The couple started the Miracle Manna Children’s home a decade ago and has managed to educate many orphaned children and helped them achieve financial independence.

Shivaji with 23 kids of Miracle Manna Childrens Home in happier timesMiracle Manna Children's Home
news Human Interest Sunday, March 21, 2021 - 17:24

Pained by their relative abandoning his wife and three young children, pushing them to live on the streets, Shivaji Lazarus and Prema started Miracle Manna Children’s Home in Bengaluru in 2010. Over a decade since, their family has grown to 25 members, including the couple. They have been caring for these orphaned children who are between the ages of seven and 18, and supporting them at different stages of life.

“After our relative abandoned his family, we took in the kids and raised them. My wife said to me that there are many kids who’d need similar support and we took the plunge and began this home a decade ago,” said Shivaji, the founder of Miracle Manna Children’s Home which is based in the Bengaluru’s Yelahanka area. However, like many others, Shivaji and Prema are struggling to provide for the kids under their care owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown that had happened.

Prema was a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) staffer before she quit her job to take care of the children; and Shivaji was working as a bus driver who lost his job before the pandemic struck. Their search for work was marred by COVID-19 and the lockdown. 

“We have to pay the children’s fees, and pay long-overdue electricity bills. Our daughter was employed with Kotak Mahindra Bank and was assisting in whatever little way she could, but she has also lost her work and we have exhausted our savings. We did not have electricity for four months and the children’s education was getting affected. The officials were kind enough to restore the current after learning of our situation,” said Shivaji.

Prema told TNM that they need nearly Rs 3-5 lakh for each child to tend to their needs. “The children are of varied age groups. Some are studying in school, some in PU colleges and some in degree colleges. We support these kids until they attain financial independence. The children study in good institutions of the city, some of the institutions have helped us by giving concessions on fees, but we need to meet their nutritional needs too and pay the bills including rent,” she explained.

The kids who have been receiving quality education are on the verge of dropping out of school owing to the financial struggles, the couple said.

Shivaji and Prema are accepting donations, the details for which are available on their website miraclemanna.org and on the fundraising platform giveIndia.com. Those who wish to donate can do so here

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