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Crowdfunding raises Rs 53 lakh for 23 homeless kids in Bengaluru | Bengaluru News – Times of India

Shivaji and Prema Lazarus had to mortgage and sell their jewellery to keep the home running. It went without e…Read More

When

Shivaji

and Prema Lazarus, a couple in Bengaluru, started a home for orphans —

Miracle Manna Ministry

— in 2011, they never expected they would have to mortgage and sell their jewellery to keep the home running.

But last year in August, the couple had to do exactly that to raise Rs 5 lakh so that they could put food on the table for 23 homeless and orphaned children they look after.

Donations had dried up due to the pandemic. Shivaji had lost his job as a full-time driver before Covid; later, his part-time gigs also stopped. Their 28-year-old daughter, Gracy, lost her job as a preschool teacher. Their electricity supply was cut off due to non-payment of bills and this large family lived in darkness for four months.

Earlier this year,

GiveIndia

contacted them. It’s a charity platform that raises money for more than 2,000 partner NGOs through crowdfunding. A crowdfunding campaign was started for them on March 9, and so far it has raised Rs 53 lakh.

Miracle Manna goes back more than 20 years

They had to cut corners in the kitchen and remove eggs and milk from the menu. While Rs 5 lakh lasted them for about six months, it was hardly enough to meet the yearly cost of Rs 22 lakh needed to run the home — rent, bills, school fees, etc.

“We had run out of all options and were just praying to god. But we never thought of shutting down the home,” said Gracy, who is in charge of teaching the kids, while Prema cooks for all at Jakkur, Bengaluru, home where they all live.

“Miracle Manna was listed with us as a partner and as part of routine calls to check if they need anything we found out about their financial situation,” said Priyanka Prakash, director, marketing and online giving, GiveIndia.

“Our target for this campaign is Rs 66 lakh so that the home can be financially secure for at least a couple of years considering the ongoing Covid situation,” said Prakash.

Miracle Manna has received Rs 14 lakh from the amount raised and settled some of the dues, like school fees. But more bills need to be paid and Prema’s jewellery is still under mortgage.

The story of Miracle Manna goes back more than 20 years when a cousin of Shivaji abandoned his three children and wife on the streets.

He took them in and raised the children as his own.

“We realised there are so many more children like them on the roads. We wanted to take care of them. But we could start the home only when we were financially better off,” said Prema. They started the home with two children and now they have 23 — 12 girls and 11 boys.

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