There are around 80 boys at the home and in 1999, when Kathy Miller first visited the home, most of the boys had been affected with Polio and as a result some were severely disabled. It is the aim of the home to provide the boys with a safe, caring environment in which they will learn to become independent and self-sufficient and to acquire skills that will enable them to earn a living once they leave to return to their villages.
The home was set up in 1987 by Dr Karuna Chelliah and friends to care for disabled boys from the poorer sections of the rural neighbourhood. The Doctor, who has been confined to a wheelchair since 1976 after a motorcycle accident left him paralysed, is a wonderful role model for the boys, having come to terms with his condition and set himself new goals for the future. The home, which is largely aided by a funding agency in Holland and donations made by friends of Dr Karuna Chelliah, is set in 20 acres of land in the village of Anavarathanallur. Beautiful Neem trees and shrubs surround the campus, which together with the well maintained buildings, give it an air of peace and tranquillity.
There is a mood of happiness and optimism in this home that is created by Dr Chelliah, the wardens and the boys working together successfully to achieve their common aim – to enable these boys to live a self sufficient and rewarding life. This seems to derive from the mutual respect, love and the desire to care for one another which all who live at the home demonstrate. The boys love being there, the wardens are committed to their duties, the Doctor is proud of his achievement in setting up the home and visitors are duly delighted by what they see. It is truly a fine example of how happiness and good can be drawn out of circumstances which initially seem tragic and hopeless.