Caring for special children over two generations

Mr Ramasamy Chellvan Balasubramaniam and his wife, Madam Ramarani S.K. Renganathan (both standing), take care of a 13-year-old girl with learning difficulties and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. His mother, Madam K. Sartha, fosters a young
Mr Ramasamy Chellvan Balasubramaniam and his wife, Madam Ramarani S.K. Renganathan (both standing), take care of a 13-year-old girl with learning difficulties and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. His mother, Madam K. Sartha, fosters a young man, 20, who also has learning difficulties. PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE SUNDAY TIMES

In Madam K. Sartha's family, there are two generations of foster parents - and both are taking care of children with special needs.

Madam Sartha, 78, has fostered more than 10 children in the past 42 years. Like the first child she fostered, the 20-year-old youth she is caring for now has special needs. Peter (not his real name), who has learning difficulties, has been fostered by the widowed housewife and great-grandmother for almost all his life.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 22, 2018, with the headline 'Caring for special children over two generations'. Print Edition | Subscribe