Caring for vulnerable children living in the slums and villages of India

shravan shah

In loving memory of Shravan...
27 June, 2014

It is with overwhelming sadness that GPM staff and volunteers share the tragic news that Shravan Shah, an 11-year-old boy with whom GPM has been working for the
st two years, has died suddenly.

Shravan was a beautiful boy, full of energy, humor, intelligence and affection. He loved drawing, he loved learning, and he had an endearing mischievous streak and a captivating smile.  He developed quick and easy relationships with our volunteers, who he would readily chat with and hug.

The volunteers and staff of GPM miss him terribly, and are devastated by this news. His main teacher, Anju, has been inconsolable. Shravan has been with GPM in Anju’s class almost from the beginning and he was always excited to learn new things. He was a sweet, bright boy and an extremely gifted artist and many of us received presents from him in the form of beautiful drawings.

Ten days ago Shravan’s six year old sister, Swati, joined him full time in studying at Sharvan and his sister SwatiAnju’s class; they were sitting next to each other during the last week which was also the first week of school after the Summer holidays…

Shravan was an inspiration to everyone at GPM and to his local teachers from REAP. Whenever his family made plans to return for a few days to their village, he would stay behind because he did not want to miss a day of studying. After one of the  GPM “Career Day” visits from a local doctor, Shravan decided that he wanted to be a doctor. He talked about this and drew pictures about it, and did not let his current life situation in the slum interfere with his dream.

He was, in fact, our dream. To his teachers at REAP and our many volunteers, Shravan represent
ed everything we were trying to accomplish – give kids the tools to believe in themselves, and see themselves as fully capable of achieving anything.
He probably would have been a great doctor.
Shravan died of an undiagnosed and quick illness, the kind of illness that most Western children would have for 2 or 3 days, receive treatment and simply stay home f
rom school. On Friday, the GPM staff noticed that he wasn’t his usual vivacious self, and he said that he wasn’t feeling well, that he had a headache and fever. By Friday night, he was no longer among the living. It is a tragedy of mind-numbing preventability. We are all left wondering if Shravan would have visited a doctor, received some medicine, maybe had a throat culture, would this of happened? We are left wondering if such basic practices are simply not available to the children in the slums. This reality is heartbreaking beyond description.

If Shravan left us with one message it’s this: We cannot be apathetic in the face of human suffering. The children in the slums – the beautiful, innocent children of the slums – deserve the same chances in life as do my children, our children, those of us privileged to live a more comfortable life.

GPM sends our most heartfelt condolences to Sharvan's parents and sister.

Our wish is that the families of the slums know no more pain and suffering like this. We pray that all the children will all grow up healthy, happy and full of bright futures.

To all GPM volunteer alumni, please look at the attached pictures of Shravan. If you have any additional pictures of him, any of his drawings or a memory of him please scan/forward them to us at or via the form below.

GPM volunteers and staff remember Shravan...

* When I heard about Shrawan, I was heartbroken. He was one of my favorite students. Such a sweet, good kid. - Brianna

* The world is a bit dimmer now that such a vibrant light has left us. Shravan was a bright, energetic and special boy who we were privileged to know. - Melissa

* Shravan emanated brightness. Not only was he a wonderful student and very intelligent, but he was always smiling, speaking up, laughing with his best friend Vikas, and making his beautiful drawings. I was incredibly saddened to hear about what happened. He had a beautiful soul. Please send my love and prayers to his family and everyone at GPM. - Leigh

* Please could you write to his parents...that I am very sorry for their loss. Shrawan was a very special boy. - Simona

* I did not have the privilege of meeting Shravan, but reading about who he was, I can see he was a very special boy. I knew his best friend Vikas, and I am so heartbroken to think of dear Vikas enduring such a tragedy and sorrow. I can't imagine how his parents, sister and other loved ones must be feeling. Please send my heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones at this very difficult time, and may they all be comforted and inspired by the wonderful individual and friend Shravan was. - Rebecca

* Although I only knew Shravan for a short period of time, I feel honored to have met such a bright and joyful individual. I am saddened about his death and the impact he has left on his family and his best friend Vikas. I pray that those who he left behind overcome such hardship - moving forward by remembering not to take life for granted and to always remember Shravan’s warmth along with his beautiful smile.  "Say not in grief: 'He is no more', but live in thankfulness that he was."
 Hebrew Proverb - Perry

Your memories...

If you have any memories of Shravan or messages you would like to share with us and his family please forward it via the form below or directly to