News Release

Pathway Provides a Loving Home for Those in Need

LDS Charities donation helps make it possible


A donation from LDS Charities, the humanitarian arm of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is helping perpetuate the dream of Dr. ADSN Prasad to provide education in a loving environment for those in need. 

Founded in 1975 by Dr. Prasad, an audiologist and speech pathologist, Pathway India, is an NGO based in Chennai, that currently assists over 500 orphaned children, particularly those with multiple handicaps. It operates two facilities, a center in Chennai serving the severely mentally and physically handicapped and a farm located about ninety-six kilometers (60 miles) south of Chennai where needy children are boarded and educated. It was run by Dr. Prasad and his wife, Chandra, until 2015 when he passed away.

Chandra who calls Prasad her “inspiration and motivation,” is carrying on the work to which he devoted his life, as honorary director of Pathway. Parents of one son, they expanded their “family” to include the hundreds of children they have served. 

Chandra explains, “It was only after having a child of my own that I started seeing other children’s needs and wants. I was slowly pulled into a circle of emotion which had no exit.”

“Although it was not easy to be a mother to so many children, it has made me a more humble person. It has also made me a very happy and contented person. I feel that I am one of the luckiest people alive to have so many children.”

Sarala Massey is one of those children.  She was only nine years old in October 2001 when her mother passed away. Her family was very poor, and she remembers her father sending her and her two younger brothers out to beg. In December 2001, an aunt placed the children in the care of Pathway. That decision has made all the difference. 

Sarala and her two brothers were among the first children to arrive at “the farm,” the Pamela Martinez-Pathway Matriculation School and Home for Children. 

“I was so scared and sad because Mom wasn’t there,” recalls twenty-seven-year-old Sarala, now married and the mother of three girls of her own. “But Pathway became like our family and Dr. Prasad and his wife, Chandra, were just like our parents.”

“Chandra asked all the children to call her “Mom.”  She would take time with each of us, take us for a walk, talk to us, ask us if we were facing any problems, just like a mother. She taught us all the things a mother would teach a girl. If we made mistakes, she and Prasad with sit us down and help us understand that what we did was wrong. She would touch each and every child, she would make us feel that she loved us so much.”

“We used to write letters to her every Saturday. She read them and wrote back to us, to each and every child, from the smallest to the oldest.  She still has those letters.”

Sarala was initially enrolled in Kindergarten because she did not know English or even how to write her name. She advanced quickly, however, and eventually completed tenth grade at the farm before returning to live with her aunt and uncle. Sarala started working and did not have the opportunity to finish high school, although she has now started studying again with her husband’s encouragement. 

“I don’t know how my life would have been if I hadn’t gone to Pathway,” she says.  “I am sure I would have been married when I was 14 or 15 years old and never had the chance to finish school.” 

Sarala loves being a wife and mom and credits Chandra with teaching her how to love and take care of her husband and children. “I always message her,” Sarala says, “and tell her thank you so much for everything you have done for all of us at Pathway.”

Pathway has touched Meenakshi Muthu in a similar way. She came to the farm in 2002 at the age of six. Her father had abandoned the family when Meenakshi was three years old. Her mother was uneducated and could not provide even the most basic needs for her daughter.  Meenakshi remembers the day her mother took her to Pathway.

“She told me that she loved me,” recalls Meenakshi, “but didn’t want me to suffer as she had without an education.  My mother stayed alone all the years I was at Pathway in hopes that I would become a good woman who could stand on my own with a good education.  Pathway provided me and the children like me with a good education.” 

Meenakshi remembers that each child at Pathway was given a notebook in which to write their feelings every week. Chandra would collect and read and then respond to each entry, even though there were about 300 children. “She wanted us to call her Mom so we would feel at home. I remember that I did feel at home, even when I first arrived at the farm.”

“Prasad was like a father to me.” she continues, “Although they emphasized academics at Pathway, Prasad looked at our talents, like a father, and encouraged us to develop them.” 

Meenakshi loved learning to dance and do handicrafts at the farm.

Meenakshi’s mother passed away when she was in twelfth grade. “Pathway has been the only place I could turn to at all times,” she said. “It is my first home and my first family. Dr. Prasad and Chandra always took care of us in any way they could to make us feel special and loved.” 

Meenakshi received a scholarship and went on to earn a degree in aeronautical engineering. Her mother would have been proud.

The Pathway family stays close, even as they have grown up and gone their own ways. Some have even returned to the farm. Vigness “Viki”  Nagarajan, whose widowed mother brought him to Pathway at age three, worked his way through college earning a degree in journalism and now handles records, and writes reports for Pathway. “I learned to be myself here,” he says. “It always feels like home. I love it here on the farm.”  

Sarala agrees: “Whenever we talk, we talk about our lives at Pathway. We want to go back to that time and place. It was wonderful. We were all together, it was like one family. There were no differences.”

For Chandra, it is a labor of love. Reflecting on the impact that she has had on so many lives, she says, “The legacy I leave behind is one of love and pride to see my children having done well in their lives.”

LDS Charities sponsors relief and development projects in 195 countries and territories and gives assistance without regard to race, religious affiliation, or nationality. Sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, LDS Charities follows the admonition of Jesus Christ to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, take in the stranger, clothe the naked and visit the sick and afflicted.

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