A home for male children of leprosy patients

HISTORY

In the year 1977, a devastating tropical cyclone hit the coast of Andhra Pradesh, killing nearly 15,000 people and causing extensive damage to property and life of thousands of people. The Indian Orthodox Church under the spiritual and efficient leadership of Malankara Sabha Rathnam Late Lamented Dr Geevarghese Mar Osthathios and the persistent efforts of Fr K. I Philip did commendable relief work in Machalipatanam.

This gave courage and confidence to the Church to venture into new projects outside Kerala. This dream came true in the year 1985, when suitable land was identified and purchased at Yacharam on Nagarjunasagar Road, 50 KM away from Hyderabad.

The main objective in the beginning was to set up a home for the non-affected male children of leprosy patients and provide them good education, free of cost, to enable them to join the mainstream.

Despite various challenges during the initial days, through the strong belief, persistence, supervision and guidance of Rev Fr K.I. Philip, popularly known as Philip Rambachen, Balagram was inaugurated on 14th June 1987in the presence of OsthathiosThirumeni and Pradhibha Bharathi, the then Social Welfare Minister of Govt of AP.

Balagram made steady progress since then, starting with 5 children in 1987, rising to 46 in 1988 and housing around 100 children in 2000ís.

In 1990, the main block was completed along with good kitchen and mess hall to provide hygienic and healthy environment for the children. In 1992 a chapel was also constructed and consecrated.

The lack of quality medical care in the area was always a matter of concern for the leadership team of St GregoriosBalagram. The vision was to provide quality eye care to the poor and needy of the area, free of cost. This vision became a reality in 2001, when the most modern eye hospital was set up with the assistance of the L V Prasad Eye Institute and has been doing a commendable job since then, in providing quality eye care to thousands of poor people at affordable prices.

An old age home, PrathyasaBhavan, was also setup in the year 2008, to take good care of the elderly, poor and needy who has lost hope and were neglected.

Since there are no good English medium schools around, Balagramtook the initiative to set up an English medium School following CBSE curriculum. The school started functioning in the year 2014in an existing building with 49 students. A new building for the school, following CBSE norms is under construction. The school currently provides quality education to 260 students at affordable cost. Balagram also provides hostel facilities for the poor and needy students, with special focus on male children of leprosy patients.