Kalady: Sister Jisa is mother to 97 children, including a four-month-old and an 18-year-old. The nun lights Sneha Jyoti or the the lamp of love in their lives. They call her Amma, the one they are most emotionally attached to. That bonding fills their lives with immense joy.
The mother superior at Sneha Jyoti, Sister Jisa runs the children's home in Parapurathu near Kanjoor, and in Pulluvazhi near Perumbavoor. The Pulluvazhi home has girls up to the age of five. Boys aged 5 to 18 are housed at Parapuram.
Classroom to service of choice
Sister Jisa was a UP school teacher for 12 years at Chengal St. Joseph's Girls High School. She left that when realization dawned on her that her calling is to serve children who have no one to care for them.
She launched the Pulluvazhi Sneha Jyoti with 13 children. Thankachan of Chengal Varekulam donated 14 cents and a house. When she decided to shift boys above five to a new home, Parapurathu Alungal Tomy donated 10 cents and his house in the memory of his father.
Sister Jisa manages the homes on her own, with the support of CMC. The child welfare committee that functions under the Juvenile Justice Board sends the children to the homes.
Mother and home are same
Children from Sneha Jyoti study in various schools. Sixteen children are under the age of five. Most inmates are girls. They attend Anganawadis nearby. They invariably answer 'Jisa' when asked what their mother's name is. If queried about their home, the answer is Sneha Jyoti.
Some of the children get sad when they see parents of other children coming with them to school and raise the question why their own parents are not coming. They are then made to understand what the difference is.
Lisyu is the baby
Lisyu mol, aged four months, is the youngest child at Sneha Jyoti. Her mother had left Lisyu at the Juvenile Home when the baby was just seven days old. She always loves to sit on Sister Jisa's hips. Little friends Rani mol, Suhra, Jomon, Valiya Maria, Kochu Maria, Sreekuttan, Manikutty, Anjali and Lisie mol always fondle her. Sreekuttan calls himself Dinkan, a name he took from TV.
When guests arrive, Sister Jisa tells the children to say *'Inchi'. The children then light up with smiles sweeter than honey.
(* Inji, aka, ginger, is the Malayalam equivalent of saying cheese.)