petervas

Helping the girls at Swanthana

In Uncategorized on May 11, 2014 at 10:56 am
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Lia with Sister Agnes

 

 

At some point in your life you might begin thinking of people less fortunate that you are. If that time is now, then this message is for you. It’s quite possible that you have always be considerate and wondered how you may help. There are dependent and helpless people all around us.

 

We came across an organization that moved us deeply and helped us orient our good-will. We saw in it not despair but hope, not the sadness of what caused it, but the intoxicating joy of human survival and being. I wanted to share with you that finding.

Last summer we came across a signboard that said “Swanthana – Home for the Mentally and Physically Challenged Girl Children”. That really grabbed our attention! We were curious and walked in to see for ourselves what this home offered. Some nuns greeted us and were quick to give us a guided tour. Wow, these guys know that help does arrive at odd hours and in strange ways! That was a year ago. And we have bee affiliated with them ever since.

We saw children of all ages, some as young as a few months old and some in their teens. There were around 50 of them. They were differently-abled and what really took our breath away, was that these girls were all very well cared for, and appeared happy to be there! Those that were physically challenged were visibly happy to see us and held a conversation with us. Over the past year, we got to see them grow.

India has been in the limelight for all the wrong reasons lately. You have heard of the atrocious ways we treat our girls. Yes it is true that all the 50 mentally challenged girls were abandoned by their parents, possibly too poor to raise them that way for life. When found abandoned, it’s the police that registers a case and later hands them over to the State Welfare Department. A few children that show hope for survival, are then brought by the nuns to Swanthana.

Swanthana as an organization is sustained by local funding from mostly good folks like you. It is incredibly satisfying to think that these girls that society rejected are being cared for by the same society. There is a weakness but also great strength in that same society.

Ever since we met them, we have been running small-scale milk drives, used-clothes drives every month and have been encouraged with some spirited participation mostly from friends that want to contribute to the well-being of these 50 odd children. Giving is great but giving together is amazingly different!

This message to you is to see if we can captivate a wider interest, because the needs of Swanthana cannot be entirely taken care of by the smaller circle that we started out with. If you think you want to make a difference in the life of one girl child with a kind word or deed, please do get in touch with us.

 

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