Punarnava Ayurveda Trust is a public charitable trust, focused on improving the health, education and welfare of villagers in Thirumalayampalayam Panchayat in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India. In June 2017 Punarnava opened a hostel, Balagrama, to provide a refuge and stable home for young people at risk in troubled homes in the nearby villages. Many of the older village boys were dropping out of school, and following the pattern of their elders, drinking and gambling and not taking care of their families.
By 2020, there were 16 boys aged 8–17 years old living in Balagrama, being supported to stay in education as well as develop new skills and a sense of their potential to be good leaders of their communities. Two of them had left school aged nine and ten to earn money for their household working in a hosiery factory, and had got into bad company, starting to smoke and chew tobacco. Two had HIV+ parents, who live near Balagrama. Two were the sons of a man jailed for assisting in burglary.
The boys in Balagrama are enrolled in the government-run Pichanur High School. The Covid 19 pandemic led to school closures, with classes and notes being moved online. Balagrama urgently needed computers to enable the boys to keep up with their education. The Mandala Trust provided funding for five desktop computers and tables, which have been installed in the hostel library where the children study under supervision and develop their IT skills. The boys are bright and eager to learn, and one of them, Venkatesh, now says he wants to become expert in preventing hacking!