Directors of GPMO: Hemant Tandi and Saibalini Naik
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). The children suffered from malnutrition, poor health, poor education, and most of all, the scorn of society for being a fatherless family. As the only Christian family in the entire village, they also suffered religious discrimination. Access to water at the village wells and ponds was denied, and they were eventually evicted from the village. The children were scattered to the homes of relatives in different villages. Hemant, raised by his uncle, herded cattle and sheep to earn money for school supplies. Hemant finished high school barefoot and graduated second in his class. The experiences of this one child’s poverty sowed the seeds for Hemant’s vision to provide a home for many children.
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.
Nanda Orphanage Staff
Benjamin Digal, and Rasanand Naik are the main caretakers at the orphanage. They originally worked with Hemant in Tribal Development prior to the formation of the orphanage. These faithful people have made many sacrifices to continue the work of the orphanage. They are on the ground carrying out the vision of the Directors to oversee the other ministries of GPMO. For a number of years, the only compensation the staff received was room and board. GPMO is now able to provide a small stipend for each. In spite of many unmet needs, they live simply and joyfully, day by day, with the children.
Rev. Hemant Tandi
Saibalini Naik Tandi