Sunday, July 14, 2024

‘Ray of hope’ for a brightening future

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The Mathru Foundation has the power to transform the lives of those who are less fortunate. The chairman talks about his motivation and empathy for the cause

Aarti Sreenath
In the bustling heart of Safilguda, Hyderabad, The Matru Foundation stands as a beacon of hope and empowerment. Founded by the determined and compassionate Prashanth in Hyderabad, this organisation has transformed the lives of numerous destitute, orphaned and blind children, guiding them toward a brighter future. The story of the Mathru Foundation is one of resilience, compassion and an unwavering commitment to uplifting the underprivileged.
Prashanth, now chairman of the Mathru Foundation, hails from the verdant landscapes of Karnataka, where his family is deeply rooted in farming, particularly floriculture. It was during a visit to Hyderabad with his cousin, Archana, that Prashanth’s life took a significant turn. The foundation, already established at the time, resonated deeply with him. The bond he formed with the blind children there was instant and profound. When the original founders decided to leave, Prashanth and Archana were approached by one of the children, pleading for them to continue the noble work. Despite their search for a worthy successor, they found no one interested. Thus, they took it upon themselves to keep the foundation’s mission alive, legally documenting and registering it in Hyderabad.
Initially, the Mathru Foundation was located on the third floor of a building in Begumpet, but the challenges of accessibility for blind children prompted a move. Prashanth rented a place in Safilguda, ensuring ease of movement and a more conducive environment for the children. This decision underscored the foundation’s core values and mission: to empower destitutes, orphans and blind children, providing them with the means to achieve their fullest potential.
The results of these efforts are nothing short of extraordinary. Mathru Foundation’s children have proven to be remarkably intelligent and resilient, securing admissions to prestigious institutions like the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIM-A) and Satyabhama University. Notably, three students—Akash, Sharath, and Rahul Mannar—have cleared the highly competitive CAT and earned their places at IIM-A and Adharash is now studying at Satyabhama University. Such achievements stand as a testament to the foundation’s commitment to education and empowerment.
Funding this noble endeavour, however, remains a constant challenge. Prashanth explains that while they strive to support the children as much as possible, they largely rely on educational loans due to the children’s academic prowess. Prashanth shares, “My main objective is to conduct an eye donation camp, a goal driven by the understanding that unlike blood, eyes can be stored for many years, and nerve donations can restore sight.” This visionary approach reflects Prashanth’s deep empathy and forward-thinking mindset.
The struggles and challenges of running the Mathru Foundation are manifold. As a part-time worker and farmer, Prashanth juggles multiple responsibilities, from paying bills and rent to covering education costs and staff salaries. Despite these hurdles, his dedication to providing quality food and a nurturing environment for the children remains unwavering. His own childhood experiences, marked by the loss of his parents and the hardships of growing up with limited resources, fuel his empathy and determination. “I skipped meals for years,” he recalls, “so I make sure all my children get good, sufficient and quality food, regardless of where they come from.”
The Mathru Foundation currently houses 25 children, for a total of 35–40 people when accounting for those pursuing higher education. The foundation’s reach extends to Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, driven by Prashanth’s belief in transcending geographical and cultural boundaries. “Everyone is human at the end of the day,” he asserts, emphasising the focus on those who are poor, disabled, blind, or destitute.
Despite the remarkable achievements, the day-to-day reality of funding remains a struggle. The children, dedicated to their studies, face significant challenges in securing the necessary resources for their education and personal needs. Prashanth’s appeal is heartfelt: “Any person can just come into our Mathru Foundation, see the children and directly help them. We are always open to that.”
Creating awareness and conducting camps are areas where Prashanth admits to having limited knowledge. His focus remains on the work itself, believing that true recognition comes from genuine effort and results. “I’m not very used to social media and branding,” he admits, “but when good work is done, recognition follows.” At just 29 years old, Prashanth remains optimistic about the future, eager to continue learning and serving.
One of his most memorable experiences is the pride he feels for the children of the Mathru Foundation. “I still can’t believe my children actually got through such surreal institutes,” he marvels. “They are truly great and hardworking, deserving every inch of appreciation and success.” His humility is evident as he credits the children’s achievements to their own efforts, claiming he has contributed less than 0.1% of what they have accomplished.

As Prashanth looks forward, his hopes are filled with optimism and a vision of a better future for the children under his care. The journey of the Mathru Foundation is a testament to the power of compassion, resilience and unwavering dedication. It is a story that inspires, showing how one person’s commitment can make a profound difference in the lives of many. The foundation continues to be a beacon of hope, guiding its children towards a future filled with promise and potential.

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