Who we are
THARA is an organization that takes very special interest in the welfare of children who are deprived of a family, parents, near and dear ones. Children that are out of ‘any’ familial ties, situation. These children roam around the street eagerly waiting for somebody to recognize them and give them some charity. Sometimes they fall easy prey to hooligans, who can very easily exploit them for sexual abuse, drug trafficking, even begging and many other anti-social activities.
THARA is totally charitable, non-profit making organization. The finance is received from ordinary charities and all goes into providing the child with whatever it can buy.
THARA came into existence on July 3rd, 2003 and it was registered as a society on Oct 16th 2007. So far the THARA staff contacted more than 1000 children in Secunderabad station alone and out of this, three hundred children, were brought to the center, not at one time but at different intervals.
So, what is THARA?
THARA is a Tender Home for the Anawim Rest and Awakening center.
Anawim is a Hebrew word, which means the poor or “the bent ones” literally. In the Indian regional language of Telugu, Thara means a star. In the New Testament, the star of Bethlehem was a guide to the wise men to encounter Jesus. The child is guided by THARA to receive love and tender care, which he lost from his parents, and family.
Anawim: This is a Biblical word meaning ‘bent down’, ‘deprived’, ‘oppressed’, down trodden’, the poor one. Though Biblical in concept, it is a universal phenomenon, cutting across every world of caste, color, creed, nationality. Anawim is a universal presence. For one reason or other the ‘street child’ has been ‘bent down’ and out of any reckoning.
Rest: The child at THARA finds a safe and secure place for rest. He is not disturbed by outside elements. He does not have to bother about where how and when to rest. He can rest assured that nothing will happen to shake him out of his slumber.
Awakening: Having rested like any normal family child, the child at THARA awakens into a bright new world. A world of promises, laughter, brightness and happiness, a world of normal possibilities, of shelter, food, clothing education and entertainment etc. etc. Possibilities of belonging to someone, taken care of by someone, respected as an individual, given opportunities etc.
What we do
THARA moves out into the streets concentrating more on the railway station and bus station platforms. There THARA meets them, counsels them and throws at them the possibility of a shelter, food, clothing and education. The child on the street, freely opts for the security and safety of a home away from home. Even after coming in, at no stage are they coerced to be within the four walls, in willingly. And very rarely we find a child running away from THARA. Much more commendable is the fact the child beautifully settles down into becoming a responsible, lovable, normal child, desiring to go into the world as any normal family bred child.
THARA, thus plucks away the Anawim child, the frightened, deprived child away from the clutches of the cruel, mad world to equip him with all rights and opportunities available to a normal child.
The Thara center provides tender care for that a child at that tender age needs, as against the rough unrelenting world that the child was thrown away into. After he has come onto the street, the child is subjected to very unruly situation and in the process experiences a lot of trauma, hurt and deprivation and sometimes of a peaceful sleep. In short his childhood has been ravaged, bruised and sometimes even mutilated, maimed. The personnel at THARA allows the child to begin with, to have as much safe sleep as he needs. The child on the street finds this home as newly discovered home where he could live. It is a place to have a peaceful rest- a home for rest, a place for relaxation of body and mind and a place for inner awakening. The child begins to see things in a new way. It comes in contact with his own self and hence a new re-orientation takes place in his life here and dreams of being a different self.
Know the Founder
Fr. Jose Mathew Kaippan plackal SJ is the Founder Director of THARA. He is a member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), a Religious Order, in the Roma Catholic Church. The Society of Jesus is a worldwide body engaged in education, pastoral work, social work and spiritual work. In Andhra Pradesh the Society of Jesus is registered as Jesuit Province Society having head quarters at Hyderabad. Jesuit Province Society has all the necessary elements like, the executive body, the governing body, the constitutions, by-laws etc. It to is a purely non-profit organization.
Fr.Jose Mathew Kaippanplakal SJ., has a PG degree in Counseling Psychology from University of Bombay and is also an LLB, a registered practicing lawyer in the Andhra Pradesh High court.
THARA is his brain child. As a student of philosophy, in 1994 in Pune (during the course of formation as a Jesuit), he began encountering the life of the street children. He gathered a group of twenty Jesuit Scholastics to work for the children. That work is continuing successfully now. Later as a student of theology in 1997, at Delhi, again he went into the lives of the street children, and systematically organized the work there. After becoming a priest and in his ministry he has initiated this work of Thara with Head Quarters at Secunderabad.