A life is made by what we give
It is said, “A living is made by what we get, but a life is made by what we give.” In India, 60,000 children are abandoned every year, while 59,000 children are deprived of education. More than 40 years ago, a group of social workers from Ponda village would meet and the discussion would often move to the predictable ‘This is not how things should be’. Then one day, a two-year-old boy was found at Sanvordem railway station all alone. The child was immediately aided and the MatruChhaya family home came into existence.
MatruChhaya, founded in 1976, became a blessing to a number of orphaned and less privileged children. They provide them with shelter, food and clothing. The group has set up their organisation at four places in Goa: Ponda and Margao (mainly for girls), while the Panjim-Santa Cruz house is dedicated to unwell women and young girls and the ‘Bal Kalyan Ashram’ in Ponda Talavli is for orphaned boys. Initially, the organisation began with a goal of supporting the orphaned girls and giving them a home to stay. MatruChhaya provides girls with accommodation and benefits as a normal child would have. Girls from all religions and castes are accepted. They are educated and supported until they are old enough to provide for themselves. Many of the girls have gone on from being daughters of MatruChhaya to find happiness in marriage. The married women still visit the Ashram during celebrations and festivals to revive old memories together. Apart from all the education facilities and basic human necessities, the committee teaches the girls embroidery, cooking, driving, riding, music and have a couple of indoor and outdoor activities simultaneously. MatruChhaya has a matron for the girls’ accommodation whom they specifically refer to as ‘Maa’. The President of the committee, Dr Subhash Bhosle, takes care of every minute detail to keep the children happy. Altogether, every one works towards creating a family atmosphere at MatruChhaya. The charitable trust has now made a call for donations in order to construct a new building that will consist of accommodations for 80-100 girls, as the old building of MatruChhaya has worn out. The organisation requires an amount of 6 crores for the entire construction. One crore will be used for the plot in Ponda that has already been selected. Currently, a fund of 75 Lakhs has been collected by the committee. MatruChhaya Committee puts forth their request to the public and social work groups to take the initiative of donating funds of maximum Rs 5000 to complete the construction. Details for the donations are on the website www.maruchhayagoa.org The committee members have written to the well-wishers: “The plan for the building is getting finalised and work for the same may start in February 2019. Though ‘Sampark Abhiyan’ of going and meeting well-wishers by volunteers has just finished, our well-wishers continue to send us donations.”
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