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From Rashtrapati Bhavan with love...

india Updated: Apr 11, 2010 12:00 IST
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A storm last month had ripped off Kantha Singh's shed that took care of 40 orphans and President Pratibha Patil, whom he met last year, was his only hope.

Singh, after trying all other sources, faxed a letter to the President on March 30 stating that the shed constructed by him for the orphans had been destroyed in a storm forcing the children to sleep and study in the open under the scorching sun.

Moved by the plight of the children, Patil has sent a cheque of Rs 75,000 out of her discretionary funds for the immediate construction of the shed.

Singh is no ordinary man. A class XII pass-out, he was a motor mechanic who owned a garage in Ghatsila in East Singbhum district of Jharkhand.

In 2002, he along with few other locals formed an organisation called 'Dampara Vikas Samity' to expedite development works in Dampara mausa.

In 2004, he set up an orphanage in an abandoned government health centre in Ledha village with 14 children.

Later on as news spread, villagers started sending more children, most of whom were tribals and whose parents had died or were abandoned by family.

Having no source of income, Singh took to begging to feed the children under his care.

President Patil, after learning of his initiative, invited him and his kids over to Rashtrapati Bhavan for lunch and a tour of the majestic place.

"The President had asked me to keep monitoring the developmental activities being carried out by the orphanage. It is our policy that we keep an update of those who visit the Rashtrapati Bhavan. It is a small gesture from our part to take care of such people," Rashtrapati Bhavan's spokesperson Archana Dutta said.