What a surprise to find hundreds of slides and negatives when we opened a package that turned up recently from Mick Toal. We made contact with Mick, and he explained that he discovered the slides while tidying up at home. He remembered they were from his visit to MITHRA in 1995 and thought that Friends of Mithra might like them. In the collection we found some real gems of Sr Mary Theodore.
The photos capture Sr Mary Theodore – “Mother” as the children and staff always called her, – with the children. Their wellbeing and happiness was at the heart of all she did. While she put much energy into seeking support for new facilities, good staff and food, it was always for the betterment of these poor children with special needs that was her top priority.
Sr Mary Theodore’s vision was to make life better for each child; to assist every child reach his or her potential. Back in 1990 the Australian 60 Minutes program “Big Sister” captures this vision when she is asked about her hope for these children. She used to encourage the teachers, physiotherapist and carers to help each child improve in learning, in mobility and independence, even if it was “just one percent”. She knew the alternative was hopeless, where poor children with disabilities were hidden from view in the slums.
It’s not surprising, then, that Sr Mary Theodore’s (May Asmar) family and friends in Australia, dug deep to support this vision. Today, through Friends of Mithra, many Australians still give generously so that these essential services can be maintained. With the steep rise in the cost of living in India and the recent introduction of an 18% GST, it is becoming extremely difficult for MITHRA to find enough money for food and medicines, salaries for teachers, therapists and carers 24/7, as well as maintenance of buildings and grounds.
That’s why Friends of Mithra is appealing for supporters to make a commitment of a monthly gift – no matter how small. $10, $20, $50 or $100 per month, makes a huge difference. Regular Donations enable MITHRA to plan ahead with certainty.
The recent caché of old photographs helps us all to remember Sr Mary Theodore’s vision of a better life for these children and young adults. It inspires us to keep this dream alive!
Donations can be made here.