The Rev. Hemant Tandi was one of five children born into a pastor’s family in Kalahandi, one of the poorest districts of India. When he was only two years old, his father was tragically killed and life grew even more difficult for his family. Hemant’s mother was a teacher at an informal school and earned 60 rupees per month (equivalent to $1.10).
Hemant has a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from Sambalpur University in Orissa and a Bachelor of Divinity from Union Biblical Seminary in Pune, India (Serampore University, Calcutta).
Apart from running the orphanage, he worked as a social activist for Tribal Development in the Kandhamal District of Orissa for 12 years under the auspices of UNICEF and the Orissa state government. Since 2002, Hemant and his family have been living in Binghamton, NY.
His wife, Saibalini, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts and Education and is working in a local hospital. Their two beautiful daughters, Upasana and Hosanna, are going to school in Endicott, NY.
From 1991- 2002, the Rev. Hemant Tandi worked as a social reformer with UNICEF and the Orissa state government, serving tribal people living deep in the jungle in the district of Kandhamal. There he found:
Rev. Tandi and his wife, Saibalini Naik, worked directly with the people of Kandhamal until they came to the United States in 2002. They continued to support the ministry by providing direction and sending funds from the U.S. Three years later, Grace and Peace Mission to Orissa (GPMO) was founded as a U.S. non-profit to address the overwhelming physical and spiritual needs of the people of Kandhamal.