What We Do at Vanavil
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We help kids from extremely marginalized and historically nomadic communities, who would otherwise be living on the streets and begging, fortune telling, selling plastic, or worse.

Vanavil was set up in 2005 for children from the Narikuravar and Boom Boom Mattukarar community devastated by the tsunami in Nagapattinam and who had slipped through the gaps of government and NGO aid. In recent times, kids from different communities across the state have spontaneously come to Vanavil to find a safe place.

We house homeless kids in a supervised hostel. We provide three meals a day.

We get kids back into school. Most of the kids who come to us are underweight, abused, ill, or otherwise emotionally troubled. We run primary school classes on-site, and, after kids are healthy and accustomed to the school environment, we enroll them in local schools, monitor their progress, provide mentoring and support through the qualifying exams at 10th and 12th grade, and help place them in colleges.


I have tread miles and miles of this earth.

I’m a nomad.

My life is a journey.

The literal journey has been strenuous,

and tough and jolly good at times.

But I’m also a child…

My mind flies in directions

Unknown to legs and roads.

I have a million wings and I

Can transform the world, my world at least,

If given a chance at Childhood.”