Street Mama

Manan Chaturvedi is the Indian Street Mama, changing the lives of young street children with the strokes of a paint brush.

Manan Chaturvedi , a mother to more than 100 children, crafts campaign paintings to fund their home and living in Jaipur.

The last UNICEF census stated that there were around 100 million street children in India.

Many children and babies are often abandoned or left without parents from illness or disease.

These BTL [Below the Poverty Line] children struggle to cope and create normal lives in society.

They can't afford food, shelter, or education, but local Jaipur artist, Manan Chaturvedi, has made it her life's work to support children in these situations.

Chaturvedi founded Surman Sansthan, a home for orphaned and abandoned children in January of 1998.

At present, the Surman Sansthan home in Jaipur houses 110 children.

Chaturvedi says that all the children that have come through her home are hers.

'Now I am mother of so many kids, more than 725 children I have already across India. They call me mama; I am their mum,' says Manan Chaturvedi.

'I have three biological children, but they are also living here, I am also living here.'

'We have one home, small home, cosy home, sweet home.'

Manan Chaturvedi says that she fell into her vocation without a second thought.

'One day I was crossing the road and one man called out to me. He said, hey listen,t where are you going? Here is a little child who don’t have mother or father. She is parentless,' Chaturvedi says.

'So, without thinking anything, without a single thought, I just picked up the child and took her with me. Then after that this journey started.'

'I don’t give them birth, but I can feel the pain, the same pains of their life,' she says.

The Surman Sansthan home has a number of trusted staff members that also help to care for and look after the children that stay there.

All of the staff speak highly of Manan Chaturvedi and her endless supply of love.

They all say she is truly a wonderful woman with so much love for all of the children that go through the home.

Everything Manan Chaturvedi does is to create better lives for the children she takes in; the children are everything to Chaturvedi.

Manan Chaturvedi in her Jaipur home

Manan Chaturvedi in her Jaipur home

Chaturvedi funds the homes by making and selling her campaign art at the large showcases she hosts.

Chaturvedi says that she paints campaign art at these showcases non-stop for a certain amount of time, depending on the length of the campaign.

'I have 24-hour, 48-hour, 72-hour non-stop shows,' she says.

'I have a truck, caravan with hydraulic system. I push the lever and that truck converts into the stage, with music, lights, sound.'

'Then I paint the slogans [of the campaign] and make paintings according to that.'

'Within 24 hours I make 70 paintings with my bare hands. '

The extraordinary artworks Ms Chaturvedi creates support and provide for all her children back home.

'Whatever I earn from those paintings goes directly to the children,' she says.

The next step for Chaturvedi is the completion of the new Surman Sansthan home on Sikar-Road: A home for the innocent.

This new home is capable of hosting 1200 children and would change the lives of many orphaned and abandoned children in Jaipur.

Construction of the new home has already begun, but there is still a long way to go.

'I will make paintings and I will sell paintings to complete their dreams, because their dreams are my passion,' says Manan Chaturvedi.

For more information on Surman Sansthan, Manan Chaturvedi, and Donations follow the links below: