Color photo of Jaga Nath Kaul
Jaga Nath Kaul

Jagan Nath Kaul (13 October 1924 – 16 December 2008)[1] was the founder, president, and patron of SOS Children's Village of India (SOS CVI). SOS CVI provides a home to almost 15,000 children in 34 children's villages, located in various parts of the country. In addition to the children's villages, SOS provides indirect care to children through its 122 allied projects such as kindergartens, schools and social, medical and vocational training centres throughout India. SOS CVI provides direct and indirect care to almost 200,000 (200,000) children in the country.

Early life

Kaul was born in Srinagar, and his early schooling was in Kashmir. His education continued at the Universities of the Punjab, Rajasthan and Delhi. After completing his master's degree in economics Kaul began his professional career with the city of Delhi, rising to the positions of chief of probation services and assistant director of social welfare. In 1962 he received a Fulbright scholarship, and travelled to the USA for advanced studies in child and youth care at Case Western Reserve University. In 1963 Kaul met Hermann Gmeiner (who was visiting India), and went on to establish SOS Children's Villages of India with the support of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

SOS Children's Village

Awards ceremony including Jagan Nath Kaul
Shrimati and Shri J. N. Kaul

The 1963 meeting between Kaul and Gmeiner (who was visiting India to establish SOS Children's Villages there) was a meeting of the minds. Kaul identified completely with the SOS concept, and agreed to return to India and attempt to set up SOS Children's Villages there. He dedicated the rest of his life to caring for children, starting a movement when he established the first SOS Children's Village at Greenfields in Faridabad in 1968 with the active support of then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The first SOS Children's Village in India Greenfields cared for over 200 children. After that, Kaul's mission was to bring succour to any child suffering due to man-made tragedies or natural disasters.

Kaul was village director of SOS Children's Village Greenfields from its beginning. He hoped to reach out to as many children in India as possible and to establish at least one SOS Children's Village in every province. As of 2011 India has 31 SOS Children's Villages, and 75 other projects. Kaul succeeded in involving thousands of Indians in fulfilling their social responsibilities towards children. A believer in partnership between government and the people, he did not hesitate to demand and stand up for the rights of children.

Kaul served SOS Children's Villages of India in various capacities, first as a village director and rising in position and responsibility as the organisation grew to the position of Secretary-General. From 1989 to July 2007, he was honorary president and patron of the national association. He also served two terms as Senator for SOS-Kinderdorf International. While Kaul received numerous awards for his efforts and commitment to the children of India (and is possibly the most-decorated social worker in India), his favourite reward was being lovingly called Papaji (revered father) by all in the SOS family.

Kaul succeeded in involving thousands of Indians in contributing to the cause of child protection, maintaining: "When we give a child a home, we are expressing our belief in life and the fundamental good in people". He was associated with various government and voluntary agencies involved in child care, in various capacities:


Kaul received many awards and honours for his work:


  1. ^ website: about founder Page 5[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.