AVANI’s Rescue of a Child Results in Freedom for Her Mother

Nagama’s name means “snake,” the name her father gave her when she was born because he was hoping for a son instead of a daughter.

For the past three years, Nagama has been the top student at Avani school in Kolhapur, India, winning awards and receiving straight A’s on her report card. If she had not been enrolled in the school, this young girl would be just another child laborer in a city where 35,000 children work, many of them in the brickyards.

Nagama's Mother at AVANI Kolhapur child rescue

Nagama, her mother and Lacopa

Anuradha Bhosale, founder and director of AVANI school, first met Nagama when the child’s family was hired to work construction on a new house near the school. Anuradha talked with the mother who revealed that her husband was an alcoholic and very abusive to both his wife and to Nagama and her brother Lacopa. She asked that Anuradha help her get protection from her husband. Arrangements were made for the safety of the mother and children and eventually, the husband abandoned the family.

In India, a woman often commits suicide when her husband abandons her. Instead, Nagama’s mother, through counseling with Anuradha, gained confidence. When Nagama and her brother began living at Avani, their mother found a job in a grocery shop in her native village. Once a month, she travels six hours by bus to visit her children at AVANI. During her last visit, she donated $18.00 to the school, the equivalent of one month of her salary. During school holidays, she takes the children to live with her.

As Avani school becomes a part of the Gandhi Center for Learning, Anuradha Bhosale and her staff will have room for 100 children like Nagama, who otherwise would be among the 35,000 exploited children of Kolhapur.

Please help support this noble work, won’t you?

Cathy Pezdirtz for Gandhi child rescue AVANI


Gandhi Worldwide Board Member Cathy Pezdirtz is a retired executive of a religious publishing company. She is an author and freelance writer and a volunteer at a facility for mentally and physically challenged women. She is active in Soulforce, an organization devoted to fostering understanding and acceptance of the gay population by the church. Married, two children by first marriage, five children and eleven grandchildren through second marriage.


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