Shantivan orphanage was started in 2000 with an aim to rear and impart education to less fortunate children not wanted by the society. Started for 50 children, presently the project is taking care of 1000 children, including 350 residential and 650 non-residential.
Nagargoje visited Anandvan in 1995. He was impressed with late social worker Baba Amte’s statement “Visit us as a tourist and go as a reformer”. He started his organisation in 1998. It took two years for him to fulfill his dream.
Shantivan is a home to orphans and children of destitute women, sex workers, tamasha artistes, farmers who had committed suicide, prisoners, sugarcane-cutters and beggars.
The little inmates pursue professional education to become doctors, engineers or opt for courses benefitting society. Currently, a total of 12 students are pursuing MBBS course.
Nagargoje consistently pursued and compelled the state government to start temporary hostels for the wards of
sugarcane-cutters. Encouraged the villagers to construct farm ponds, weirs and increase depths of rivers helping in bringing 500 acres of land under irrigation during the whole year.
The project aimed at boosting moral of the villagers and help prevent suicides of farmers and get rid of droughts in Marathwada. Today, these farmers have become independent by undertaking cultivation of sweet lime, pomegranate, fisheries, water melon and flowers.
The orphanage ensures that the inmates after completion of 18 years could become independent and self-reliant. It has helped more than 500 inmates to stand on their feet and ensured that they are successfully rehabilitated in the society.
Dr Girish Kulkarni/Snehalaya/Ahmednagar
Dr Girish Kulkarni rescued 15,000 boys, girls and women involved in the flesh trade. He rehabilitated over 500 such women providing them good jobs and businesses. Now, they are leading respectful lives.
His institute Snehalaya provided shelter to sex workers. Snehalaya has seen deaths of 1,200 women suffering from AIDS or other diseases contracted to their risky jobs, and 400 children and performed last rites on them. As of today, 250 HIV positive children are being treated in the institute while 300 are staying in the hostel with an aim to come out of the vicious world of flesh trade. The institute is currently implementing 22 projects.
While going to school as an 8-year-old, Dr Kulkarni saw women sex workers. It hurt his young mind and forced him to think how to rescue them from the nasty activity. During his college education, he was shocked to see his friend’s mother and sister engaged in the hellish activity.
The women engaged in flesh trade wanted their children to go out at nights. Dr Kulkarni came forward to take care of them. Later, he brought these children to his home and started a hostel for them.
He later realized that some children of sex workers were affected by HIV.
He gave them shelter at his home though his wife was pregnant. This was how Snehalaya started in 1989.
He started on his own first but later received support from his friends. Name of Snehalaya has reached every nook and corner of the country during its three decades journey.
Snehalaya has separate projects for different causes. Snehjyot - giving shelter to the women rescued from flesh trade; Balbhavan for orphans from slums; Snehankur for newborns in and out of the country, Child Line for the children in trouble, an English medium school for orphans, free treatment and medical care for HIV +ve children, Himmatgram for making children self-reliant and GKN Centre for the boys and girls above 18 years of age.
Snehalaya also runs other projects like agriculture guidance, guidance centre for imparting skills for weaving Paithani, nurses centres, community radio centre and Snehadhar project for destitute women.
Kanchan Parulekar/Swayamsiddha/Kolhapur/Women Self Help Group
Swayamsiddha organisation was started by bringing 136 women together. It has woven a network of 9,000 city women, 30,000 rural women and 150 hardcore activists, since then.
Swayamsiddha, a Women Cooperative Industrial Organisation, was established in 1994 to market products of women. Today, the organisation has turnover of Rs 3 crore. It sells products through ‘Training of Wheel’ and ‘Mobile Bazaar.’ It also has a separate showroom in the city. A ‘Swayamnirbharta’ residential complex was constructed at Karnur (Kagal, Kolhapur) to impart training to women, make them self-reliant and bring about their all-round development. Over 10,000 women became self-dependent through this centre.
Organisation director Kanchan Parulekar imparted education and business knowledge to women, empowered them and turned their art and skills into industry. She created many women entrepreneurs.
Kanchan, who was born in a poor family, became active in social field at the age of 13. She gave up job as a bank manager and dedicated herself to this social work. She strongly believes that if a mother becomes entrepreneur, coming generation too will become entrepreneur.
30 girls failed in the tenth examination are trained annually through Swayamsiddha School making them self-reliant. Rural girls are given business training through ‘Swayampurna’ project.
Products of lakhs of rupees manufactured by women are sold in the weekly market, monthly exhibition and four annual mega exhibitions. Needy woman entrepreneurs are provided equipment, machinery, raw material, stalls in market under ‘Manikmoti Project.’
Attention is paid to women’s health too. Initiatives like guidance to adolescent girls, lessons of self-defence and health check-up are implemented. In agriculture projects, basic works like community farming, contract farming, organic fertilizer, horticulture, vegetable cultivation, seeds pattern, poultry and goat farming, supply of agriculture equipment are taken up.
The organisation has not taken any government financial help yet. On the contrary, members of the organisation guide in various government projects.
Rambhau Ingole/Vimalashram/Nagpur/Rehabilitation of prostitutes and their children from the last 30 years
Rambhau Ingole performed marriages of 13 girls brought up at Vimalashram, helped 8 boys starting small and big businesses, 20-22 boys educated at Vimalshram are doing jobs at various places, 5 girls completed engineering studies and one girl is presently doing BAMS course.
Presently, more than 40 students, some taking postgraduate education, are living here. Ingole dedicated his entire life for the rehabilitation of the children of the women engaged in the flesh trade. He is struggling for the rights of the women sex workers at GangaJamuna area since 1980. He faced opposition from the family and was thrown out after bringing four children to his own house.
He started nurturing these children at a rented house. Started with only 4 children, the number increased to 25 so he had to leave the rented house. He started Vimalashram with the help of friends and sensitive residents. He continues his work without any assistance from the government. His aim was not only nurturing the children but to make their future secured, so he opened the doors of education for them.
He started Sunday School at Panchgaon, Surgaon, Chimnazari and Dongargaon on Umred Road in 2000 for the children of the mine labourers coming from Chhatisgarh, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh; half-day ‘Anandshala’ in 2002; awareness campaign for women working in mines by the Vimalashram girls in 2003, resident schools for the orphan and migrated children of the mine labourers in 2005 and a full-time school in 2007. Presently, facility for the accommodation of 133 children is available in Vimalashram.
He started vocational training facility for poor children in 2011 and old age home ‘Snehsadan’ for senior citizens in 2018. He implemented cleanliness campaign on every Saturday at Dhunda Maruti Devasthan at Vathoda village to make children aware of cleanliness by collecting the leftover food and dishes after dinner in the temple.
Vishwas Gore/Adhar/Badlapur-Igatpuri/Lifelong care for mentally challenged
Adhar is the biggest residential institution in the country providing lifelong care and protection to 335 (235 at Badlapur branch and 100 at Nashik) mentally challenged adults. What inspired the formation of the institution was the worry of parents about the future of their specially-abled children.
Adults in the age group of 18-75 are under supervision in Adhar and 80 mentally challenged have breathed their last in the past 26 years in the institute.
Here, they are not treated as a second class citizen of the family and society, but are looked upon as a family member. There is a dedicated staff of 240 employees. The annual expenses of Rs 7 crore are managed without accepting grants from the government.
Nearly 60-65 per cent of the amount is collected as fees from parents and rest 40 per cent is accepted as donations from general public with efforts of the Adhar president Vishwas Gore and board of directors.
Madhavrao Gore, who was working as the head of the specially-abled cell in Children Aid Society, Mumbai was moved after he read a news item where a mother killed her mentally challenged son worrying about his future. Madhavrao Gore and some parents of the special children came together and established Adhar at Sagav in Chargaon area, Badlapur-Barvi road, on January 17, 1994. The state has 20 such institutions started by parents who had a mentally challenged child. But Gore had normal children, yet he formed Adhar and now his son Vishwas Gore is looking after the institution. Many parents are old and are unable to manage their financial expenses, thus the institution has to mostly rely on donations by the common public. Other institutions only care for children. However, Adhar cares for mentally challenged adult men and women. They receive proper care and various activities are arranged to encourage their skills and talent.
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