Kutumba was set up in 1991 when Mary Paul was on a sabbatical from Vathsalya Charitable Trust. The idea was suggested to her by one of Vathsalya's trustees as Vathasalya struggled to place differently abled kids in homes.
Kutumba was started as a home for boys with MR/CP. Patients were mainly referred by Spastic Society. Until 1997-98 the boys were sent to Spastic Society for vocational training. However slowly Kutumba started accepting girls but as there was an issue housing boys and girls, they started weaning of the boys. Once the last boy had left they tied up with APD to offer safe housing for the girls attending APD vocational training courses.
Kutumba was operating out of rented premises until 2006 they moved into their own premises. The 10000 sq.ft of land was donated by Mary's cousin and two corporate donors. I-flex solutions, Bangalore and Stichting Geron in the Netherlands came forward and donated 15 lacs each to fund the building of two cottages.
In 2007 Goldman Sachs sponsored roofing between the 2 cottages to create a sheltered space for activities. This is when Kutumba started a preschool/daycare for kids of daily wage workers (mainly construction workers).
Kutumba has a residential facility for differently abled young women. The ages of these young women range between 19 and 30. Most of the girls are orthopedically challenged. A few are with speech and hearing impairment. These girls are from rural parts of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh from very poor homes. All the girls attend 1-year or 2-year vocational & technical training classes at The Association of People with Disability (APD).
The beneficiaries are provided food, shelter, transport free of cost. The girls stay at Kutumba for one to three years on an average. An average of 20 girls stay, although the numbers could go up to 30 or come down to 15 depending on the period of training and admission of new residents. APD also sends short-term course trainees. These girls stay here anywhere between 2 days to 3 months.
Kutumba also runs a pre-school and day care (10:30 a.m. -4:00 p.m.) for young children between the ages of 2-5 years. These kids come from a nearby slum area. Most of their parents are daily wage workers or are employed as maids. During the hours that they spend at Kutumba, these children learn rhymes, numbers and play games. The teacher engages them in activities for a couple of hours in the morning. After lunch, they have rest. Parents are not charged any fees.