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Forced by Dire Need to Double Size of Orphan Home for “Dalit” Children in India

Bihar, known as the poorest province in India, bears witness to their plight, with many families residing in makeshift homes without basic amenities like plumbing. The dire circumstances worsen for orphaned Dalit children, as extended families often lack the resources to accommodate them, leaving them vulnerable and without proper care.

Bihar, India. The need created by the absolute poverty of this “Untouchable” community is even worse than our first assessment and the creation of an 8-bed facility in Bodhgaya was found wanting in scope.

We anticipated opening the first home of Orphans International Worldwide (OIW) for once-termed “Untouchable” (Dalit) children in the spring of 2024.The revised plan is for a five bedroom, five bath 2400 sq. tiled modern home that will be run by host parents for up to 16 kids.


Our orphanage, named Ganesha House for the god of new beginnings, is being built on top of Lotus School in Bodhgaya, province of Bihar. Lotus School is sister facility to our Saraswati School, run by the J. Luce Foundation.

Bihar is the poorest province in India, north of Calcutta. The population we are serving were once called “Untouchable,” or Dalit, the poorest of the poor. Most of the families in the community live in homes built from mud with no plumbing.

Those children who lose parents to accident or disease can often not be taken in by relatives as the extended family do not have the means to handle another mouth to feed. This is the niche that we will fill, housing the children and giving them access to their aunts, uncles and cousins.

Orphans International adheres to “Mathew’s Rule,” named after my son. It states that each and every child in our care is given the same consideration as our own children.

The children of Ganesha House will attend Lotus School below. The house will have a full roof deck for the children to play and exercise on, as well as an outdoor playground below.

Ganesha House is made possible by generous donors in the United States. At present, we are about to pour the concrete roof and then finish building out the interior. If we do not finish in the next few weeks, however, we will be stymied by the rainy season.

In that case, construction is expected to be complete by September. The 25th anniversary of Orphans International will be celebrated in New York at the Asia Society on October 17. The completion of Ganesha House will be celebrated at that event.

The Dalit population in Bihar, India, represents a marginalized community facing extreme poverty and social discrimination. Historically labeled as “Untouchables,” Dalits have endured systemic oppression, relegating them to the lowest rungs of society.

The establishment of Ganesha House by Orphans International Worldwide (OIW) in Bihar’s Bodhgaya aims to address the pressing need for shelter and support among Dalit children. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, OIW is expanding its initial plans to accommodate more children, constructing a modern facility equipped with essential amenities.

Through the compassionate efforts of host parents and the dedication of generous donors, Ganesha House will serve as a beacon of hope, offering a safe haven and access to education for orphaned Dalit children.

As construction progresses, the promise of a brighter future for these vulnerable youngsters draws nearer, symbolizing a testament to the enduring commitment to uphold Mathew’s Rule and provide every child with the care and opportunities they deserve.

Forced by Dire Need to Double Size of Orphan Home for “Dalit” Children in India (April 30, 2024)

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Jim Luce
Jim Luce
Raising, Supporting & Educating Young Global Leaders through Orphans International Worldwide (, the J. Luce Foundation (, and The Stewardship Report ( Jim is also founder and president of the New York Global Leaders Lions Club.


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