Raju’s Story

Raju is the youngest of six siblings. Raju’s eldest brother, Rajesh, was just 14 years old when he started working over 70 hours a week in a Motor Repair shop near his home in a Delhi slum. It wasn’t enough. The six siblings- Rajesh, Rajiv, Sarvan, Radha, Raja and Raju- were malnourished and missing school.
The children’s father abandoned the family after their mother died of tuberculosis. Raju was only two years old, longing for a mother’s love. It was now up to Rajesh to care for his siblings and pay the bills. He spent most of the time working and the rest in housework.
Then things got worse. Not liking the risk of child tenants, their landlord threw them out of their home. They were alone in the slum without a roof over their heads. Raju was becoming skin and bones.
By the grace of God, they were rescued and sent to a shelter home where OLTL Founder Courtney was volunteering at the time (2012). However, this shelter was overrun with street children. They could barely provide healthy meals and decent clothing for the siblings.
Raja, the second youngest boy, was suffering from Tuberculosis, and the shelter did not pay for proper treatment. Rather they sent the boys back to their home village in Bihar, 700 miles away. Within a few weeks, Raja died.
Again the siblings’ lives were at risk as they did not have enough food to eat. Rajesh returned to Delhi to work as a laborer so he could send some money back to support his siblings.
A few years after returning to Delhi, Rajesh was still struggling to support all of his siblings. Through Facebook, Rajesh was able to get in touch with One Life to Love founder, Courtney. Rajesh confided in Courtney about Raja’s death and his struggle to care for his siblings. Raju had recently turned 7 years old, but had never been to school. He was traumatized by the events leading up to Raja’s death. This all led him to feel insecure and worried for his own future as well as his siblings.
Seeing this families’ deep need, One Life to Love offered to adopt Raju into the Home of Hope. Rajesh was overjoyed to bring Raju out of the village life of despair and into a place of healing and hope.
The day Courtney and Raju reunited was joyous in every way.
In addition, One Life to Love helped Rajesh purchase a motorbike so that he could obtain a job as a delivery executive, thus slowly but surely lifting him and his family out of poverty.
Raju is overcoming the trauma of losing his mother and brother, and the insecurity from shifting from place to place. He is finding refuge in the Home of Hope. He is at home here. He loves to learn and especially loves art. He can finally be a child.
Raju is hopeful to become a graphic designer one day.

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