These are the first words Lada (17) spoke when she came to us, “My mother does not like
me because I am a girl.” The rest of her story, namely that she was a widow, turned out to be fiction. Lada is now blossoming in the love and affection she receives from us. When you
hug her, she nestles up against you like a purring kitten and, if possible, would like to stay
there forever. We have wished so often that strong arms would have protected her when
she was young. Instead, her mother handed her off to her widowed grandmother as soon as
she was weaned. She could not complete her schooling, as her grandmother needed help in
When she was still relatively young, a 65-year-old man in the village began noticing her, lured her into a nearby coconut plantation and mistreated her. This happened multiple times, and for many years life was a nightmare. As a widow her grandmother could do nothing to protect her. Finally, she became pregnant, and her tormentor took her to a Catholic home in Coimbatore, where she was to say that she had recently been widowed. As this home did not want to take her, Lada was brought to us. We were delighted to welcome this delicate girl who opened up more and more with every day that passed. She has since given birth to a son, whom she has given for adoption. One of our counselors encouraged her to learn English, and Lada has taken up this challenge with such enthusiasm that she now refuses to speak Tamil with us, which has caused quite a stir in Jeevalaya!
She is determined to regain her missed school years and she is planning to take her
secondary school examination. It touches our hearts to see how joyful Lada has become.
Yet after all the hurt and trauma she has experienced, it is the rejection by her mother
which weighs the heaviest. This elementary need to be wanted and loved could only be
satisfied in her eighteenth year when she came to Life for All. It is an honor for us to be able
to contribute to this healing process.