There are times when one event changes the whole course of one's life ‑ thinking, belief and goals. Around 10 years ago, Pascal, a French national, visited India as a tourist.
One night, during that visit, while he was walking on the pavements of Delhi, he accidentally stepped on a child sleeping on the footpath. He was horrified.
A social worker, Pascal had worked in France for the Ministry of Justice, mostly in shelters for children in need of care and protection, as well as juveniles in conflict with the law. He decided to settle down in India and do something good for the deprived children.
In 2008, he launched Tara, an NGO offering residential service with an emphasis on education for street kids and abandoned children.
“In our homes, we ensure quality education, security, healthcare and a real opportunity to carve a bright future. Children stay in Tara until they become self-sufficient. We keep supporting children to help them conduct personal projects, studies and vocational training,” says 45-year-old Pascal, Executive Director of Tara Homes.
He adds that these children come from different parts of North India and from family backgrounds. They either come from the street or were living in families who could not support them. They are considered “children in need of care and protection” by the state.
Tara hosts no more than 20 children in one home, to ensure a violence-free, family-like environment. Today, there are four such Tara homes for different age groups and genders where around 80 children are living.
To run such a big organisation, there's need for continuous flow of funds. Pascal says funding is the biggest challenge. For CSR, corporates look out for bigger organisations. Tara Homes does not fall into one of those categories and has to struggle often.
The organisation raises funds from different individuals, foundations and companies. Tara is supported by 230 families in France, India, US and Australia, who sponsor the children and ensure 50 percent of the organization's resources. The rest come from French, Indian and US corporations and foundations.
“We don't want to take a bigger responsibility where we can't ensure the children's future. I want to keep this organisation small and ensure that each and every child who comes out of this home has a better life and future ahead,” he concludes.
Camera person: Manoj Upadhyaya
Video Editor: Anand
Production Assistant: Vincent Arthur