“I am holding a toy for the first time in my life”

Lakshmi was just 6 years old when her parents died of severe illness. Due to poverty they were unable to go to the local hospital. The little girl was left alone in this unfamiliar world with her elder brother and younger sister.

Photo: SOS Children's Villages India

Soon they moved to their relatives’ house but the children were badly treated by them. As a result Lakshmi’s elder brother ran away. Lakshmi took her younger sister and started living on the street. “I would do any kind of labour to feed myself and my sister. There were times when I even begged for food,” Lakshmi remembers with tears in her eyes.

After two years Lakshmi’s maternal aunt came to know about their situation and brought the siblings with her. The aunt worked as bonded labour and earned less than Rupees 50 per day. Despite her willingness to support children, poverty forced her to look out for alternate ways.

She came to know about SOS Children’s Village Tirupati from Child Welfare Committee Anantapur and decided to send the siblings. “I was scared at the idea of going and living in a new place but Aunty assured us that it is the best place for needy children,” said Lakshmi.

SOS mother welcomed Lakshmi and her sister warmly. She introduced them to their SOS brothers and sisters and showed their room. The children were happy to see a clean room with bed and some toys. Lakshmi was cheerful and wanted to play with her toys. She innocently told her SOS mother, “I am holding a toy for the first time in my life.”

Since Lakshmi had never been to school, she was given some extra coaching before she could begin formal school. 

Today, she regularly goes to school and actively participates in extracurricular activities. Dancing and singing are her favourite. She loves eating rice and lentil for lunch and usually takes an afternoon nap. In the evenings one can see her playing badminton with her friends. Whenever she gets time she helps her SOS mother in household chores and supports smaller siblings in giving bath and preparing for school. 

Your generous contributions helped Lakshmi get a second opportunity to live in a loving family. Continue supporting us and you can give other needy children a happy childhood!


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