163rd beneficiary – Orphans of farmer suicide

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163rd beneficiary: Adhartirth Adharaashram (Orphanage) – Trimbakesh, Nasik.

 

Scrolling through the morning newspaper, sometime last month, I came across:

Orphaned by farmer-suicides, child orphans find their feet here. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Orphaned-by-farm-suicides-kids-find-their-feet-here/articleshow/52286631.cms

 

#SwateeKher reports in this article, “There is no one at home for me so I just stay here and read my books,” says the Class IV student. The Adhartirth Adharaashram currently has at least 100 other children with similar life stories. Since it was set up in 2007, the shelter has been home to nearly 366 children.

 

The ashram runs on donations, which include clothes, shoes, food grains, school books and uniforms. The kids attend a nearby government primary school where they are served a mid-day meal.

Some children who have completed high school and found work in local firms are now supporting their siblings.

 

Among them is Manisha Chaudhary, who was recruited by a Nashik firm earlier this year. “I have three younger sisters at the ashram and I hope that they too will eventually get jobs and become independent,” she says. Her mother, Laxmibai, lives at the shelter and helps in the kitchen. She is one of eight widows who live at the ashram and look after the children.

 

The children at the ashram stage a special play, Jahar Khau Naka (Don’t Poison Yourself), for visitors. It talks of life in Maharashtra’s drought-hit villages and how suicides affect the young. The 45-minute play, featuring kirtans and personal narratives, has toured 15 districts which have reported a high number of suicides. Last year, the state revenue department recorded 3,228 farmer suicides across Maharashtra.

 

Yes, 3228! Strangely, people were more outraged by a comedian’s video clip on two celebrities, and Paris bomb blasts, than these self-inflicted deaths of 3228 souls.

 

I read the feature. I felt an emotion rise in me. I paused for a long time.

 

The matter was well researched, reported and expressed, by the Times of India news reporter Swatee Kher. I took a snap shot of the feature and immediately mailed it to a donor, a stranger to me actually. Priya Chandok Desai. I had got acquainted to her thanks to # BicycleAngels. She lives in London, and had contacted me, via email, nearly nine months ago to make a donation.

 

Within minutes, Priya responded to my email. She wanted to help and send me her donation asap. However, though I now had a committed and enthusiastic donor, I was clueless how to reach out to this ashram in Nasik. I knew no one in Nasik.

 

I decided to locate the reporter who wrote the feature. I emailed Swatee Kher, and contacted a journo friend, Harneet Singh, who kindly gave me Swatee’s phone number. Swatee gave me the website id of the ashram http://www.adhartirth.com/ and the necessary contact.

 

I contacted Trimbakrao Gaikwad, the person associated with the ashram. He sent me a list of the food items, and some other daily use things, oil, soap, they needed. The ashram being situated in Nasik, I wondered how to make the purchase, and, moreover, how to deliver the purchased goods to them?

 

It did not take long for me to zero down on my friend and associate based in Pune, #MukulMadhavFoundation (MMF) http://www.mmpc.in/ ; the NGO for whom Dr Ram Dhillon, London, and I ride our bicycles for our joint charitable initiatives.

 

“The world is complicated enough. How can I expect to succeed without the help of both parents?” – An orphan. Some of these children, victim of farmer-suicide, have lost both parents. Swatee reports, Ashok Patil, a Class VIII student from Gadchiroli, says, “Parents should not commit suicide, however bad the situation. They don’t know what we have to deal with after they are gone.”

 

Thank you Lenin and Priya Chandok Desai for your donation. Thank you Mukul Madhav Foundation, Pune, and the Finolex Industries’ dealer in Nasik, for making the effort of executing this donation at Nasik itself, asap, transparently, effectively & efficiently.

#RakeshAnandBakshi https://twitter.com/RakBak16

 

 

#BicycleAngels:

FB https://www.facebook.com/groups/309043432570135/

WordPress https://bicycleangels.wordpress.com/

 

 

Beneficiaries of help: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.357090647765413&type=1

 

 

#HumanityOurReligion #Empower #Empowerment #Charity #Donation #Livelihood #Bicycles #Inspiration #RakeshBakshi #ProudIndian #JaiHind #Humanize #Equalize #Spiritualize

 

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