The Lotus Project: St. Mary’s Orphanage Day School
St. Mary’s is situated in Dum Dum which lies in the immediate suburbs of the large metropolitan city of Kolkata and has an approximate population of 16 million.
Four years have passed since the first ten boys entered St. Mary’s to be part of the Lotus Project. Since then the numbers have steadily increased to forty. The aim is that the boys, who are sons of sex-workers, eventually become productive and contributing members of society, living a life characterized by dignity. The beginning of this is to provide them with an all-round education, and the boys have shown an excellent performance in academics and in co-curricular activities.
The lotus is a symbol of the sun, of creation and rebirth because at night the flower closes and sinks underwater. At dawn it rises and opens again.
The project has lived up to its name. It has been the instrument of a great deal of healing, and a form of re-birth for so many boys who now see themselves as confident members of society and are being prepared to proudly take their place in the world with heads held high.
They have all done very well in their school examinations and most of them have achieved high ranks in their respective classes. Success at their studies has not been at the expense of other enjoyable activities like a visit to local parks, concert of skits, dances and songs for their mothers. The mothers expressed their gratitude and appreciation for the transformation they have seen in their children over the past three years. And the joy of the mothers and progress of their sons is our encouragement to do more.