Land and home for Rakesh Bhopa

Rakesh is our favorite street child (now a young man) in India.  We have known him since he was a boy.  He’s now 20 years old.

                                              I am Rakesh

Rakesh, his Mom and Dad - and 6 brothers and sisters live under a tarp on squatted land in the Rajasthan desert near Pushkar India. They have never had running water, taken a shower or slept under a roof that wasn’t made of plastic. The whole family sleeps sideways (legs dangling over) on two beds we bought them many years ago.

                                         This is my house

We buy them food every month. Basics - rice, dahl (lentils), tea, sugar, ghee (butter) and chapati (wheat) flour. But they are very poor and do not have much opportunity to advance in their life. Rakesh works in a restaurant from 7 am until midnight, 7 days a week for less than $2 per day. Having a small house would allow the family to live with some comfort and relief from having a very hard life. Rakesh, who spent much of his childhood begging, has never been to school. But his small brother is in school and has dreams of having a government job someday, (a real job) so that he can support the family. 

This is my Mom and Dad (I have 6 brothers/sisters)

                                       This is me now

As the oldest son, he worries about his family's future and doesn’t want his younger siblings to have to beg the way he did as a child. 

                                      Some of my family
(the boy on the far right is rakesh’s brother who is in school, he hopes to have a good job someday.)

Earlier this year we bought a piece of land for $4,000 and gave it to Rakesh’s family. In conjunction with Fior di Loto, a charity in Pushkar India, that we support, this was made possible and the family has official documents for this parcel.

Rakesh’s dream is to have a real house for his family. They don’t want or need running water, electricity or a toilet.  But they would be very grateful for a small two bedroom stone house (one room for a kitchen and one they can all sleep in) with a roof over their heads. 

                             This is my neighborhood

Sometimes it can feel fruitless to try and make a difference - there are so many people in the world who are poor and live the way Rakesh’s family does. Life is not fair. If things can’t shift at the macro level it can feel less than significant to try and do so on a smaller scale. But the truth is, helping Rakesh will mean EVERYTHING to him and his family. 

Our goal is to build a home for Rakesh. We would like to break ground on this project in February when we are back in India.

Thank you in advance for any amount you are able to give. 

                    This is Janet and Ed with my parents

We will keep you updated about the house you are helping to build.

Campaign Details :

- We are raising $12,000 to build a house for Rakesh on the land already purchased.

- The house (concrete walls, floor, and roof) will have 2 rooms, a living / sleeping space and a kitchen space.  

- There will already be a bathroom (cement) outside that is currently under construction.

- Rakesh and his family appreciate your donation, and so do we.

Rakesh through the years :

  • Lynne Gregorio 
    • $100 
    • 30 mos
  • Tamara Effron 
    • $25 
    • 54 mos
  • Timothy Shaw 
    • $50 
    • 62 mos
  • Allison Morgan  
    • $500 
    • 62 mos
  • Stephanie Speziali  
    • $25 
    • 62 mos
See all


Ed Croteau 
Santa Cruz, CA
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