Background and history in short

Statutory Objective

The aim of Suryodaya Trust is to help children in India from poor and disadvantaged families to build up a life in dignity as self reliant citizens by assisting them to continue their education, by providing them with school uniforms, proper housing, healthy food, health care and other care necessary to realize this objective.


The trust was founded by dr. Arogyamma Kadasani and John Houtbraken. They met each other in The Netherlands when Aro studied medicine there in the seventies. They married in 1978 and moved to India. The trust started functioning in an informal way in 1981 when the founders decided to support schoolchildren in Palamaner. Initially supporters of Suryodaya were mainly friends and relatives of the founders in The Netherlands. In due course, with the expansion and growth of the supporting activities, the desirability of having a connection with a trustworthy institution became obvious. This connection was made with the Franciscan community in India from which Arogyamma’s elder, now deceased brother was a member and with whom the founders, based in Bangalore, had always maintained a good relationship.

After the pioneering years the founders felt that it would be appropriate to formally register the trust in order to be more transparent to the supporters, to streamline decision-making and to improve the sustainability of the society. Thus, Suryodaya was registered as a Trust in The Netherlands in 1999. A few years later a formal agreement was made with the Franciscan Community in India (Agreement of cooperation, dd. 5 January 2004) .
Although Suryodaya is a secular trust, the connection with the Franciscan community has remained and this is visible in the partner network and in the composition of the Implementing Committee in India.

In the course of the years the income received from the supporters in The Netherlands had increased resulting in a subsequent increase of supported schools and schoolchildren.