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How it began at The Akshaya Patra Foundation

The Akshaya Patra Foundation came into being in the year 2000. A one-man initiative, it started with feeding 1,500 school children in Bangalore and has expanded to feeding over 1.3 million children over 14 years. That one man whose initiative it was to feed 1,500 children was Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa. Born in Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu,went on to do his...

Discovering Ahmedabad’s history and culture at night

There’s more to Ahmedabad than meets the eye. Look beyond the garbage, the everybody-has-their-own-rules traffic, and the endless stalls of “egg” (yes, since most Gujarati’s are egg-itarians but don’t cook eggs at home, the humble egg is elevated to a specialty item here in Ahmedabad), and you’ll find a city rich in history and culture. Though that only becomes...

Lives changed by Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust

by Shreyans ShahSanjay first met me at the Tardeo RTO and directed us to Sankalp’s Mumbai Central DIC. I assumed he was part of the Sankalp staff and thanked him for his help. 20 minutes later, I saw a completely different avatar of the same man. The same man, now Sanjay ‘sir’ was leading the Group Discussion session with...

How it began at Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust

by Shreyans ShahMr. Eldred Tellis founded Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust in 1995 and has been in the field of drug de-addiction work for the past 30 years. He was driven by his personal experiences as a drug user who managed to quit and stay clean. Having seen the trauma and neglect faced by the users up close, he was deeply...

Offering a ray of hope to drug addicts since 1995

by Shreyans ShahThe total number of people living with HIV in India was estimated at 2.09 million in 2011. Approximately, 1,48,000 people died of AIDS related causes in 2011 in India. Maharashtra has the second highest prevalence of HIV (0.32 million). While the overall rate of prevalence of HIV among IDUs (Injectable Drug Users) at the national level is...

How it began at Shree Navchetan Andhjan Mandal

The primary force behind Shree Navchetan Andhjan Mandal (SNAM) is Mr. Laljibhai M Prajapati. A native of Bachchau, Mr. Laljibhai lost his eyesight at a young age, soon after he completed his SSC/standard 10 examinations. All he knows is that the loss was due to some sort of a nerve dysfunction, which was hard to detect and correct back...

Lives changed by Shree Navchetan Andhjan Mandal

“My son has improved alot after being trained here. Earlier, he was not even toilet trained; but he has improved alot since,” says a parent of a special child. Another parents says, “When my son was six months old, I realised that he was deaf; and after four years felt he is dumb as well. He became irritated and...

Serving the disabled in the far-flung villages of Kutch

My visit to the Bhuj-based Shree Navchetan Andhjan Mandal (SNAM) started off with an interaction with the staff at their recording unit cum Braille press. While Saraswati was typing out English textbooks that would be converted into audio books using JAWS software, once done; Komal was converting audio tapes into Braille. The efforts of both girls, over the past...

Lives changed by the Light of Life Trust

Originally from Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka’s family came to Karjat in search of a livelihood. When she was only 6 years old, her father Shivmangal died due to an unidentified illness. Soon after, the entire responsibility came to rest upon the shoulders of her mother Rakeshkumari who started working as a domestic servant for Rs.600 a month. Her family had...

How it began at the Light of Life Trust

The heart and soul behind Light of Life Trust is Mrs. Villy Doctor. Born and brought up in Bombay by Parsi (Zorastrian) parents, Villy grew up with strong spiritual values. A brilliant student, she graduated from the city’s St. Xavier's College, went on to attain a Master’s degree in Psychology and followed it up with doctoral work on 'Psycho-biological...
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