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Trustees & Patron

Jean Watson - Founder 

Jean was a writer, and founded the Children's Home in 1987. She was born in Whangarei in 1933 and lived in Wellington, New Zealand until her passing away in December 2014. She spent a few months each year in India.

Jean has authored a book about her journey to India and the subsequent founding of the Illam - “Karunai Illam: The Story of an Orphanage in India” (revised 2005). Read more


Sankar RamasamySankar Ramasamy - Chair

Sankar works in the NZ public sector as a researcher and evaluator. Married to Meenakshi, they have a daughter Anisha. Sankar and Meenakshi have been visiting the Illam for the last several years during their annual trip to India to see family and friends. Sankar comes from the state of Tamil Nadu where the Illam is located.



Pravin LallooPravin Lalloo - Trustee

Pravin is a born and bred Wellingtonian with Indian heritage. He has a long serving involvement as a volunteer in sports administration at local level and has also headed up a national sports body. His professional background is in the IT industry in the project management area. Pravin has been a KIT contributor for over 15 years and has visited the Illam in 2001 and is very keen to support the future of KIT.



Bhagee Ramanathan - Trustee

Bhagee is a Wellingtonian of Sri Lankan birth.  She and her partner David have been contributors to KIT for over 15 years.  In 2016 she and their daughter Vidthia visited the Illam for two months. Bhagee has largely been working in government policy (tax, business and statistics), with a start in scientific research. She and David also ran a business manufacturing and selling scientific research instruments in international markets for nearly twenty years. She is a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand and also has a degree in science.


Elizabeth Harcourt - Trustee

Elizabeth is from Wellington and is a retired Counsellor. She is married to Tony and they have three grown up children, and three grandchildren. Elizabeth and Tony have supported the Illam for a number of years, and their daughter Christy has visited and fund raised for the Illam. Elizabeth enjoys painting, cycling, walking and playing with the grandchildren.




Joy Cowley - Patron

Joy is a writer, her works include fiction, non-fiction and children’s Stories. She used to run a retreat house in the Marlborough Sounds with her husband Terry Coles, but they now live in Featherston. The royalties from her books of spiritual reflection, and gratuities from retreat work, go to the Illam. Joy has always supported the Illam (Karunai Illam) and you will see that she was part of the events that led to the beginning of the “Home of Grace”