Hema Sri is 7 years old and sits beside her new smokeless stove. How did we find her?
Hema Sri was born with 3 blocked heart valves, her first days of life spent in an incubator, unable to breathe normally. As she grew, she missed the childhood markers for her age, unable to walk or speak. At age one year and 6 months specialists operated on her heart correcting two heart valves at a children’s hospital in Chennai.
Grandma sends out the alarm! Hema Sri returned to her home in Kodaikanal to recover. But her grandmother knew Hema Sri could not survive the smoke from the daily cooking fires at home. She needed a smokeless stove. Grandma remembered seeing a demonstration in a local school by two board members from Kids Health India about the new smokeless stoves. She requested a new stove for Hema Sri.
Hema Sri talks and walks freely now like other children, chatting up Selvam and Sheela while they installed a stove for her and her family. Rising from impossible beginnings, Hema Sri was born with a costly health need that could have prevented her from reaching her first birthday. Her family was already struggling to survive the bare basics of life with an unsustainable economic livelihood. Yet, you stepped in.
You, our supporters, are the helping hands who see the impossible, yet do not flinch. We give special thanks to you for staying with us through all these years to see yet another miracle blossoming in December 2021, like a lotus rising out of the muck.
Ann Peck, Executive Director