This is the story behind My Name is Kumar
The story of how we got our name is the story of one child, Satish Kumar. But Satish is one of many children that make up the My name is Kumar Family.
In 2012 Renee and Tim (co-founders) visited CARE Foundation for the first time. They planned on spending six months working with the charity to look after the children before they moved to London for study and careers. They loved every minute in India, fell in love with the children and their temporary home in India. Leaving was one of the hardest things they have ever had to do, but they knew they would be back one day to visit.
They didn't expect that when they visited CARE Foundation again in 2013 they would be told that the children’s home was at risk of closure because of a cut in funding. Something needed to be done urgently to stop them having to send all the children back to a life of begging and poverty.
In response to the problem, My Name is Kumar was set up to support CARE Foundation and carry on giving a home and education to the children.
One day, back in the early days of our charity, Renee and Tim were driving from school to school in search of a place for two of their newest recruits, Satish and Saravanan. Now usually Satish and Saravanan are cheery and cheeky boys, but they both knew that this day was particularly special for them and they had to be on their best behaviour. They were heading to meet with the school principals of all the best schools in the area in order to get a place at school for the next year. If they played their cards right and behaved themselves they would be joining the other children on the school bus each morning. They were very nervous.
At each school they were asked to introduce themselves to the principal. This should have been easy, but for Satish who has a lisp, it was hard! At the first 3 schools they visited his name would come out all wrong when he introduced himself; “My name is Ssssatttisch” he would say. Satish got more and more frustrated, until eventually enough was enough...
At the last school they visited Satish was asked to introduce himself one last time. Satish stood up, looked the principle straight in the eye and fiercely said “My name is KUMAR!”.
They all started laughing, and the principal looked confused but impressed at this confident young man!
We decided that Satish’s confidence and resilience was what we wanted to our charity to be about. We want all the children we look after to be able to stand up and shout their name with pride. That’s why we decided to call ourselves My name is Kumar.
Satish and Saravanan are only two children of many, but they managed to inspire us in a way that we could never have imagined.