Jayavel is no more a street urchin now. He has become the talk of the town among the street dwellers in Chennai. This 22-year-old boy got a chance to study advanced automobile engineering at Cambridge University.
Jayavel’s family migrated from Nellore in the late 1980s after their crop failed. Alternatively, the family started begging on the streets of Chennai to find their living. Jayavel shared his horrifying experience as a street dweller. He said: “We used to sleep on the pavement and if it rains we would find another shelter in any other nearby shops until cops came and chased us out of there.”
Jayavel’s father died when he was very young and his mother was eventually addicted to alcohol. Jayavel remembered those days when his day’s earnings went mostly to into’s mother’s drinking. In his wildest dreams also he had no thoughts that he would end up at Cambridge until Uma and her husband Muthuraman came into his life.
Mr. and Mrs. Muthuraman were working on a project on the lives of children on the streets of Chennai. They planned to make a video and named the documentary as “Pavement Flower” They met Jayavel and gave him some hope. They took him under their own care in 1999. He was then offered a proper education through their NGO named Suyam Charitable Trust.
After passing out his 12th exams, he cleared the most prestigious Cambridge University’s entrance examination. He was placed at Gledwr University in Wales to study Performance Car Enhancement Technology Engineering.
Jayavel’s mother still lives on the streets with bundles of rags around her. Jayavel meets her once in a month. For him, pursuing his higher studies abroad is a dream come true and this will definitely be a stepping stone to help accomplish his higher dreams.
After pursuing his goals, he plans to return and help Uma and Muthuraman in running the trust and pay them back for changing his life.