Sahaara Charitable Society

In November 1994, a group of concerned citizens gathered together and decided to bring about change among the most underprivileged people of Mumbai city where very few people want to go. The group also realized that each one of the underprivileged people also have a dream and that it would be a great privilege to work along with the underprivileged to help them articulate their dream and then equip them to see the fulfillment of their dream. With the above vision in mind, Sahaara Charitable Society was registered as a non-governmental organization in 1994 with a vision of "Gifting Dreams". Vision & Mission Everyone has a dream! The poor and underp...
Jan 4, 2017

163 children prevented from dropping out!

Sahaara believes that every person has a dream, and our work centers around ensuring that marginalized persons are able to articulate and work towards achieving their dream. Children in observation homes are one of the most marginalized populations in Mumbai.

The children who live in these Homes come from different states of India and are educated in a Marathi medium school run by the Home. The language difference makes it difficult for them to learn. Remedial education helps in coaching the children in the Marathi language as well as their school subjects thereby helping them understand what they are learning and maintaining their interest to continue education once discharged from the Home.

Sahaara staff procures addresses of discharged children from the home authorities. The social workers then traverse through labyrinthine gullies of Mumbai slums searching for the children’s residences. Through such home visits, networking with local schools, facilitating assistance in books and materials, the child is facilitated entry into formal education paving the way to a bright future.

 

FINDING HOPE AND SECURITY

Beginning the day, not knowing whether you will have a place to call home at the end, is one of the worst feelings in the world. Unfortunately, for many children across the city of Mumbai, this situation is one they face quite frequently.

Sharad* was only around 12 years old when his mother passed away due to the elephantiasis disease. His father then shifted to Dubai for work, leaving Sharad in the care of one of the neighbours who lived in an apartment in Grant Road. Before long, this neighbour realised that he couldn’t meet the needs of this young boy and he was subsequently admitted to Umerkhadi Observation Home (UOH) in November 2014.

After four months there, he was shifted to a private home for another four months before he was shifted again to Chembur Children’s Home (CCH), where we met him in July 2015. Sahaara conducts supplementary education classes in CCH for the children who live there.

Sharad began to attend our classes there. When we first knew him, he was an emotionally insecure boy, troubled and disturbed by the things that happened in his past. He had a tendency to burst into tears regularly, as younger children do. Despite this, he was talkative during classes and liked to tease the other children. Sometimes his behaviour was unusually excessive, as he distracted the other children from their studies by making faces and laughing for no specific reason.

Sahaara staff noticed this behaviour and slowly, we began to counsel him. When he was upset, we were there for him, comforting and helping him understand what was happening. We were also able to encourage him to participate in sports, and in the educational activities we conduct during classes.

As we kept counselling and supporting Sharad, we saw a change in the way he began to behave. Today, he enjoys playing cricket regularly with the other children and recently, he confidently presented a speech on national leaders during class. He is class monitor and encourages the other students to behave well, while he has also become well-disciplined as a result of the responsibility handed to him. His favourite subjects now are Maths and English. Sharad has also begun to share with us whenever he encounters any personal issues, and this helps us to encourage and counsel him in a way that builds his value system.

We are so glad to see how Sharad has grown from the first month we met him. We hope to help many other young boys like Sharad find hope and security to look towards a brighter future!

*Names changed to protect identity


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Jan 4, 2017

18 children discover the benefits of computer literacy!

Sahaara believes that every person has a dream, and our work centers around ensuring that marginalized persons are able to articulate and work towards achieving their dream. Children living in Mumbai juvenile homes are one of the most marginalized children in Mumbai. Institutionalized, these children are most often from highly poverty stricken families.

As a part of the holistic intervention therein, Sahaara imparts computer education to the children between fourteen to eighteen years of age in the juvenile homes. Sahaara’s in-house computer course delivers a fitting foundation to the children preparing their skills for the technology-driven world outside the homes. The children attending the computer training get a start which will help them break out of the poverty cycle and fulfill their dreams of a stable future.

Below is the story of a child who has benefited with the help of the computer training carried out by Sahaara personnel.

Beginning to Dream

This the story of a seventeen year old boy named Kunal*.

Soon after his birth, Kunal’s mother passed away, leaving him and his three siblings in the care of their father. Kunal’s father was an alcoholic who would repeatedly physically and verbally abuse him. One day, his father left their village and went to Bhusawal for work, leaving the children with their grandmother.

At the age of ten, Kunal ran away and took a train to Nagpur. There, a man offered him a job at a local wedding catering service. Kunal began to work there and seven years later in 2016, he began a relationship with the man’s daughter, unaware of who she was. When her father found out, he forbid them to meet again and threatened to send his daughter away.

After a while, the girl contacted Kunal and the two of them ran away and got married in a temple. The girl’s father lodged a complaint with the police and wrongfully accused Kunal of kidnapping. The two youngsters were found by the police, separated and brought back to Mumbai. Kunal was then sent to David Sassoon Industrial School (DSIS).

Sahaara conducts computer classes at DSIS where Kunal was enrolled in the classes that begin in July 2016.

When we first met Kunal, he was low in confidence, weak in English and had never worked on a computer. Through regular counselling and encouragement, we were able to build a relationship with Kunal and help him build his confidence.

Through the computer course he has learnt how to use Microsoft Office and daily spends time learning English words from the dictionary given to him. He also practices reading various English books. He has also shown great improvement in the typing course and now come to every class dressed very well.

He is enthusiastic about completing the computer course and finding a job as a machinist where he will work with machinery and hardware. He is also looking forward to finish his time in DSIS.

We hope to continue to work with Kunal and many other children like him, watching them grow in confidence and begin to dream! We hope to rehabilitate and give them a brighter and more fulfilling future.

*Name changed to protect identity


Attachments:
Oct 6, 2016

Helping 168 children stay in school!

Sahaara believes that every person has a dream, and our work centers around ensuring that marginalized persons are able to articulate and work towards achieving their dream. Children in observation homes are one of the most marginalized populations in Mumbai.

The children who live in these Homes come from different states of India and are educated in a Marathi medium school run by the Home. The language difference makes it difficult for them to learn. Remedial education helps in coaching the children in the Marathi language as well as their school subjects thereby helping them understand what they are learning and maintaining their interest to continue education once discharged from the Home.

Sahaara staff procures addresses of discharged children from the home authorities. The social workers then traverse through labyrinthine gullies of Mumbai slums searching for the children’s residences. Through such home visits, networking with local schools, facilitating assistance in books and materials, the child is facilitated entry into formal education paving the way to a bright future.

DISCOVERING POTENTIAL

Families fight; it is something almost every person in the world has experienced. However, it is a rare day when your father comes home and murders your mother. Krishna* was around 5 years old when he found himself in this situation in 2012.

Krishna had been living on the streets in the slum area of Khar, Mumbai. The area around him was dirty and crowded, filled with many people and unsafe for children. He used to beg on these same streets every day, as his parents were not able to take care of him and his elder sister.

Krishna’s father was an alcoholic and used to physically abuse his wife every night. It was on one such day, under the influence of alcohol, that he murdered his wife. The police heard of the incident and arrested him, sending Krishna to live in New Observation Home (NOH) in 2012.

We met him in 2014 in Chembur Children’s Home (CCH) where he had been shifted. Sahaara conducts coaching classes for children in CCH, supporting them through their time at school with remedial education.

When we first met Krishna, he was malnourished and shabbily dressed. We noticed that he frequently got into physical fights with the other children, pinching his classmates and acting in a generally aggressive manner. He was emotionally disturbed and easily irritated by his surroundings. Krishna was also hesitant to participate in any class activities and his concentration levels were poor.

Once we realised this, we made it a point to interact with him regularly, trying to counsel him and learn what his story was. After a while, he began to talk to us. He began to take our advice, attending class in neat clothes and greeting the children and teachers politely when he came to class in the morning. He also began to pay attention to his studies and that is when we began to see his potential.

Krishna scored good grades in his tests in the following year of 2015! Recently, he took responsibility when we asked him to be the class monitor for a week, behaving in a polite and calm manner that influenced his classmates to do likewise.

Today, Krishna enjoys participating in all the skits, action songs, poetry recitals and art and craft activities like flower-making and colouring that we conduct during our classes. He has also opened up emotionally, letting us know when he is sad that no family member comes to visit him in CCH.

We are so amazed to see these changes in Krishna across the last two years. We hope we are on the road to helping many young boys and girls like Krishna discover their own potential as we support and equip them to face life ahead as much as possible!

*Names changed to protect identity


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