Subash’s (name changed) early childhood saw him begging daily and eating whatever he received as alms.

His parents were ragpickers, and the then seven-year-old was forced to beg for money.

However, his life took a turn in 2011 when Alice Thomas (now 53) took him under her wing.

Today, Subhash works as an engineer in a multinational firm, and he is one of the 150 children whose lives have been transformed by Alice’s efforts.

For the past 32 years, Alice has dedicated her life to helping underprivileged children through her organisation Udhavi Karangal in Puducherry.

She began her work at 21 when she came across an eight-year-old begging for food. When she met the boy’s mother, she started beating the kid for coming home without food.

This pushed her to take the boy home, who brought along two more kids with him, and the rest is history.

Alice rented a place next to her house to provide shelter for these kids, and later on, she purchased land in Nonankuppam, Puducherry for the same.

Her organisation is government-funded and receives additional funding from Alice and some well-wishers for the provisions.

Mother to 150 children, Alice and her husband decided never to have their own children.

“One of my children completed MPhil and MSW and works as a senior child counsellor in our home. Their bright future is my biggest victory. They are able to give a good life to the next generation,” she says.