Print This Page


NewDawn India - A ray of hope for the Vidiyal Children


It is estimated that there are 30,000 children living rough on the streets or in the slums of the city of Madurai in Tamil Nadu, South India. They survive by rag picking, begging and scavenging in sewers which run right past their homes. The caste system keeps these families in poverty. 
NewDawn India exists to provide support for the Vidiyal Project, run by Dr. Jim Jesudoss, his wife Dr. Sharmila and their dedicated team, which works towards the relief of poverty in the Madurai slums. ‘Vidiyal’ means a new dawn or new beginning, and new hope. 

India map

Group of girls at Vidiyal drop-in centre

The Vidiyal Street Children Project 
The largest part of the Vidiyal Project is the work with the street children. Over 300 children come daily to the Vidiyal drop-in centres, where they receive unconditional love, medical care and their emotional and material needs are met. While still living at home with their families in the slums, the children are placed in appropriate schools and colleges depending on their needs and aspirations. The drop-ins provide opportunities to complete homework and to learn new skills such as dance, drama and karate. There is a special emphasis on projects for children, healthcare, education and training.

Child Sponsorship 
NewDawn India operates a sponsorship scheme and many of the children who live in the slum are sponsored, enabling them to receive a well-rounded education. The support and encouragement that the children receive through sponsorship is invaluable to them as they battle the caste system and work to achieve academic or vocational qualifications.

The Vidiyal Shelter Home

Children at the nursery school


The Vidiyal School 
Housed in the Vidiyal centre is the nursery and kindergarten school. Parents of the slum and street children are very keen for their youngsters to have an education and demand for places is high.

Work with the families

The support of Vidiyal and NewDawn India extends into the slum itself, offering love, care and practical help to elderly people and the families of the Vidiyal children. A tailoring centre has been set up for young women who would previously have earned their living panning in the sewers. On completion of the course they are presented with their own sewing machine so that they can provide for their families. Lady from the slum at her sewing lesson

Meetings with mothers are held to educate them about healthcare and to allow them to discuss any concerns. More recently the meetings for fathers have been introduced, as well as father and child camps, aimed at improving family bonds.

A family in the slum who are supported by Vidiyal

You can go directly to the Vidiyal Children's website on

NewDawn India receives no government grants or other help in either the UK or India. Voluntary contributions from individuals, businesses, churches, schools and other groups fund the Trust’s work. The trust is a Christian based charity working with Christians in India for the benefit of children of all castes and faiths. It has no political affiliations and has minimal overheads as all work is undertaken by volunteers.