The Need

david and taru kumar, indiaDavid and Taru have been called to a Muslim slum in Bangalore, India.

Impoverished and forced out, this group of people have set up an informal settlement next to a dump, where no one else wants to be.

Many of the men squander their meager income, leaving their wives and children with little to nothing.

It's not uncommon for the little that is left - if there is any - to be split between a husband's multiple households that are home to children numbering the double digits.

School is not provided for these children, so their future is not likely to include anything brighter.

Most of the women are forbidden by their husbands to obtain work outside the slum, and there's little industry within it.

David and Taru, India

One "street" in David and Taru's Muslim slum.

Kumar, India

For women and children, life in the Modi Road slum is unspeakably oppressive.

India, Kumar

Considered property, many are forbidden to leave the slum or sometimes even their tiny, drab homes. A low percentage of the men see providing for their families as their responsibility. The women have no resources or influence and the children are often hungry.


David and Taru have been ministering in this context for years. They have loved the community so well, that they are welcomed and respected in this "closed" community.

Though their ministry facility is small, Deepam Center is a beacon of hope for many.

Sewing Ministry for Women

Taru and other Christian women provide machines and teach the women of the slum to sew. This allows them to earn income without leaving the slum. This makes all the difference for their family's well-being.

David and Taru, India

Muslim women learning to sew.

David and Taru, India

David and Taru, India, sewing

David and Taru, India, Steve Evers

ITMI's Steve Evers and David share the story of the potter and the clay with the women after they've done their sewing.

Deepam Center, Women, David and Taru, India

They come to earn income making crafts, but they LOVE the rare opportunity to connect with other women in a way that is acceptable to their husbands.

Deepam Education Center

David and Taru operate a small primary school that prepares children of the slum for future schooling.

They are taught how to hold a pencil, recognize a letter and count. Just participating in organized activities is immensely beneficial. Their parents are thrilled to see how they learn and grow.

Without these experiences, many would begin elementary school having never held a pencil. Thanks to Deepam Education Center, they won't start school so far behind.

The children have been known to suggest their family pray before a meal, since they were taught to do so at school.

India, Kumar

India, Kumar

Children's Ministry

Taru provides activities for the youth, such as crafts and stories. They are often demonstrations of the Gospel, helping the children learn a truth about God.

David and Taru, India,

Taru with two young girls, proudly displaying their crafts.

David and Taru, India

Taru demonstrates the love of Christ to the young children of the slum through VBS. 

Evangelism Training

Many are scared and unprepared for how to talk to their Muslim neighbors and community members.

David has a passion to equip Indian Christians for this. He travels to rural villages and equips pastors there to reach Muslims with the Good News.


David and Taru both grew up in orphanages in India.

Taru doesn’t know why her family left her where she grew up when she was a baby.

David’s father worked at the orphanage where he was raised, but was so poor that the orphans were better off than his own children, so they were raised with the orphans.

David and Taru had been living across the dumping ground from a Muslim slum in Bangalore, India for some time.

They had been in a employee-like role with another ministry organization for quite a few years. But around 2015, when the organization wanted to relocate them to Northern India so David could manage something they were doing, David and Taru risked everything and said they couldn’t go.

They knew God had called them to demonstrate and declare the Good News in that Bangalore slum.

kumar family, india


  • Demonstrate the love of Christ to as many people from the Muslim slum as possible.
  • Declare and demonstrate the Good News in a marginalized area.


  • Transportation for the children who complete their school to a school outside the slum that will take them.
  • Support for David and Taru.
  • Prayer warriors lifting up David, Taru, their helpers and those they minister to.  

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His name was Frederick Antony Ravi Kumar Zacharias. We all knew him as Ravi Zacharias. A short portion from Ravi’s official obituary reads, “Zacharias’s great-great-great-grandmother shocked her Nambudiri family, the highest caste of the Hindu priesthood, by converting to Christianity. With conversion came a new surname, Zacharias, and a new path that started her descendants on a road to the Christian faith.”

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India 2019 Podcast Episode,

In this episode, ITMI’s Mark Burritt and Steve Evers tell the story of Taru’s unusual bus ride.  Our partner, Tara, was riding the bus to the slum where she ministers when she noticed a young woman looking at her strangely, and Steve reveals why. Plus, Steve and Mark reflect on their visit to the slum where David and Taru minister, and Steve reveals will never get to visit David’s ministry in remote villages.

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steve evers, mark burritt, india

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David and Taru Kumar, India

“It shouldn’t hurt this bad,” read the text message from India. The text came almost three weeks after Mark Burritt and I accompanied ITMI’s David and Taru Kumar to the funeral of Taru’s “mother.”  Taru shared that she is deeply hurting and struggling to sleep. Taru’s “mom” came to rural India as a 30+ year old Australian missionary. She spent the last 60+ years loving on and raising up homeless, orphaned Indian girls. Margaret Williams was 94 years old when she was called to her real home.

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