Vijay has been the head of his family since he was
16, after his father Govind Das passed away in
July 2003. Despite the hardship which this
involved, he fulfilled this responsibility with
great devotion, making sure that he completed his
education at the same time. Vijay has five sisters
who are now all married. From looking after his
family from such a young age, Vijay has become a
very caring and respectful person, and always
happy to help others.
After his father's passing Vijay learnt the art of
with his uncle, and since 2003, he has
been managing the family
shop, Lakshmana Handicrafts. As well as
running this homestay, he is also busy with the
in Khajuraho association, working as a
social worker for the family we sponsor with Ganpati
Norway and teaching Hindi and English
literacy in Tikri.
Vio (Violette) is French. She first came to India
as a tourist in August 2005, and just about a week
into her travels she met Vijay in Khajuraho. Two
and a half years later she came back to India for
a year. She wanted to spend time in an Indian
family and learn Hindi in immersion, so in January
2008 Vijay welcomed her into his family... She
loved it so much that today she is married to
Vijay and she is a part of the family!
Vio is fluent in English, French and Hindi, and
she understands German. She is a musician, and
since April 2008 she has been learning Hindustani
(north Indian classical) violin from her guru Pt. Sukhdev Prasad Mishra
in Varanasi. She teaches English, Hindi and
Hindustani violin, and she is Responsible for
Media Communication for the Indo-Swiss
ke Bacche. She is also busy teaching
English for, and being the president of the Friends
in Khajuraho association. You can visit her
website, and if you love reading, there is
plenty of material about her Indian adventures
on her blog!
Ravi is Vijay's only brother and the youngest of
the seven siblings. He is the most academic of the
family, and during all his school years not only
he was the best pupil of his school, but he also
won awards in the entire disctrict of Khajuraho
and featured in local newspapers for it!
Ravi holds a BSc in Maths as well as certificates
in Hotel Management and in Computing. He has
completed 6 months of German studies at the Goethe
Institute in Kolkata and Delhi, and he is
currently working for a tour company in Delhi.
He regularly comes back for visits in Khajuraho.
Mummy got married to Govind Das when she was about
16, and she gave birth to seven beautiful
children. She is a very devoted and caring mother,
and a very hard worker. Her house is her temple.
She is very faithful to her daily religious
practice and lives very much anchored in the
Indian tradition, yet she has a very pure heart
and in the end she always accepts different people
as they are. Although she doesn't speak English,
she will make sure that you feel at home - through
her devotion to serve you with her caring smile.
Leela is Vijay and Vio's daughter; she is two
Leela is happy, peaceful and very social! She
always asks for new people's names and she won't
need too long to get used to you. She loves music,
singing and dancing; she does some pretty cool
moves for her young age and she can name many
instruments! She loves tasting different foods but
she will eat depending on her mood, well... except
for chocolate - she is quite crazy for chocolate!
Her other favourite foods are mangoes, peanuts and
She is quite adventurous, she loves walking and
trying things for herself, and she is always happy
when on the move or travelling... She speaks
French, Hindi and some English.
Pullu is Vijay and Vio's nephew. His mum and dad
live in Chitrakoot but he lives here to go to a
better school. He is 12 and studies in Class 6.
Pullu loves to ride his bicycle, to make and
repair things, to use the computer and the
printer. He is very curious, friendly and helpful.
He is currently learning
English with Vio at The
Different School, and he is improving. He
is a bit shy to speak, but it will be great if
you do speak with him in English so that he can
improve further. At home, he also learns violin