Graduate Stories
Shanti Bhavan Celebrates Its 5th Graduation with Four Days of Festivities!

Shanti Bhavan Celebrates Its 5th Graduation with Four Days of Festivities!

Dear Friends, At the beginning of June, we celebrated the graduation of our fifth class of Shanti Bhavan graduates and the second class of college graduates. Graduation is always a time of great joy here at Shanti Bhavan, and so for this year one of the many things we did was put together a video...
Shanti Bhavan Presents: The Class of 2011

Shanti Bhavan Presents: The Class of 2011

Meet the Class of 2011 in this stunning video.  Each graduate shares their favorite memories of Shanti Bhavan and their dreams.  See how much the children have grown since they came to our school 13 years ago!
2011 Personal Statements - Hope Risen From Flame

2011 Personal Statements – Hope Risen From Flame

Hope Risen From Flame I was five when I faced my first enemy. I watched helplessly as the man, who called me, ‘son’, poured kerosene over my mother. My hatred for him rose up in angry flames like the ones eating away at my mother’s skin, as I tried to pull him away from her....
2011 Personal Statements - Risen from the Ashes

2011 Personal Statements – Risen from the Ashes

Risen from the Ashes Tears trickled out of my distraught eyes, frightened and saddened as I was.  The wind blew ash all around choking my breath, as our shack went up in flame. My sobs reflected my family’s despair as the treacherous fire destroyed our home, all belongings, clothing and cattle. Wrought with fear of...
2011 Personal Statements - Building Blocks for a Bright Future

2011 Personal Statements – Building Blocks for a Bright Future

Building Blocks for a Bright Future I don’t remember much about my early childhood until it was completely changed. All that remain in my mind about those forgotten years are unfocused memories of my mother braiding my overgrown hair, walking to my small village school through dense sugarcane fields, climbing trees, escaping from classes to...
2011 Personal Statements - Gaining the Power to Transform

2011 Personal Statements – Gaining the Power to Transform

Gaining the Power to Transform As the early morning light would wake her up, she knew it was the beginning of another day of struggle for survival.  She would feed her children whatever little she had, and then leave them with her husband to go to work in the factory. She would return from work each evening more exhausted than the...
2011 Personal Statements - A Thalli of Hope

2011 Personal Statements – A Thalli of Hope

A Thalli of Hope The scene is so clear in my mind that I can almost see it before my eyes. My mother is crouching on the cold floor; my father is hovering over her. His hands are on the chain around her neck that had tied around her neck long ago, the day he...
2011 Personal Statements - My Past Can’t Tie Me Down

2011 Personal Statements – My Past Can’t Tie Me Down

My Past Can’t Tie Me Down I remember a time when I would sit in my neighbor’s house drinking milk that had a cloying smell. My cousin would come running in, yelping with pain and cursing in Tamil between her husky wails. “Let him go to hell,” she would shout. My neighbors would automatically lock...
2011 Personal Statements - From Field To Fortunes

2011 Personal Statements – From Field To Fortunes

From Field To Fortunes It’s four in the morning when I head towards the vegetable and cow feed farm on a small parcel of land owned by our family. My hands are numb from the cold morning air. I clench my fingers around a large spade and walk towards the water tank. I open the...
2011 Personal Statements - In the Embrace of Opportunity

2011 Personal Statements – In the Embrace of Opportunity

In the Embrace of Opportunity “You are wasting your time,” a prosperous looking man scorned at a business entrepreneur who had just arrived in Bangalore from America in 1995. “And wasting your money,” an even older looking man added. His eyes shone like two pennies. The others who had come as a group to see...
2011 Personal Statements - In Pursuit of My Father’s Happiness

2011 Personal Statements – In Pursuit of My Father’s Happiness

In Pursuit of My Father’s Happiness I heard a loud shriek, and ran out to see my father bringing his hand down in big swings at my mother. She was screaming even louder as she covered my sister. My father was drunk and persisted in beating my mother. There seemed no stopping his anger. I...
2011 Personal Statements - Trekking the Bend on the Road

2011 Personal Statements – Trekking the Bend on the Road

Trekking the Bend on the Road My mom was widowed at twenty. As she went from place to place searching for somewhere to live, I tagged along beside her. It was difficult to find a safe shelter to stay in since we were part of the “lower society.”  After a long search, an ashram that offered shelter to homeless people decided to take...