India is a diverse country. We have people who are well off and have wealth which can take care of generations to come, and we also have people who are so unprivileged that they do not even have access to a meal once a day. Though India is developing at a rapid pace and is lifting thousands of people out of poverty every single day, there are still instances of tragic incidents poor people go through as they do not have access to necessities of life. The government and non-governmental organizations are striving really hard to changes the lives of these people.
Smt. Vanitha Rengaraj is one among those thousands of golden-hearted people who have dedicated their lives to the betterment of the society. She has been serving the unprivileged sections of the society for the past 16 years and has brought an amazing change in the lives of those orphan kids who otherwise could have been seen at traffic signals begging to satisfy their hunger. Smt. Rengaraj has not only adopted the kids but also changed their lives for better by educating them and helping them become the productive citizens of the country.
Smt. Vanitha Rengaraj used to serve as a Sr. Grade Lecturer at the local Arts and Science College in Pollachi before she took the responsibility of looking after the orphan and unprivileged kids of the society. The lecturer in the Department of History was elected as the President of the Inner wheel club of Pollachi which is a wing of the Rotary Club during the year 1998-99. During her stint as the President, she used to visit slum dwellers in the nearby region to understand the difficulties of their lives and to help them in any which way possible. The visits had a big impact on her, and she used to think of implementing programs which would bring a positive change in the lives of poor women and children living in the slums. The impact was so deep that she decided to relinquish her duty as a lecturer and started to serve the society by starting an organization.
Sharanalayam took birth on 29th January 2001 in a small rented house with seven children who were adopted from the street, railway station and nearby slums. Her love for the children and the dedication to serve them was so strong that within a year the organization started providing shelter and other necessities to over 100 children. The biggest difference between other NGO’s and Smt. Vanitha Rengaraj’s organization was that the children at Sharanalayam were treated with much love and respect. She would shower nothing but pure love for the children and would always be there to listen to the toddler whenever they wished for. Her devotion and love for children were being observed by the community in and around Sharanalayam, and soon the society recognized the fact that she was genuinely trying to bring about a positive change in the lives of children who were adopted by her.
As the news of her great work started to spread in the region, bringing good name to her and the organization, society started recognizing her and trusted her. The trust reposed in her was so strong that many charitable organizations came forward to help the organization in all possible ways. The Lions Club International took note of her work and built a 3000 square foot house to give them a permanent roof to stay. The house also had an adjacent playground, a dining area, Yoga center and a special section to accommodate mentally challenged and ill children.
It was in the year 2008 that she started spreading the awareness of letting kids have a family to look after rather than making them live in orphanages. The journey was not so easy as she had to convince the officials that letting the kids have a family would not hurt them rather would help them lead a better life. After a lot of struggles and initial hardships she finally was able to convince the authorities and got the recognition for her organization to do a domestic adoption. Today her organization has been instrumental in finding new homes with wonderful parents for more than 70 abandoned children. In spite of all the hardships she never gave up hope, and that is the primary reason why she is being loved by not only the children of the organization but also the people of the nearby region.
From the past ten years, she has been fighting against HIV/AIDS and has brought a big difference in the lives of 60 HIV infected children and thousands of adults who would otherwise have led a miserable life owing to the disease. She has also built a center which takes special care of HIV/AIDS affected adults and has helped bring a change of mindset among the people of the society.
In the past 16 years, Smt. Vanitha Rengaraj has brought happiness and peace to thousands of people and has made a big difference to their lives. She has made a name for herself owing to her selfless humanitarian acts. She has also married off more than ten daughters and helped many become engineers, lawyers, doctors, teachers, and trainers. Smt. Rengaraj has redefined the meaning of the word mother and consequently has empowered unprivileged children to become the wonderful citizens of the country. A big salute to the selfless work done by the mother of Sharanalyam Smt. Vanitha Rengaraj.
We share stories about Bollywood actors and actresses but fail to recognize the true heroes. It’s about time we stand in support of the true heroes who are striving hard to make this world a better place. Please do share this story as a mark of support to the true heroes of the country.