AS India celebrates Republic Day, a day to commemorate the adoption of the Indian Constitution, it is also a time to reflect on the nation’s progress and also the fact that not everyone in our country has the same opportunities and privileges. How can we help those in need and commemorate Republic Day? We can make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate by donating to charities that are trying to create a better India.
In this blog, we will look at a few NGOs that are trying to build a stronger, more equitable India for all. These NGOs are raising funds for helping orphaned children, elderly care, education and other areas. Your contribution can support these organisations to make a real difference in the lives of those in need.
Vanitha Rengaraj founded Sharanalayam in 2001 dedicated to orphaned and abandoned children. Many of the children at Sharanalayam have the letter ‘V’ as their initial in honour of Vanitha, who they call “Thaiamma” (mother). V Dhanushya, a 17-year-old nursing student, is one such ‘daughter’ of Vanitha. “Thaiamma has been looking after me since I was six months old. I’m not sure who I was born to, but if you ask me who my mother is, I’ll say Vanitha,” Dhanushya says.
Vanitha, a 67-year-old former college professor, has taken on the responsibility of caring for 80 orphans. Despite the challenges that come with such a large number of children, Vanitha has never asked for donations until now, but rising cost of living has made it difficult to provide for all of the children’s needs. Vanitha is seeking funds for food, clothing, and education, and for providing all the opportunities for the kids to succeed at Sharanalayam. This Republic Day, you can help Sharanalayam by donating here.
Gandhibhavan was founded in 2005 by Dr. Punalur Somarajan to provide life-long support to homeless and abandoned elderly men and women facing depression, dementia, and widowhood. This is especially important for Dr. Somarajan, who lost his mother when he was a child and still misses her. As India celebrates Republic Day, many of the elderly are longing to be with their loved ones, but hardly anybody visits them. Gandhibhavan is their family.
Dr Somarajan says that he is a witness to the anguish that many grandparents feel when they are abandoned by their families due to the high cost of geriatric care. As a proud grandfather, Dr. Somarajan appeals to people to support and donate generously to Gandhibhavan in order to provide proper care for over 750 elderly people under his care. You can donate to Dr Somarajan’s NGO by clicking here.
Mangal Shah, 70, has a special bond with the 150 children she cares for because they were orphaned and abandoned after contracting HIV. The initiative started after she and her daughter discovered two girls in a cowshed in 2001. The kids were abandoned by their grandfather due to their HIV+ status. Mangaltai, as she is popularly known, took the girls in and cared for them in her own home. This was necessitated after the children were unable to find a hospital to take care of them.
After this experience, Mangaltai decided to establish Palawi, an organisation dedicated to providing care for abandoned HIV+ children. Mangaltai has faced stigma as she cares for HIV+ children. The hostility has come from landlords, schools and hospitals. But she fights on and Palawi is home to over 150 HIV+ children where they get a loving atmosphere. This Republic Day, help Mangaltai in her mission by donating here.
The Marathwada Navnirman Lokayat (Manavlok) was founded in the 1970s by a group of young people who wanted to address the socio-economic problems of rural communities in Maharashtra. Trupti Kitchen is one of Manavlok’s main programmes. This community kitchen provides at least two nutritious meals per day to elderly citizens over the age of 65 who have been abandoned by their own families.
The programme has had a significant impact in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra which is drought-prone. With youngsters leaving the drought-hit region in search of employment and a better life, elders are left behind. And they cannot take care of themselves. This is where Manavlok comes for help in the form of community kitchens. Manavlok’s Secretary Aniket Dwarkadas Lohiya says “We are committed to providing nutritious meals and other forms of care to the elderly in their final years. We need your help to expand our operations.” Extend your support by donating to this NGO here.
Ashok Deshmane, the founder of Snehwan and the son of a farmer, became a father to 50 children at a time in his life when he had finally established a successful IT career. From the money he was saving to buy a flat, he built a loving home for orphans of farmer suicide in Maharashtra’s Marathwada region. His 50 children now live with him, study, eat nutritious meals, and hope for a better tomorrow. However, he cannot sustain Snehwan and rescue more children without urgent help. Ashok and his wife Archana are desperately in need of funds to continue their efforts and expand the shelter home.
Without Deshmane’s initiative, a majority of these children would have been forced into child labour. But thanks to Snehwan, all of them are inside a classroom. By donating to Snehwan, you can help children of farmers who committed suicide have a loving family and a bright future. This Republic Day, we can make a difference in the lives of these children. Donate now.
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Kumara was a professional journalist for over 15 years, with stints in The Telegraph and Reader’s Digest. He grew up hating maths and physics. He is a post-graduate in history. Kumara believes that cricket and Seinfeld have answers to most questions that life throws at you.