Joanna J Buthello, 65

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Photo: Tushar Mane

If you are looking for a supermom, Joanna J Buthello would fit the bill. In 1990, the retired school teacher started the Joanna Buthello Educational Foundation, an orphanage in Mumbai, which houses destitute kids, abandoned babies, children who lost their parents in accidents and riots, and the offspring of criminals and undertrials. The institution, which provides shelter to around 60 kids, is funded by her pension and donations. “I grew up in tough conditions with eight siblings, so I know that life is not easy. I want the children to grow up and become complete human beings,” she says. Last year, four students passed Class XII exams, and this year, 14 are appearing for Class X exams. The ones who have passed Class XII attend the National Institute of Open Schooling. A nearby Indian Air Force office helps her with medicine and health check-ups. “The kids study vocational courses after passing Class XII. It will help them earn. They are a talented bunch, be it studies, drawing or dancing,” she says. Buthello is a tireless mom, trying to nurture the children and pushing them to realise that no dream is too big.

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