Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Road from Leper Colony to IIITM ( Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management )

Albert Einstein has rightly said ,
''Try not to become a man of Success , but rather try to become a man of Value ! ''

Today when I spoke to Raju Achen, he had a great news to tell me. A story of the Road from Leper Colony to IIITM Gwalior. IIITM Gwalior is known to be one among the top 25 Engineering colleges in the Country which is the Almamater to many brilliant Engineers across the World. And it is indeed a matter of great Pride for all of us to see one of our children from Balagram, has qualified to study in the IIITM , Gwalior. And that is Prasanth , an extremely hard working boy. He burnt midnight oil to achieve his goal.

Raju Achen mentions Prasanth as a role model to all others. He is very humble and well mannered boy. His academic session at IIITM will start in mid august. Now, Prasanth has gone home to meet his parents. He is now a hero in his village. I don't know how much, IIITM makes sense to his poor and illiterate parents but definitely it means a lot to Prasanth and all his brothers in Balagram. Prasanth is the First student from Our Mission Homes across India to reach this height in Education. 

Another tenacious legend is Peter Paul who is now in Kottayam, Kerala to pursue Post Graduate studies in Commerce from P.G .College run by Kottayam Diocese.

My hearty Congratulations to both of them in their Journey ahead. May God bless them and take them through His Light to see the Unseen beauty of Life.

Children ready for the new Academic Year

The new academic session, has started and all students were excited to walk into their new classes with their new uniforms, bags and books.

Pre- seminarians , Bro. Sunil T.V and Bro. Aby Raju are the volunteers for this term who would take tuitions for these children.

Children under the able guidance of Raju Achen

On June 28, St. Pauls Day Perunnal was celebrated and All the children participated in the procession followed by Perunnal feast. It was a blessed occasion for all at Balagram.

Raju Achen told me that after the monsoon rains, Balagram and places around resemble Kerala with lush greens and paddy fields. This year , 80 quintals of wheat was harvested which was a boon from the land.

All the inhabitants are now looking forward to celebrate the Balagrams' 18th Anniversary on 02 August 2013 in the presence of very Rev. K.I. Philip Rambachan and many vicars and parishioners of various churches across the country.

Children at Balagram are taught to humble themselves before God, for everything they have is a Gift from God. All good things are gifts from God, food and clothing, rain and fruitful harvests, faith, grace, wisdom and life itself are all gifts from God. Let us all give thanks to Him for his Love and Compassion that keepsThe Mission on its Wheels.

- Shilpa Susan Eapen

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Academic Excellence at Balagram

We are the Wonderful Work of God

 ‘’ A little more persistence, a little more effort , and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious Success. ‘’

When I read this quote by Elbert Hubbard, I am reminded of the children at ItarsiBalagram. Born to Leper parents, in leper colonies, with  the will  and untiring efforts of OsthathiosThirumeni, few volunteers and helping hands of many members of the Church, these children got a new life, a true meaning to their existence.

Today, when Fr. RajuVettiyanickal (Manager Achen) with great joy told me the Examination results of the children of Balagram , I felt very proud of Our Charity Mission Projects. Thanks to the Pioneer of this Mission Project and All the helping hands. I am extremely happy to be a part of a Faith and Movement that constantly believes and works towards the upliftment of the groundridden.

Balagram had a few students who appeared for the University Examinations and Engineering Entrance Examination.

Peter Paul

      Peter Paul being the first student of Balagram has successfully passed B.Com Degree course and is now heading to join P.G College Kottayam for his Masters.


Two students successfully passed the MP Board XII Std and among them , Prasanth has cracked the MP Board Engineering Entrance Examination held in March 2013. On his successful State Counselling, he could take up a career in Engineering.

Rahul and Dileep

Rahul and Dileep passed the MP Board X Board Exams with flying colours and are now in Senior Secondary School heading to qualify for a Career of their passion.

It is my immense pleasure to congratulate all the students who passed their examinations.

When I see their innocent smiles, I am reminded of the truth that these children unlike the ‘’Silver Spoon’’ born kids, have studied Hard with limited facilities yet a great desire to succeed in Life.
It is indeed very important to know the desire of our heart. Only then we can work towards the accomplishment of our desire, only then we can be a successful Citizen, successful father / mother to the future generations.

These children , unlike their parents who eked out a living by begging on streets, are an inspiration to the World. They teach Us the Truth of Life – Have an unrelenting Belief that things will work out , that the Long road has a purpose, that the things that you desire may not happen today, but they will eventually happen. 

‘’Persist and persevere, your desired path remains possible’’

Children Heading to School

 In Raju Achen’s words ,  ‘’We teach them to have an aim in Life, to successfully live a dignified Life in today’s Progressing Soceity.’

In a nutshell, a holistic wellbeing with good moral values is the Motto of Balagram.

Mixed Cropping at Balagram

Apart from School and Books, these children are very smart in farming the seasonal crops. A major percentage of their income is from Agriculture. This year they take care of the wheat and chickpea farming. Also they are very fond of rearing cows and hens.

They live a very disciplined life to maintain their physical, mental , social and spiritual wellbeing. Their day starts at 5 in the morning till 10 at night. Ms.Sheela is the Warden and Brothers from Theological seminary  Nagpur, do come in to render tuitions and extra support.

Children Singing Songs of Praise 

Orthodox Christian Worship is followed in Balagram Chapel and everyday morning and evening prayers are attended by all students and volunteers without fail. 

The Children here know that to have a Blessed Life, Prayer is as important as eating food and drinking water.

Listening to Rajuachen, I was delighted to realise the marvellous works of Our Lord. Itarsi Balagram is a true example of Psalm 127 :3 – ‘’ Children are a heritage from the Lord ’’. Our Lord always loved children and He proclaimed that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to them.

- Shilpa Susan Eapen