Background: The character of a society is how it takes care of the weakest amongst it. This is something we all have to agree upon. It's not about those earning lakhs of Rupees a year, but those who are struggling for 2 square meals. It's not about those who spend Rs.2000 to 4000 in one family outing to a mall, but those who are standing in line for those 5 litres of kerosine. It's not those who fill up Rs.1500 of petrol or diesel without a second thought, but that flower vendor who probably wouldn't make that much even after toiling for an entire month. It's not about those who sit in AC offices talking on social network about Rs.32 below poverty "line", but those who actually live in such a pathetic situation just a couple of kilo meters away. It's not about those who send kids to international schools in secure yellow buses, but those who have no idea when their kid would return after rag picking.
So yes, it is about how we, the ones who are lucky enough to indulge in social network, deal with the unfortunate bottom part of the society.
The Ones Left Over: Talking of rag pickers, do we know that in the "Silicon Valley" of Bengaluru (erstwhile Bangalore), for a population of over 90,00,000, there are at least 90,000 kids who essentially have no future? That's almost 1% of the city! Shocking isn't it? This is supposedly one of India's premier cities now with millions of square foot of shiny offices, 1000s of swanky AC buses, lakhs of high paying jobs, millions of private vehicles and lakhs of apartments selling each year... so... how did this happen? Who are those kids? Who takes care of them?
Unfortunately, they are the total orphans, children abandoned by migrant workers, children of single parents who have no future and so on.
The Heroes of our Society: But fortunately, beyond blaming the government authorities for this "mess", there are a few socially conscious people, who have spearheaded various NGO movements to take care of these kids. One such institution we came across recently is called NELE (which means in Kannada, A Place or a Home). They run many homes for kids who have no future otherwise, and meticulously work on upbringing those unfortunate kids, and turning them into valuable human resources for a re-emerging India!
We, a few friends from Twitter social media, visited one such home, exclusively for destitute and orphan girls last week. It is called Nele Vasundhara (Vasundhara = Mother Earth). This home, being setup afresh in a newly rented place, already has 30 girls. They range from 3rd standard to 1st year bachelor's degree students. There are 4 in 10th standard, 3 in 9th.standard and the rest spread out across classes. We we so excited to see the dedication of the people who are actually running this. Nele Vasundhara has a 5 member committee of gentlemen -> Hiriyannaiah, Pramod Jois, Badrinath, Lakshminarayana and Ganesh (Architect).
They also have a great team of seven lady volunteer committee lead by Katyayani Satish, Lakshmi Jois, Malini Bhaskar, Mrunalini Bhojaraj and three more.
What do they Do?
They take care of everything for the kids. From safety to welfare to schooling to counseling and you name it.. There are also two females inside the premise, 24 hours a day, for the most immediate needs like housekeeping and food. One must spend an afternoon with them just to understand the immense joy of community prayer, for kids who essentially had NO community concept apart from apathy, abuse and abandonment. Hats off to such incredible humans who are showing the rest of us that with perseverance, dedication and will power, even a small group of individuals can actually change the society, bit by bit.
But unfortunately, there is a limitation to what they can do, as everything boils down to money.
What is that We can Do? The current estimate in the new premise they have taken over is that, it would cost Rs.6000 school fees per month, even after big concessions from the school management. Then the rent of 45000, plus Electricity, Water, food grains, milk, Curds, vegetables and other basic necessities easily add up to lakhs of Rupees per year. We sat down with them and our basic computation came to at least Rs. 37,000 per year, per kid as the total expense.
So we questioned, why not on behalf of Twitter and Facebook friends, we join hands with them. To start, we can target to adopt just 2 young girls who could tomorrow grow up to be India's next Architect or Doctor or Leader or a Lawyer and so on. Why not? It would cost Rs.74,000 per year to adopt two little girls, like the one shown next here, who are in desperate need of nourishment, care, safety and love.
We have a large number of people on Social network.Can we pool together Rs.74,000 (Seventy Four Thousand) to start with and show that we Indians too care for our orphan/destitute young girls of the society? That is where our #HelpNeleGirls initiative has come up. Moreover this is Section 80 (G) tax exempted.
Who knows? If you look into the NELE's changed lives page, there are so many success stories already. These two girls that we adopt may join that page if we just give them a small help to rise up today!
So friends, please join us in any way you can. If monetary help is possible that is fine. If not or on top of financial help, if you are interested, you can help in other ways too. Check this out for details.
We have already started!
Our July 2012 Target: Rs.74,000.
Pledges so far: The list of pledges and donors can be accessed here: List of Donors for Nele Vasudha
Still Needed: We have achieved the target pledges of Rs.74,000 for month of July. We are indebted to all the donors who have pledged and donated towards the cause.
However, Nele efforts towards giving a bright future to the kids needs our continuous support. So please pledge and donate towards Nele. Any amount's fine. The feeling of fulfillment of helping little girls towards a promising future will go a long way!
Just pledge here with a comment or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the key volunteer on Twitter at @pvaidyaraj . You can also fund anonymously as the intention is to help the needy kids, who are the future of India tomorrow!
Option A: Online Bank Transfer
Beneficiary Account Name : HSP NELE
Bank Name : State Bank of Mysore
Branch : SBM, Shankarpuram Branch
Account Type : Savings
A/C No : 54003825712
IFSC Code: SBMY0040195
For donations from outside of India, you can use the following FCRA Account:
Beneficiary Account Name - Hindu Seva Prathishthana
Bank Name : Canara Bank
Branch : Kempegowdanagar Branch, Bangalore
Account Type : Savings Bank account
A/C No. 0789101014183
IFSC Code: CNRB0000789
Option B: Cheque Payment.
Cheques drawn in favor of : "HSP-NELE"
No.4, 'Mrinalini', 3rd B Main,
9th Cross, Sarakki Village, J.P.Nagar Ist Ph,
Bengaluru - 560 078
Thanks! Your interest to read till here is a great thing. We hope you have decided to be a part of this in any way you can, including spreading the message among other potential volunteers or donors.
Have a great day! Together, we can change the world, one "Nele" at a time!