Puducherry town includes the areas of Kuruchikuppam, Vaithikuppam, Solai Nagar, and Muthialpet, among others.
Sharana’s first beneficiaries were from the local neighborhoods in urban Pondicherry, and many of the children benefiting from Sharana’s current programs continue to come from the town and its surrounding suburbs. Many live in homes without electricity, and it was to cater to their needs that the Homework Help Center idea was implemented in 2001 as a practical necessity. The sessions run on weekday evenings, provide the children with a snack, assistance with their studies, and occasionally reading and other interactions with Sharana volunteers.
The Kannadassan Street slum was the first community of about 80 families targeted by Sharana. Even in 2001, the community had no water, no municipal infrastructure, and only thatched hut dwellings located close to the city’s local garbage dump (which has since been cleared to make room for the Pondicherry Medical Mission Hospital). The people here were employed as housemaids, rickshaw pullers, and yarn dyeing workers supporting a weaving industry itself on the verge of collapse.
Sharana reached out to the children of this slum, to enable them to return to school and to support them with the Homework help center. Sharana worked 5 months here before beginning work in Angalakuppam.
Many of Sharana’s programs targeting at-risk children (including the Outreach Program, the Girls at Risk program, the HIV program), Adolescent Girls and Young Mothers, are located at 47, Jeevanandam Street which also provides space for the Day Care program, and the Early Childhood Education Program.