The Annual Day of Jeevan Jyoti, Home for Physically challenged a project of the Society of St.Vincent  De Paul, National Council of India was held at Baripida, Orissa on 11th November 2006 in the presence of nearly 500 audiance which included Rt. Rev. Thomas Thiruthalil, Bishop of Balasore, Shri Sudam Marandi, the MP of Balasore constituency, Bro.T.Joseph Pandian, the National President SSVP, Shri Bobhu Prasad Das, Governor of Rotary Club, a large number of priests and religious including Provincials of Congregations, members of SSVP and local villagers.

The programme started with the lighting of the traditional lamp by the dignitaries.

Ten items of songs and extremely well choreographed dances were presented by the inmates of the home, all of whom had some form of deformity or the other.

Bishop Thomas in his speech spoke on the essence of Christian love that encompasses every aspect of Christian life which was a motivating factor for Blessed Fredric Ozanam to form the Society, with St.Vincent de Paul as its patron. He thanked the members of the Society for constructing the Home entirely with their own contribution. The happiness we see in these children is due to the sacrifice of SSVP members and the Vincentian Sisters of the Daughters of Charity, he said. Bishop Thomas commended the sisters in bringing out the best in the physically challenged children to face such a large audience. He requested the people which included local MP, MLA, heads of local bodies and NGO’s to support this institution.

The local MP Shri Sudam Marandi appreciated the work of Christians even though people associate them with conversion.

Sr.Elizabeth Kunnel DC the sister in-charge of the home presented a comprehensive report on the working of the home. She was also handed over keys to a new Mahindra Marshall vehicle for use of the home, by Bishop Thomas Thiruthalil. Gifts were presented to all the inmates by Sr.Grace Mollan, Provincial of the Daughters of Charity.

The programme was MC-eyed by Bro.Sanjeeb Kumar Behra, President of the Central Council of Balasore, SSVP and the vote of thanks was proposed by Bro.Dinesh Giri, Treasurer of the Central Council in the Oriya language. The National Anthem was sung by inmate Ms.Sanju on cruches.

Joe D’Souza

VP-Finance, SSVP-NCI







JEEVAN JYOTHI is a Jubilee 2000 Memorial Project of the National Council of India commissioned on 5th May 2001 on land donated to the NCI by the Bishop Thomas Thiruthalil C.M., D.D. of Balasore. It is located at Mayurbanj about 15 minutes drive from the township of Baripada in the most backward area of the state of Orissa. 

As on 1st April 2006 there are 42 female physically challenged inmates. This is a vast improvement from 18 inmates in January 2004. This is mainly through the efforts of Sr. Elizabeth a DC Sister from Kottayam of over 35 years experience, who approached various organizations to get inmates. 

Seven of these are baptized Catholics. The age of the inmates range from 7 years old Kapura to 60 years old Malati. All of them, without exception have some form of deformity or the other. Five of them require an attendant as they are unable to do things on their own. Some like Molly, Assunta, Rajmi and Sushmita are mentally retarded, Poibi is completely blind, Asha’s three limbs are non-functional and only one hands works, Tunni is Deaf and dumb, Munni is deaf and mentally retarded, Shanti work in the garden on a platform on wheels as she has deformed leg, Tula is on wheel chair. These are just a few of the thirty four.

On a visit to Jeevan Jyothi it was a pleasing sight to see that the home was full of  lively activities. The elder children were seen guiding and leading the younger ones in all the activities like watering the garden in the morning, cleaning the harvested beans, washing the clothes, reciting the rosary at 2 in the afternoon, taking part in singing and acting, doing their school work and the like. Needle work and stitching is also part of their activity. They all seem very happy, intelligent, well mannered and enthusiastic. Not only do the seven Catholics among them but also others attend Holy Mass on the four days a week it is held in the chapel of Jeevan Jyothi.

Five of the children attend a local school, some three or four kilometers away.

Talent abounds in the home. Beautiful needle work and greeting cards are crafted by the girls. Their singing and acting talents have immense potential, with tiny Kauri excelling in both.

This project is a “must visit” project of the National Council of India.

All Vincentians should support this project whole heartedly by

a)     visiting it,

b)     sending the Central Council’s contribution towards its support,

c)      sponsoring an inmate @ Rs.500/- per month,

d)     obtaining donations for which income tax exemption can be obtained

        u/s 80G

e)     send good used clothes for the children. This can be sent either directly or through HQ in Mumbai and we will make arrangements to send these to them.

f)       Send new cloth materials so that the inmates can stitch their own clothes.

The children of Jeevan Jyothi are Gods gift to us. We must treat them as our own and look after them as we look after our own children. We are the only support for most of these physically challenged orphans.