this six-month course, we are investing in them and in ourselves and it’s all for the good of our children. How lucky we are! How proud we are of them for their courage in leaving everything they know to go and get better at what they do. It’s how institutions grow and how the world is changed – by little and by little.

Showing 3 comments
  • Sree

    I am so damn happy for both of them! They are definitely the perfect choice for this course….both have shown extraordinary enthusiasm, creativity and possess such warmth and love for our kids…they will be moulded into even better teachers after this course!! Kindly convey my personal congrats to both! And as for the 5 year old son Hema is leaving behind…tell her to send him to me!! 🙂

  • Angie

    She could also send Joy to me!!!

  • Lucy Cuseo


Leave a Comment