Yes, with all their struggles to earn day-to-day bread, three farmers in one remote village in India has proven once again that ‘impossible is nothing’. Setting a great example for millions across the globe, the trio has sheltered over 60 people with special needs.

The story begins at the Bhavana Arts Club in Kuthanur in 2003. It was World Women’s Day. The club organized a women’s empowerment seminar to commemorate the day. Invitees included women folks in the village. During the meeting, some of the women raised the issue of mentally challenged children in their houses and their neighborhoods. The office holders of the club - Shri P.P. Ullas, Shri. K.A. Rajesh and Shri. T.R.Santhakumaran, were also present at the seminar and were witnessing the discussion. The discussion brought out the seriousness of the issue and provoked the need for immediate attention to such children. That was the day, the ‘Ullas-Rajesh-Santhakumaran trio’ decided to do something to solve this issue.

Making a livelihood with small scale farming, the trio utilized most of their free time in going from house to house and finding out information about the mentally challenged children in the village of Kuthanur. The result of their research was shocking. There were around 60 mentally challenged children in the village of Kuthanur. Many of these children were left stray and many were left locked, while their parents go for work. Most of the families are financially backward and they cannot afford to the children to schools for children with special needs at the nearby towns. Therefore, the only possible way out for such families was to keep them locked at home all the time.

The shocking research details inspired them to extended their study to the near by villages as well. More astonishing results came up; on an average 60-70 children in each village were mentally challenged. The idea of an institution like Tejus materialized at this stage.

They again visited each surveyed house where such children lives, persuaded their parents to understand the importance of giving these children a better life. The parents were made aware of the importance of developing their child’s language and social skills, and also the need to train him/her to function as self supporting as possible.

With just 7 children, the trio managed to find a teacher and a rented classroom to start off their mission on 25th December 2003. Winning the trust of the families, more and more children were admitted to the Tejus classroom. The expenditure was a big burden during the initial days. The trio went to the extend of pledging their properties to meet the daily expenditure of the institution.

The following year, they organized a stage show with the help of local clubs, which won them enough money to clear their debts and to meet the expenditure for the coming year. These were the days when the trio happened to meet Shri. N. R. Achan. He extended moral and financial support to Tejus and showed them the right directions to undertake the mission further ahead.

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