No filter: Chennai family breaks stigma surrounding adoption

Adoption is not a subject we speak or hear about often enough and usually, it’s in hushed tones.
Elavanchi Chandran with husband Suresh Marimuthu and daughter Yoshna; Amitash Pradhan
Elavanchi Chandran with husband Suresh Marimuthu and daughter Yoshna; Amitash Pradhan


Elavanchi Chandran, the designer behind the brand Yoshnas, with quiet confidence, posted a screenshot of her adoption waitlist as she couldn’t contain her excitement and unwittingly started a social media storm.
Surprisingly, the messages that came pouring in were largely positive, indicative of the changing times. She tells me that she received over a hundred phone calls with people enquiring in detail with regard to the adoption process and others for advice on how she convinced her near anddear ones.

Without skipping a beat Elavanchi tells me, “Please don’t glorify what I’m doing — I am a mother and we are a family looking to add to our brood. We took the decision to adopt instead of having a second biological child. As much as the orphaned child needs a home and a family, we wanted a second daughter. So the child coming into our home is doing us a service by accepting us as her family.”

She tells me she can’t wait for the day when adoption is not a big deal and there is no stigma attached to it. The idea occurred to Elavanchi while she was still in college and she had the good sense to not broach the subject with her family. Later, she got married to Suresh Marimuthu and after having their first child, she brought up the topic of adopting a child as she wanted her daughter to have siblings as Elavanchi herself grew up with two. To Suresh’s credit, without skipping a beat he asked Elavanchi if she had thought it through and when she said yes he said okay without any fanfare. They spent the next few months brainstorming potential issues and scenarios they would face. They also took the time to explain the concept of adoption to their daughter, who was only four years old. It took close to eight months as the little one understood that siblings came from the mother’s belly. Then they started the process of registering with the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA). Two years after registering and undergoing the counselling and verification processes, they have moved up the waitlist from 978 to 98 and this sparked joy and resulted in the now-famous post on social media. It’s a long and arduous journey and close to 50 per cent of registered parents drop out but for this determined family, the end is hopefully in sight and they can welcome their second daughter home. Their daughter, Yoshna, has already decided that her sister will be named Harini. This unassuming Chennai family are making waves just by living life on their own terms and I’m hoping they inspire others to consider adoption. Sometimes, all it takes is one person to turn the tide and Elavanchi and her family just might have done that.
Amitash Pradhan gets busy with films in Kollywood
It’s raining film offers for Amitash Pradhan and the actor is on a signing spree. After a five year hiatus, he makes his entry back into the Tamil film industry with back to back films set to release next year. He made his debut five years ago in Velaiyilla Pattathari 1 as the antagonist and when fans see his return to the silver screen, the name Amul baby (Dhanush addresses Amitash as Amul baby in the film) will be long forgotten. He just wrapped up the shoot for the much-hyped film Vaanam Kottatum, a Madras Talkies film. Everyone on the set has been raving about the on-screen and off-screen camaraderie between Shanthanu Bhagyaraj, Aishwarya Rajesh and Amitash. Fans have been searching social media for little crumbs to get a sneak peek of this much-awaited film. Amitash tells me that Mani Ratnam wrote the script and he is much involved in the project and this is a ‘bucket list moment’ for the actor.
After VIP, he has played the lead in Heartbeats, a Hollywood dance film and travelled the world promoting it. He tells me that working on this film enriched him as an actor and prepared him for roles to come. He is currently shooting for R Kannan’s remake of the hit Telugu film Ninnukori, where he is reprising Adi Pinisetty’s role. Usually, actors say that they don’t watch the originals because they don’t want to get influenced by it but Amitash admits to watching it. He says, “It’s a collaborative effort with my director and we are approaching this character differently from the original so it’s better suited to the Tamil audience and I can bring my unique perspective as an actor to the table.” He has worked hard to learn how to read and write in Tamil as he feels it helps him understand nuances much better. Not a lot of actors in the industry can read and write in Tamil so maybe, these five years were worth the wait. All his hard work is finally paying off as I’m told there is a big film with him playing the lead in the works and he is just about to sign on the dotted line.

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