Bodh Gaya: Jeanne Pere, a retired French teacher, has left France to make Bodh Gaya her home with a mission to provide free education, healthcare and a better life to her neighbourhood that she now calls her Bihar family.
Till yesterday, children at Pere's locality were loitering about, doing nothing. But due to sustained efforts of Jeanee Pere, life is different today - they are taking singing classes and are also learning kathak and karate.
Under her influence, the whole neighbourhood has changed for good.
"They call me mummy jee, and I treat them like my children. Now, I'm seeing them for 10 years and it has become my family. I'm mother for them," said Jeanee Pere.
Of all the places in the world, it was Bodh Gaya in Bihar, which caught Jeanee Pere's fancy. In 2002, she descended as a god sent angel in this naxal heartland of central Bihar and took up issues which concerned day to day lives of these villagers.
She has arranged for better health facilities, improved sanitation, introduced vocational training program for women and setup schools to provide free education to children.
"I get all the facilities that a good student should get. I get library facilities, learn computers and stay like disciplined child here," said Rohit Kumar, a student.
"Mummy jee does many things for this village. She teaches our children, arranges foods, talks to the government and even provides needle and medicine for free," said Anita Devi, a villager.
Loved and respected by all, Mummy jee, as she is popularly referred to, Pere is the resident guardian of the villagers.
"My last desire is really to be cremated in Bihar here with my Bihar family," said Jeanee Pere.