Mithra began in 1977 and was founded by Sister Mary Theodore (a Catholic nun from Brisbane) in response to a serious need she saw in the slums of Madras/Chennai.

At that time, and still even today, children with disabilities are catered for if theirparents can afford such services. But Sr Mary Theodore saw that children with disabilities in the slums were neglected. Her mission was to convince their parents that all of these children had potential and could be educated and rehabilitated.

After she acquired the land on the outskirts of Anna Nagar, she and her helpers would visit families and win their trust and confidence. She encouraged the parents to bring these children to her new centre. The original Mithra was built with the simple and typical South Indian thatched building materials, until Sister could visit friends and family in Australia to seek donations, and build more substantial buildings.

Today Mithra hosts many visitors who come to see the fruition of Sister’s work. Friends of Mithra Inc. is an organisation registered in Australia to help fund new buildings and to restore some of the existing infrastructure. Over the last two years Friends of Mithra Inc. has raised over $AUD200,000 to build a new girls dormitory, and are presently raising funds to restore the aging school that has suffered badly from subsidence as Mithra’s grounds were originally a swamp land that Sister Mary Theodore and her dedicated band of helpers filled in some 45 years ago.

In present day Mithra there are over 100 mentally and physically challenged children who pass through the school doors each day. For many it is their home and has been for many years, and will be for many years to come. It is a safe and loving environment that not only offers schooling, but also physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. It is a home and school for the poor where they can feel accepted and loved in a safe and secure environment.