Location: Bangalore, India
For Manoj Cherian, a Bangalore-based security manager at Qualcomm (No. 113), doing good is a family affair. In 2008, when his brother-in-law, Joey, decided to start Jeevarathni, a shelter for impoverished and homeless children in Tamil Nadu, a state in Southeast India, the whole family got on board. Cherian’s sister, Meena, and her husband moved there from the U.S. to help manage the site, and Cherian worked closely with them to support Jeevarathni from his nearby home in Bangalore. The family bought a two-acre plot and built six homes for children surrounding an administrative building, where Meena and her husband would live. The first three children arrived at the shelter in August 2010; it’s now home to 35 children.
Jeevarathni employs four house “mothers”—women previously living in poverty—to care for the children and run each home of ten. Cherian visits the campus many weekends a year, substitutes for Meena and her husband, and hosts children in his Bangalore home. The organization has also provided funding for the local public school to hire another teacher. For the children living at Jeevarathni, many of whom were once forced to beg on the streets, the organization provides a way out of poverty. “We hope to give them a foundation,” Cherian says. “If any kids have potential to go to college, we will help them to do that, too.”