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Alice Thomas in Her Wonderland

Any activity that deprives children of their childhood interferes with their ability to attend school regularly, or adversely affects their mental, physical, social or moral development is considered child abuse. It is prohibited by law. Children can still be seen selling things and begging for money in crowded places. This busy world has turned a blind eye to all the evils that have entered. What matters to them are things that affect them personally. Years back, a 21-year-old girl raised her voice against this. She didn’t just raise her voice, she found a solution. It exposed her purpose in life, as she believed.

Alice Thomas With Her ‘Vudhavi Karangal’

Alice Thomas, a social worker from Puducherry, runs ‘Vudhavi Karangal Samuga Nalathidar Kabvi Iyyakam or Helping Hands for social cause’, an organisation dedicated to rehabilitating children who have nowhere to go. It includes children living on the streets, those from tribal communities, orphans, children of migrant workers or victims of sexual violence. She has dedicated 32 years to helping over 150 children with their education and employment needs.

Alice Thomas

Life-Changing Incident

When Alice met a boy who came to his friend’s house for begging. She wanted to know why he was doing that and invited him with the promise of food and education. He agreed but wanted to inform his mother. As a result, they went to his mother. As soon as she saw him, she asked for food. When he responded in the negative, she started hitting him. With this, the boy insisted on going with Alice. That moment was a turning point in Alice’s life. A few days later, he returned with two other struggling friends.

As a result, she founded the non-profit organisation “Vudhavi Karangal” in 1991 and leased space on MG Road for a boys’ home.

Progress In Mission

Within three years of setting up the NGO, she bought land for the home. A few years later, in 2001, Alice established a girls’ home, followed by a girls’ observatory in TN Palayam in 2017. Her contributions also include a residential home for Gypsy children at Periya Kattupalayam in Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu.

Alice at a child’s wedding

Her Aim

Her main goal is to ensure that all children receive a basic education before directing their talents toward mainstream or vocational education according to their aptitude and ultimately settling them in life.

She initially provided these children with vocational training and education up to class 10 or 12. However, as the institution progressed, they opened their primary school and had the resources to offer postgraduate studies and beyond. Apart from donations from Alice and benefactors, her organisation also receives government funding.

Contribution To Society

She made the children capable of doing different jobs according to their talents. Her children now work in various fields, like engineering, nursing, paramedicine, music, social work etc. Alice was able to fulfil the dreams of those abandoned on the streets.

Kiran Bedi visits Udavum Karangal Home

Concern For  The Children

Because of her commitment towards these children, she and her husband decided not to have any children. Alice considers the bright future of these children to be her greatest achievement.

This is the journey of Alice Thomas, who aspires to become a lawyer like her grandfather to protect the suffering children in society. Her passion helped her to choose the path of a social worker. Caroll’s Alice fell into the world of fantasy, but our Alice fell into the world of reality, not of beautiful gardens, but of suffering people. From a young age, she took responsibility for the needy. Alice provided them with food, shelter, good education and accommodated them according to their abilities. Alice has stood for their progress ever since and became the mother of the marginalised.

Credits and References