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Father Stevens

Originating from Gloucester in England, James Stevens was a successful business man before coming to India in 1968, this was originally meant to be a two year sabbatical with Freres des Hommes, a French social organisations working for the sick and the poor in India and other parts of the world.

During these two years James worked closely with Mother Teresa and was so greatly inspired by her work, that he sold his share of the business, borrowed a truck from her, and went into the slums of what was then known as Calcutta, to gather up his first batch of 11 children, and this was to be the birth of UDAYAN.

In 1972 he married Lallita who was originally from Himachal Pradesh, and together over the past 40 years they have developed UDAYAN into the project it is today – directly transforming the lives of thousands of children and their families.

Alongside his work at UDAYAN, in 1984 James joined a theological college and became a priest for the Diocese of Kolkata, holding posts at various churches around the city, as well as the Vicar of the Cathedral in Kolkata.

James’s work has been recognised by the French government, who awarded him the ‘Legion of Honour’ in 1990, and in 2001 he was conferred the ‘Order of the British Empire’ (O.B.E.) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.