Hyderabad: Two years back, six-year-old Mounika was abandoned by her parents on the road with burns on her hands and legs. After it was determined that her injuries were caused by her father, the cops brought her to David Subramanyam, who came to the girl’s rescue.
Today Mounika is happy in her new home and wants to become a police officer when she grows up. Besides Mounika, there are 34 other children who found a home in David’s orphanage, The Cherish Foundation.
David, who started The Cherish Foundation in 2005, says, “From my school days, I used to spend time with street children and rag pickers. Their stories used to move me. The conditions of some of those children, who live on their own after losing their parents, inspired me to start Cherish.”
Along with basic needs like food and shelter, David makes sure that all the inmates get good education as well. The children, who are between eight and 20 years, want to become doctors, engineers, scientists, IAS officers, IPS officers, lawyers and collectors when they grow up and David will try his best to help them achieve their dreams.
“There were a lot of challenges that I had to overcome. All the children were from different backgrounds, cultures and mindsets; my first challenge was to help them bond. They have seen a lot during their childhood, so I wanted to give them a quality life,” says David. Besides their necessities, the children are also encouraged to take up extra-curricular activities and all the children in the orphanage can speak English. Few of them are also very bright academically, like Ilesh and his twin brother Mallesh, who scored 86 per cent and 80 per cent in their Inter 1st year examinations.
David quit his business few years back to be with the kids and mentor them as they grew up. He travels 16 km every day to reach Medipally, where the children stay at a leased house. The expenses of 35 children are over Rs 1.5 lakh a month and the orphanage totally depends on friends and well-wishers who donate the money.
All the children call David ‘daddy’. Radha, an Inter 2nd year student says, “He cares for us and gives in to all our demands. He shows the love and concern towards us which our own parents did not show.”
“My greatest achievement is transforming the lives of 35 children. I will be taking care of them till they have families of their own,” adds David.