December 13, 2005

Sheila Irani, an inspiration

Irani, F K is a name Mysoreans associate with Ideal Jawa. They don’t make the mo-bike anymore, but the brand name – Ideal Jawa - is still with us, in reference to the building housing Mysore’s Rotary headquarters and one of the city’s better run schools. The Irani name is also linked to a not-so-widely known, but equally well-run, institution – Chamundi Children’s Home. It’s a living testimony to Sheila Irani’s work of charity, says my friend T V Raghottam Rao, who is actively associated with the home. They take care of 25 boys and girls who are parentless or from broken homes. Inmates are schooled till Class-12, and in any vocational training of their interest. Many from the Chamundi alumni are known to have made it in the outside world. We don’t know if the trustees have case studies.
Statistically, it’s a drop-in-the-bucket effort. But Chamundi home represents an endeavour that has inspired individuals. Paddy Navin, a theatre person in Britain, is one such individual, says a report in ‘Star of Mysore’. A visit to Mysore in 2002 and meeting with Sheila Irani proved an inspiration for Paddy to do her bit for the underprivileged in this part of the world. Back in London, Paddy organized a concert that raised funds enough to educate four children till the college level. Two of Paddy’s chosen children – Pushpa,10, and Esther, 8, are now studying at the Good Shepherd’s School, Masinagudi, near Mudumalai, TN. If only everyone in our own entertainment world – actors and producers – were to emulate Paddy’s example, it would be a turn-around in the lives of thousands of our underprivileged children.

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