It takes a Village... and a mum!
Mother & Baby India|December 2020
...to raise children without parental care. SOS Children’s Villages of India connects orphaned kids to SOS mothers, women who are themselves underprivileged

Maya Rani, 78, is a mum to 30 children. She could raise all of them almost single-handedly, with good education, health, and social skills. Today, her children are valuable members of the society, each with their own rewarding careers, and loving families to come home to. Including her children’s spouses, and their respective kids, Rani’s family now boasts of over 100 members!

However, Rani is not a biological mum to any of her kids. These children were once orphaned and abandoned infants. She was a caregiver at SOS Children’s Villages of India, a child care NGO. She joined the organisation in 1968,at age 26. After loosing her own mum when she was just eight years old, it took no time for her to realise that serving as an SOS Mother was her life’s true calling. She decided not to marry and in the next three decades, devoted her life as an ‘SOS Mother’, a position given to the professional caregivers at the NGO. She raised all her children from infancy till they were about 23 years of age, and self-sufficient in all respects.

Now, Rani leads a peaceful life at the Retired Mothers’ accommodation in the childcare centre, known as the Village. Many of her children, who live in cities, want her to come and live with them. But Rani has no plans to leave her Village. She would tell her children, “If I come with any one of you, I will be available only to you. But if I am here, it will be easy for all of you to come and visit me freely.”

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