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History of the Bornfree Young Artists

Subramanya
 
was a tender coconut chopper on the street of JP Nagar, Bangalore for three years after he dropped out from the 5th standard. After his elder brother, Anand joined the Bornfree, in his family no one except Subu had helped his father, so he became a working child. In 2006, he was brought to the Bornfree by Anand and we initially thought that he could join the NCLP school. But he refused! He said "At that point, I did not want to go away from John!". So, he participated lots of activities of the Bornfree such as photography, acting, clay-modelling etc. He grew a huge interests in theater when we did the Spartacus production. His total involvement in the theater was very obvious. After the production, he decided to go back to school. 
During the Peacebycycle, he started to show the spirit of initiatives. He shouted the slogans as a leader, saying "For the India-Pakistan Friendship, we are cycling!" He participated in various programs of the Bornfree so far. 
He successfully finished the 10th standard and now he is going to the Pre-University College (11th grade) at the St. Joseph's College. His dream is to become an actor and he is seriously thinking of pursuing a diploma in acting. Right now, he is a leader at the Bornfree and also leads the group to liberate working and street children. See his work.

La Frida Shanthi
fled from Pune at the age of 4. She was picked up at the Bangalore railway station and taken to the house where she became a domestic worker. Once day, the whole family went outside where she was locked up at the house and by the time they came back, they found the mobile lost. So, she was doubted and tortured by her owner by his pouring melt plastic bag on her leg. She fled from the house and went to Salem, Tamil Nadu where she worked in the silk factory. After two years, she came back to Bangalore. 
Frida is one of the original members since she participated in the camp which took place in 2005. She came from the other girl's hotel and here she saw the total different kind of free atmosphere. This was where she was encouraged to learn arts. After a year, she somehow managed to leave the hostel and came to John. At that time, John was sculpting a huge stone in Ravindra Kalakshetra and when she came, she was give a sand paper by John who asked her to smoothen a stone. Yes, this was the day she joined the Bornfree. Since then, she has been going through the training of sculpting,photographing, dance, painting, architecture, music and clay-modelling.   
Her grown-up history at the Bornfree as an artist is amazing. Though she had to go through millions of difficulties, she is now a co-worker of John Devaraj. She realized that what she needs in her life the most is not money, but love and friendship. That is where she stands out as a person at the Bornfree.Frida's original name was Lakshmi. But John has identified her as a talented artist and he named her after Frida Kalo. La still stands for Lakshmi, and of course Shanthi means peace.  
She was appointed as a staff in 2010 and since then she is focusing on taking care of kids, admitting new children in the school and managing the Bornfree hostel. In the year of 2011, she held her first photo exhibition called "Two Sisters" at KH Kala Soudha, Bangalore. Her photos are to be exhibited in Japan as well. See her work.
Venkatesh
is from a large family, but due to his father's alcoholism, his mother used to be beaten up by his father and she finally fled with some of his sisters and brothers. His father continued to be violent with him, which finally triggered him to leave his home. He landed up in the petty shop in 
Bangalore where he used to work and sleep. One day, he dropped a packet of tea powder from the shelf at the shop, for which he had to pay the price by having been electrocuted by his wicked owner. He has recreated his own life story in the "Aanda~an Ode to Joy".
One day, when Kiran, Subramani and Gowri were passing by his shop and saw Venkatesh, that is when his life turned out completely different. He was rescued by these three and he came to the Bornfree! 
From the very beginning he has been showing interests in studies. He immediately joined the 6th standard of the Government school in Austin Town. However, he remained silent always and  had been quite inexpressive for a long time till recently. After a few years' stay in the Bornfree, he had started to think about his family, and  became very desperate about his family. We all tried finding his family according to his memory. Once day, we found his village and a man who used to work with his father. Venkatesh learnt that his father got drunken, fell in the well one day and he died. John has been counselling him, telling him to accept his father's death and to keep a hope for his mother. Since then, he became a very positive person. Of course, his struggle continues, but now he is concentrating on the 10th standard examination coming up. He  start taking an initiative for the hostel. All the accounts of the hostel is managed by Venkatesh right now and he is also initiating a children's meeting as well. See his work. 

Marappa
was grown up in Sira, 120kms away from Bangalore. When he was small, he saw his mother set herself ablaze.He has his younger sister, Lakshmi and Santosh. After his mother's death, his family moved to the streets of Bangalore. He was earning a living by selling toys at the signal of South End Circle. Everyday he went to the City Market with Lakshmi and bought toys to sell. Sometimes he just begged and earned around 500 rupees per day! After Lakshmi joined the Bornfree, one day he saw her wearing a nice dress and walking with the Bornfree children in Jayanagar. We met him and gave a phone number. At 10pm of the same day, he called and said "Please pick me up. I also want to see another new life like my sister. But please don't pick me up in front of others who are begging with me. They think you will abduct me and take me away. So, please take me where i am not seen by them!". We had to search for him. Where was he calling from? He was obviously calling from the public phone booth. Luckily, we saw him calling from the booth and told him to come to one point. That was the night he was liberated! Since then, he has been acting in everything he does. He learns acting, dancing, singing, painting, and swimming.He is a very enthusiastic child. He leads a role in No Not Again in Heiwa Zou Resha. He is wanting to get his younger brother, Santosh in the Bornfree. His dream is to become an actor. See his work.