Balar Illam is a home for orphaned and destitute children located in Madurai, South India. What began as a small orphanage has grown into three flourishing homes, two schools and a farm. Currently, there are 350 orphaned girls and 50 boys living in the various homes. The homes are simple, white-washed buildings, supplied by clean potable water. Due to the high level of education offered, the schools also educate an additional 350 rural girls from the region.
The children are cared for by trained "house-mothers" and receive nutritious food, clothing, regular health check-ups and, most importantly, a formal education. The commitment of the teachers, house-mothers, and other staff working with the children, is exceptional.
Many of the children, who excel in their studies or show exceptional vocational talent, pursue higher education and technical training. Over the years, more than 500 children have moved on to become teachers, nurses, insurance executives and bankers. One has become a physician.
After school, the children, house-mothers, and teachers work together on the farm that provides the orphanage with additional income from crops such as rice, peanuts, okra, mangoes, and coconuts, as well as dairy products from sheep and cows.
Balar Illam is a small, independent, highly efficient grassroots institution that solely depends on the generosity of others. One hundred percent of all contributed funds go to the care and education of the children. The institution is managed and overseen by volunteers who receive no compensation.