Sharana was established in July 2000 by Rajkala Partha, a Chennai-trained social worker with a post graduate degree in Rural Development from Madras Christian College. It is meant to address the educational needs of children in Pondicherry and its surrounding villages. Meanwhile a group of volunteers in France created Sharana France, an independent but closely allied organization. Sharana is a social and development organization acting for neglected socio-economically disadvantaged children. It is devoted to the caring of younger siblings and helps families to increase their income through employment. The main objectives of the organization are: - To help children obtain their rights to education, by supporting their families who then do not need to make their children work. That, in turn, means - To support them to resume their formal education. Via individual sponsorship and collective sponsorship programs, needy children receive a financial support for tuition, books, backpacks, school supplies, healthcare, and homework help. - To support parents to earn livelihoods, so they can in turn support their children’s right to pursue a formal education. - To address childcare, medical, nutritional, emotional, economic, and other needs, as well as creating spaces where communities can gather to attend the issues that concern them. In January 2003 Sharana opened its first Community building housing, a Crèche, a dispensary and a meeting room in Angalakuppam which is located about 15 kms from Pondichery, an agricultural and mono-caste village, to free older siblings from the responsibilities of childcare and enable them to return to school. Meanwhile families received a sponsorship to be able to send older siblings to school. By February 2011, on a one hectare field in Aranganur (20kms from the town off the route to Cuddalore), Sharana launched another project and erected a large building housing a Crèche, a Carpentry Training Center, a Spirulina farm, a vegetable garden and a banana plantation. In January 2012 the Kalki Welfare society, a non-profit organization, started in 2008, merged with Sharana. Kalki was especially working for street children (school drop-outs, working children, HIV-positive children and orphans) in and around Pondicherry. The aim is to provide protection, education, shelter, health services and recreation to vulnerable children of Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu. Kalki’s Shelter program was started in the year 2009, for children who need protection and safety. The families, who live on the street, don’t have enough income to run their family and parents are often addicted to alcohol. The homeless children are facing different problems like dropping out from school, abuse, neglect, physical harassment, especially girls are most vulnerable to abuse and early marriage. The Shelter is now called Sharana Night Shelter. To help these children, it is providing safety, protection and re-habilitation to these children. 46 staff members work for Sharana in the central office on Lally Tollendal street, at the drop-in center in Pondichery, at the night shelter in Morattandy and at the rural centers in Angalakuppam and Aranganur. There are 9 qualified Social workers, 9 animators, 10 field assistants, 8 teachers, 2 administrative staff and 8 caretakers. There are also volunteers who assist beneficiaries or specific projects and day-to-day activities. In total, approximately 1300 families are receiving sponsorship assistance from Sharana in 19 Main Areas with 64 sub areas in and around Pondicherry.