Tara Homes for Children, NGO for street children in Delhi, India

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Tara Boys launch their own book

Yes they write and they’re good!
This anthology of stories and poems was written by sixteen remarkable Tara boys aged seven to fifteen.
For the past six months Katie Waldegrave has been allowed to enter their world, witness to their fierce imaginations and vivid memories.

The authors, at Oxford Bookstore for the launch
Katie Waldegrave, author from UK

Katie moved to Delhi, earlier this year, with some trepidation. Once she found Tara the city began to feel like home.
From day one Sameer, with his beautiful great smile, hugged her on arrival.
Each Wednesday, fuelled by chocolate biscuits of various kinds the Boys have written together. (There was much debate, but in the end it was decided that oreos and bournville are the biscuits most conducive to great writing.)
The range of this anthology is testament to the boys’ willingness to experiment and the range of their talents and experience. They considered calling the book "Chocolate Biscuit Stories, Memories and Poems" but decided that it was too clunky.
At the start of the project the boys were quite certain they could not write a story, let alone a poem. Indeed several of them didn’t know the English word poem. But somehow, over the past six months or so, they put aside their anxiety and produced this book.
Sameer, reading his story

Piyush, Lokesh and Arun

The writing in Chocolate Biscuit Stories ranges from the sublime:
• Vinay’s piece about flying boys or
• Shyamu’s about how to make a sunset
• to the ridiculous: Rashid’s Greedy King or
• Sameer who would like to turn all vegetables into chocolate

There are powerful flights of imagination:

• Sachin’s ghosts
• Manoj’s magical girl
• Or poignant memories:
• Sikander on the sweet mishit doi his father used to buy him
• Vishal on Maharashtra and the Arabian sea or
• Manish, dreaming of his mother
• Sharwan on his friend Rohit- "a white tiger, strong and fierce"

They embraced metaphors and simlies with the enthusiasm of true poets:
• Lokesh’s idea of love which "Smells like a donut with chocolate in the middle"
• Ishwar’s of sadness which "Smells like dirty socks"
• Sachin, with his cheeky grin, always wrote pieces that made us laugh, many about his various girlfriends
• Manu, who has been speaking English for a month, produced a moving dedication to his mother

And all of them wrote, at some point, about Tara and about Pascal:

• For Mohid, Tara is the "dove that flies with me"
• For Arun, "Tara is fried chicken, when we all eat together"

What has been remarkable to see is the way they’ve taken to writing and they way their ideas of writing has changed. At the start the boys wanted to write fables with neat morals.

We hope and think that they have begun to find their voice and know that voice has value.
As Philip Pullman put it "Real writing can liberate and strengthen young people’s sense of themselves as almost nothing else can."

After writing part, a word about the launch we celebrated it at Oxford bookstore, which is one of the most famous in New Delhi.
One by one the boys were reading piece of their stories and have signed their book just like real and professional writers to their fans!

The book is now available in France and in India, at the price of 4€ or 300 INR (with additional mailing fees), so if you want a piece of "Chocolate Biscuits stories", send us an email ...

Enjoy reading!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Jump, Jump little Anita!

Anita, 4 years old, suffered from Kwashiorkor disease.
Kwashiorkor is a severe form of malnutrition, caused by a deficiency in dietary protein.
When she arrived at Tara she couldn’t say a single word properly, we were stimulating her everyday with a special attention.
She has daily a 30 minutes exercises in order to encourage her intellectual abilities and skills.
Before she was scared of jumping from height, have a look at her progress!!
We are proud of you Anita

Friday, November 6, 2015

Tara Girls cut the ribbon

Vanshika, Noorjahan, Jyoti, Noorie and Deepika : our 5 first Tara Girls are officially transferred by the Child Welfare Committee.

Above : Noorjahan

Opposite : The Tara Girls wearing Bharatanatyam clothe

The girls put on a big show for the opening of their home and it’s more than 150 guests who gathered in front of the gates of Tara Girls in the evening of Monday, October 26th.
MMrs Preeti Sudan, representing Mrs Maneka Gandhi, the Indian Minister for Women and Children officially cut the ribbon, opening the doors of Tara Girls.

A celebration with great fanfare:
• 150 guests -- most of whom arrived early – panic in the ship as the baby stars were still dressing up!
• 45 (over excited) children
• 7,000 km travelled by some of our French trustees who especially for the occasion • 30 volunteers
• 25 members of staff, a dream team to work with who received a standing ovation from the audience
• 20 kilos of chopped vegetables, representing six hours of work for two volunteers • 10 kilos of rice
• 17 kilos of cooked chicken
• Sweat and stress in the air but more important • Thousands of smiles

Prestigious guests:
• Mrs. Preeti Sudan, representing Ms. Maneka Gandhi, Minister for Women and Children in India. The emotion levels raised in the audience when our Guest of Honour explained she visited many children’s homes but she had never seen children as happy as they seem to be at Tara
• H.E. Mr. François Richier, French Ambassador for India

The Tara kids strike the pose with his Excellency and his son.

• Mr. Asif Iqbal, representing the Child Welfare Committee, who in his speech praised Tara as a successful model for many other organizations
• Mrs. Sarita Kanojia, (District Child Protection Officer)
• Mrs. Archana Sachar (Resident Welfare Association) who proposed the help of all the neighbours and felt that having Tara Girls round their corner is an opportunity for the inhabitants to take their part in promotingsocial justice..

Our dear sponsors without whom Tara Girls would no exist
We have received your numerous messages of encouragement, thank you from the bottom of our heart to all of you and particularly to:
• Alstom Foundation
• Abdessalam Foundation
• GoPhilantropic -- especially Ghada and Igor
• HRA Pharma
• Main tendue
• Neovia
• Saint Gobain
• Talents et Partage

Sophie and Chloe Thobie, for funding the meal that evening from the sale of home-made bracelets in France by Chloé, aged 16! Tara crosses borders thanks to your commitment.

As for the girls, they were radiant and graceful, extremely proud to show their new home, acting as guides.

The whole Tara team thank you now and always for helping us to build a better future for the children.
And stay tuned, we will soon show you the newcomers to Tara Girls...

Meanwhile, we leave you with the dance performance presented for the event by the Tara Girls:

Monday, October 5, 2015

Support Saamir as he runs for Tara Homes for Children

This year, Airtel Delhi Half Marathon is on 29th November.
Saamir, an Accenture's employee, will be running 21 kms for TARA. Supporting him is also supporting Tara's children!
So, please Click here to make a donation online.
You will access on GoPhilanthropic website which is one of our partner who will collect the donations, please then select Tara in the drop-down list.

Thank you Saamir and good luck!

Monday, September 28, 2015

A new adult at Tara Boys

On September 11th, 2015, Rakesh blew out eighteen candles on a chocolate cake at a party celebrated by all the Tara Boys! In honor of the occasion we interviewed him.

Rakesh, Proud to be an adult
Sweet cake

How do you feel in this special day?
“Right now, I am feeling very happy! This morning, one of my friends was reminded all my classmates that it is my birthday. Every one of them wished me the best and a happy birthday. I truly would like to thank all my friends for their wishes.”

Did you plan something special today in order to celebrate your birthday?
“Yes, Sidhu, Sunil, Jaan and I are going to have a dinner in Hauz Kaz village, which is a really good place in Delhi. Pierre and his wife who have been volunteers at Tara for a long time invited us. I can’t wait to be there.”

What does it mean to you to reach eighteen?
“It is a big change, I was small and now I am an adult. I am a little bit surprised because it came so quickly! I have been at Tara for six years and time flies. Now I can vote and it is a great thing! Voting is very important to me. I can also apply for a passport or a driving license. I can make my own identification and I am responsible for myself.”

What are your plans for the future?
“Most important for me is to do my best to have good grades. I love using my computer skills so maybe I will improve my knowledge in this area. I have planned to learn French because I dream of working abroad and especially for a French company. Also, I would like to see my parents soon.”

When do you plan to go to the Nest?
(Nest is the name given to the apartment for children who crossed the age of 18.)
“Since April 2015, I have been spending time at Tara Big Birds (aftercare program) and I plan to move on, as soon as possible. I can’t wait to stay there!”

Why are you so impatient?
“In Tara Big Birds, it is different, because I will do my homework by myself and there will be no one to tell me what to do! In Tara Boys, I was already independent about some things but the new thing will be to manage a budget. I will use my first budget on buying groceries. And then, according to my needs I will buy the rest.”

Why did you feed Pascal a piece of your birthday cake?
“This is a mark of respect in India. Pascal means a lot to me, he is a great role model for me, he supports me everywhere, even I was in bad condition, he took me out of.”

Do you want to add something else?
“I would like to thank again my friends and sir Pascal for taking care of me. I remember 6 years ago, he talked to me in English and I wasn’t able to understand, now thanks to him I can understand and say if something is wrong or good. I fit in at Tara and all the people are lovely. I would like to thank my support “Sir Didier”. He is sponsoring me to live in Tara. I would like to meet him and if I get my 12 classes, I want to go to France to thanks him in person. It is something very important for me because he knows what I am doing here and he is really proud of me.”

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Javed: a heart of gold

Our Tara Big Bird Javed had a heart operation on 17th August. Right after coming back to Tara, he answered our questions.

Heart problems are rare at your age. How did you find out ?
"I used to faint and I had some breathing problems. I also experienced blackout once in a while."

So what did you do ?
"It happened at school so I went to see the nurse. She found my pulse rate below average. I went to Max Hospital to see a cardiologist and I learnt that I had a severe sinus bradychardia. I went through many tests and eventually they decided to go for a pacemaker. It is a small machine which balances pulse rates and controls breathing."

How long you need to keep your pacemaker?
"For life. But the battery has to be changed every 8 or 10 years."

How was the surgery? The medical staff?
"I don’t know about the surgery because I was unconscious for a long time. The staff and doctors were very kind and supportive. They took good care of me and explained about every medical procedure. I was hospitalised for 5 days."

Did you have some friends or family who came to see you to the hospital?
"I had all the support of Tara, staff and volunteers. My school friends regularly paid me visit. My family also came to see me and showed concerns regarding my health. Basanti Maam (manager of Big Birds) has been constantly running to the hospital for my appointments and surgery."

Are you feeling good today?
"I’m good. I take my medicines and my food on time but I still feel weak and drowsy most of the time. Within a month I would be able to be regular on my schooling and normal schedule. I just feel like moving around and be on my own world. I feel like a new born baby who needs support and being carried. Instead of going back directly to Tara Big Birds, I was advised to get back to Tara Boys for a week so that I can be looked after and supervised on my medications and diet. I feel the connectivity and the enthusiasm amongst Tara Boys about my illness and they are very supportive!"

Do you want to add something?
"I want to thank Tara and Max Foundation who have been treating my illness right when it occurred, otherwise it could have been worsened a lot in the future."

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Welcome to Tara Girls

Tara opens its fourth home, the much expected Tara Girls.

Basanti, a graduate from Science Po and a social worker, came all the way from France last December to join us with one goal: opening Tara Girls by the end of the year. Mission accomplished!
After several months of intensive building scooting and various unexpected surprises, we finally found the haven of peace where Tara Girls will be located.
The home is situated in a quiet, residential, pleasant and green area in South Delhi, close to the other Tara Homes. It is an independent house facing a beautiful park.
The home is made of 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a kitchen, an office, a dining-room. Also a lot of storage space (you have no idea, dear reader, how badly we need to store things in a children’s home!). Last but not least: a huge roof top – which makes all the difference because 20 children, as we know by experience, “produce” daily a huge load of wet clothes to be put for drying.

Tara Girls from the street
TV and reading room
We love the staircase!
Beautiful view from the balcony of the dining-room

After some renovation work, we got the key on August 1st. On the same day, we shifted all the donations received over the last months and stored at Tara Boys. Everybody at Tara Boys took their part in the operation.
We would like to again thank the families who donated their furniture, and household items for Tara.

Rohit and Manoj lifting boxes
Sharwan with the games

Tara Girls will start with a small group of 4 girls only. After a few months, once the first group will have settled down, we will gradually admit more girls until we reach the capacity of 20. This is also how we proceeded when we opened Tara Boys in 2008 and Tara Tots in 2012. Generally, the homes are quickly taken to their maximum capacity!

Basanti has already assembled a part of her team:
Hasina joined on 1st July, she is the Child Welfare Officer of Tara Girls.
Nitin, already with us, will be the administrative manager and will divide his time between the 4 homes. 2 lady night staff are also appointed and ready to start, 1 nanny (trained at Tara Tots), 1 cook and 1 cleaning person.


We are all set to start and waiting for the judicial order to be signed by the concerned authority, enabling us to officially take the responsibility for our first 4 Tara Girls...

    Tara Girls Home, generously supported by Alstom Foundation grant.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Tara TV

This summer, the Boys shot their own TV program, wrote the scripts themselves, shot and edited under the guidance of Alice our super volunteer, in charge of the summer activities.
The Boys had an amazing summer and as you will see, they even developed some new talents...

To conclude this beautiful month of June, Tara Boys organised a big function to award the best talents. All the team, the volunteers, Tara Tots and Big Birds were there and well-dressed for this nice evening with a lot of suspense...

The Award for the Best Actor went to Manu,
The Award for the Best Dancer was given to Sharwan,
The Award for the best Publicist awarded to Sameer,
The Award for the Best Interviewer decerned to Rashid,
The Award for the Best Reporter was for Sikander,
The Award for the Best Cameraman is attributed to Manoj who was also nominated the Tara TV Boy.

THANK YOU Alice Maam for these amazing holidays spent in Delhi with very nice activities.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A sporty morning at Decathlon

Early morning sporty awakening
Souvenir photo with Decathlon team

All Tara Boys and some Tara Tots were invited at Decathlon for a morning packed with fun and sporty activities for the Annual Foundation Day.

There was big excitement to play football and cricket but also to participate in a treasure hunt inside the store
The children exerted themselves from 7AM to noon and tried new sports unknow to some of them (like scooter, biking, rollerskating...)

Every child went back to Tara with a beautiful flask and « Decathlon Forever » team, the winner of the treasure hunt received a basket ball. Congrats Boys, you were the only one able to fold up the tent in less than 3 minutes ! Thanks to the last summer camp and your good memories...

Thank you so much Decathlon for your regular support with Tara and for this nice half- day spent with your wonderful team in Noida !

Team game in the store
Biking introduction for Ramu

Friday, May 22, 2015

The collection of good marks

It was the end of the Indian scholar year a few weeks ago and Tara Boys succeeded brilliantly !

Everybody passed and is now ready to move on up to the next class with excellent marks and praise from the teachers. The boys worked a lot and very hard this year so the results bring huge pride not only to the boys themselves but also to the Tara team.

An excitement for the Smalls was hearing about, Manish, 6 years old, in class 1 at St Mary’s School earning the Certificate of Merite for Attendance, Neatness and Regularity in Work... What else ?! He is the laureate of the whole primary school for this price.
Mohid «click on his report if you want to be impressed ! » is in class 2 at Bluebells International, one of the best private schools in Delhi and he has validated his year with an average of 72%. When we compliment him , he replies « I’m happy but next year, my target is 85% ». Ambitious Momo !
For the Mediums, Sharwan, 10 years old, is a nice example of diligence. Arrived at Tara in 2014, he didn’t speak English and was very shy. He finishes his year with 72% in English and 69,2% for annual average. Sharwan can easily speak publicly and doesn’t have any problem for an integration in a group.
For the Teens, Vinay due to multiple health challenges, is studying in class 5 and we are extremely surprised by his first year at Akshay Prati Shtan, a school for children and teenagers with special needs. He had an average of 57,1% for the first semester and 47,8% for the second one. Vinay is so motivated and very very happy to go to school everyday.
Ramu validated an excellent year in class 8 at R.K Puram and for some great news : he has just succeeded for the competitive exam entry at RPVV School, one of the best Governmental Schools of Delhi. Ramu prefers Mathematics and he is doing well with languages. He gave us the proof validating 86% in Sciences and 76% in Hindi (good performance for someone who doesn’t have Hindi as native language).
Shyamu «Click on this image», 13 years old and he is also at St Mary’s School. His report speaks by itself. No need to see the results to understand that Shyamu is a pleasant student, always smiling and motivated—and who wants to be a...boxer ! We don’t have any doubt : he is appreciated by his teachers. Shyamu is also learning French at school and he is doing very well.

Congratulatioooons guys, you are working hard and your results are well-earned. Enjoy your holidays and be ready to start off the next school year with the right foot !

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Tara Boys shot by a French TV Channel !

Thanks to Sidhu who is working at France 2 TV Channel since February, we got the chance to welcome Christophe to film a typical day at Tara (from 7AM, departure for school to 8PM, the bedtime).

A small glimpse of the Boys’ daily life !

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Amazing toy delivery

The Tots, very proud of their new toys

A sponsor of Tara living in Delhi just donated a shower of toys to the Tara Tots. Our friend is moving out of town soon so she decided to sort out her children’s cupboards... for the pleasure of the Tots !

Raj, our small chef
A car, a cycle, a kitchen, a refill of Lego... there was a lot of excitment when all the items passed through Tara’s front door!

Just sitting and observing the children taking possession of their new toys was a real show :
Anita immediately sat at the piano and Khuhsboo started singing in the mike, to enable the whole world to know that she is The Voice! OK Kushboo you sing very loud, we heard you well, how about a little more singing practice...?
Dinesh rushed to drive the new red and grey racing car. When being asked where he is going, he answered « to CWC* !! »
Aayush did not agree with the destination, he would prefer to go on holiday with the car.
Raj (who has, let us face it, a tendency to be a bit bossy) took immediately possession of the Chef hat and kept everyone in line to serve them a dessert of lego. Roshan found the ice-cream cone in the doll’s tea party and decided to give a lick to each and every of her friends. Our hygienic protests were not considered! Hussein took (semi) control of the hopping ball and everyone had to move aside!

After one hour of total excitement, it was time to leave the toys and start study time.

Hussein and his hopping ball
Roshan is doing big « schluuurps » with her ice cream

* Child Welfare Committee : the bench of magistrate which sends the children to us on behalf of the State.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

So you think you can dance?!

Tara Tots and Tara Boys literally won over the audience at Alliance Française Delhi during a dashing 20 minutes show for the Annual Francophonie Day. Check out our cheerful Bollywood dancers !

Thursday, March 19, 2015

School Bash 2015

The school year is over! The Tara Tots and Tara Boys enjoy their last moments before the summer holidays.
On their menu: sport exploits, music feasts and open doors in the classroom. Check them out!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Tara Big Birds in their Nest

The third Tara home has opened on December ! It accommodates our Big Birds, Tara young adults who progressively learn to fly their own wings under our after-care program. Jaan and Sidhu describe below their life at the Nest, a two roomed-flat where they recently moved in.

Jaan and Sidhu
Their living room

When did you settle in your new home?
"We moved on the 4th of December. We had very little belongings but there was a lot of cleaning work to be done because the flat was dirty. We didn't have much equipment for cooking in the beginning so we had our meals at Tara Boys for few days. The Nest is located only at 5 minutes walk from Tara Boys. But life is not as easy as it used to be in Tara Boys ! Now, we have to think about buying groceries, cooking, and cleaning. Sidhu cleans more than me but I do it a bit " (says Jaan)

Do you have someone responsible of you?
« Basanti Maam (the educator who supervises Big Birds program) is responsible of the Nest and she helps us with our studies. We have an individual interview every week with her to speak about our studies, our schedules, our difficulties and she has also an eye on us (laughs)"

Do you have regular visits?
« Our friends come to see us once in a while. Sidhu's friends came for his birthday. It was a surprise at midnight to see them coming to cut his birthday's cake. The oldest boys of Tara Boys come to visit us during evening time or on Sunday when they have free time. We also receive visits of volunteers; in this case we clean the flat perfectly! We make chai (tea) and discuss with them. Sometimes they ask us to speak in French and it's not easy to switch from English to French. »

How do you control your budget?
« We have priorities lists to manage our money. We pay commutation fees, stationeries, hygiene products and clothes by ourselves. Tara, with the help of others volunteers, pay for the food, the rent, water bills, electricity, gas, health care, university fees and equipment for our flat.»

What is your daily routine Jaan ?
« I wake up at 8.30am and I leave at 9.30am (or 10am!!). My classes start at 10.40am. I take a bus until Nehru Place and walk to the university. I finish my classes at 2.30pm and come back to the Nest for lunch or sometimes I don't have lunch. Until 6pm, I give some tuitions at Tara Boys to children studying in class 5 or 6. I help them for their homework in all subjects. On Monday, I have class with Tiphaine maam (a volunteer who studies in JNU University and who helps us in Political Sciences). After that, I cook and clean. Cooking in India takes at least one hour because we don't have ready-made items like in the West ! I go for diner around 9.30pm and afterwards I read the daily newspaper.

And you, Sidhu ?
« Me, I wake up at 8.30am and I'm ready to go to work. I work at French TV channel France 2 until 2pm. I work as a translator in Hindi, English and in French. If they need to book an hotel, a taxi, buy a table, it's also my job. I'm a bit like a journalist ! I have lunch with the team and go to university from 3.30pm to 9pm. I'm in my second year. I passed my last exams with 59% and I am aiming at 60% for the next semester.
On Saturdays and Sundays I go to Alliance Française to take French classes. My dream is to go to France next year for my studies. Fingers crossed...
I also volunteer at Tara Boys. Every Thursday evening, I go there to read some stories for small children."

What are you studying exactly ?
« Political Science. It's very good for general knowledge and it helps us understand our fundamental Rights which in India are not known by most people. Our exams will start on the 7th of May. We have to validate both semesters to pass our year. In India, we speak in percentage for exams results. My goal is 60%,I (Jaan speaking) got 49% for the last one. I'm confident I’ll do better this semester!"

Their bedroom

Chief shop

Audrey Hepburn is a good company
for Big Birds