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STAR NEWS:
Anna' Cares: Sunith Kumar Fathers a Special Family of Twenty
     He is the Brahmachari that Shammi Kapoor and the Mr. India that Anil Kapoor played. But Sunith Kumar, is very much for real. The family of this 39-year-old man from Hyderabad comprises 20 children, all of them orphans, who he has brought together as a family. Sunith Kumar may not immediately remind you of Anil Kapoor in Mr. India, but this man's family of 20 children certainly will.
Each of them has a story -- abandoned by a hapless mother, thrown out by a family who did not want them or was found as an infant in a garbage bin. The youngest of them is in fact a gift from the local police. None of these children are related to him by blood, yet he is the centre of their world and they, his.
None of these children will say they live in an orphan home, for them it is their family. Sunith Kumar, whom the children lovingly refer to as Anna never asks anyone for any kind of monetary help to take care of the children. This family only appeals to God for help and they say, God invariably sends someone or the other to take care of their needs.
Sunith Kumar said, "I am bringing them all up like my own children. Being with them, years are running like days. I love to listen to them, share their problems, spending time with them. It is a privilege for me."     
     Sunith gave up his job as manager with a private firm to take care of all these children, full-time. That was 13 years ago. He never married because he did not want to divide his time and attention and he never met anyone willing to ungrudgingly make this, her family as well. Sunith Kumar said, "God has taken care of everything. Then there are some friends who help. The children also make some cards and handicraft. We are not appealing to anybody for help. We have never felt the need either. We are like this from the beginning. All our needs are being taken care of. And we are happy."
The little card and cassette shop that Sunith Kumar runs from home hardly takes care of 10 per cent of the expenses. The rest comes from friends and volunteers like Krishna who drop in regularly with vegetables, fruits or even bags of rice. Krishna remarks, "This particular family, even though it is an orphanage, it is more or less run on one man. When I saw how dedicated he was towards bringing up the children I was zapped. I have seen organizations where at least you know, for this month, you will receive this much and you can plan expenses. Here more or less everyday it is a struggle."     
     Everyone has their share of work and responsibility. The children claim there are no shirkers. While any orphan is welcome here, Sunith prefers that they join the family young as it is easier to mould those under seven years of age. Discipline, Sunith believes, is very crucial for children to imbibe the right values. No wonder then that, many of the children are the pride of their class and that of their Anna.
According to Saritha, "The teachers tell our Anna that your children are doing very well. Nobody can say they are orphans. Infact, they are no less than anyone else here. Many of our children stand first in class and the teacher makes the whole class clap for them." When asked how they are doing in school, Ruth and Lalitha jointly exclaim, "We have both come first and second in class."
Come evening, the children crowd around Sunith, time for the family to exchange notes on what happened through the day. Moses, now in B.Com first year came here when he was not even seven. He looks forward to the day when he can be like his 'Anna' to this special family. Moses claims, "After M.Com, I will start working, get a job and want to help the family. Here nobody is selfish like elsewhere. All of us here are like a family. Everybody does their share of work and if somebody is unwell, the rest will do their work."
No child from here has ever been given in adoption because once they come to Sunith Kumar's home; they have already found their family.


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