Tuesday, December 20, 2011

“Snehalaya Honors Dedicated Social Workers with Various Awards”

Ahmednagar, 18th December, 2011 

Several selfless grass-root social workers were honored with various  awards today.  Each award was including Rs. 11 thousand and a scroll of honor.  This was the 11th year of the award ceremony, which began with a fund donated by veteran social worker Mr. Madhusudan alias Mama Kaundinya. 10 years ago, Hon. Mama Kaundinya had given his life earnings as a donation to Snehalaya. We deposited this contribution and started motivating the people who are doing extraordinary work for betterment of society through these awards.

This programme was held at Snehalaya’s Rehab. Center at M.I.D.C.  More than 950 people including well wishers, past students of Snehalaya, volunteers, donors and people from all walks of life were present for the programme. Hon. Dr. Prakash Ambedkar (Former member of Rajyasabha and grandson of Bharatratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar) was chief guest as well as  Hon. Udaydada Lad (Founder of U.R.L. Foundation, Mumbai) presided the programme, Mrs. Sheela Shinde (Mayor of Ahmednagar Municipal Corporation), Mrs. Anita Rathod (Speaker of Standing committee, Ahmednagar Municipal Corporation), Mr. Sharadji Mutha and Mr. Milind Kulkarni ( Secretary, Snehalaya) were also present for the programme.

Hon. Prakash Ambedkar, Mr. Udayji Lad and Mr. Sharad Mutha honored the selected social workers on behalf of Snehalaya. Mr. Devendra Fadanvis (MLA, Nagpur) expressed his feeling with gratitude on behalf of all the awardees. He said that,they all have received a great honor and to always remember it. The people of Maharashtra state have great expectations from him and he always strives to fulfill them as a member of Vidhansabha.
Dr. Prakash Ambedkar told in his speech that the current circumstance shows that India is going through a serious social situation. It is not because of an increase in the numbers of bad people, but it is only because of ‘silence’ (inactive and insensible) of good people. Hence, everyone should resist and raise voices against the anti-social activities and one day ‘India’ will gain  its old glory again.
Mr. Udayji Lad declared the contribution of Rs. 1 Lakh to Snehalaya by his URL Foundation.
          The following people were honored:
       Name of awardee
Title of the award
Social contribution of the awardee
Mrs. Shubha Bennurwar (Social Development Officer, BMCC, Mumbai)
Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Samaj Parivartan Award’
Overall empowerment of 60000 poor, dalit, working woman and there families through Self help Groups.
Mr. Santosh Garje
(Sahara Anathalay,Shivaji Nagar, Gevrai, Dist. Beed)
Mahamanav Baba Amate manavata Award
Rehabilitation of orphans and HIV+ve children.
Adv. Shyam Asava (Trusty – Bhrashtachar Virodhi jan andolan)
Loknayak Anna Hajare Jansangharsh Award
Successful fight against sand mafia and great contribution in the fight of Loknayak Anna Hajare’s battle against corruption.
Hon. MLA. Devendra Fadanvis
Prof. Madhu Dandavate kartavyashil lokpratinidhi Award
Being a voice of common man in State Assembly and fighting for the rights of the common people in the state.
Mrs. Lata Joshi
(Anuj Foundation, Pune)
Karmayogini Vijayatai Lavate jivangourav Award
Rehabilitation of more than four thousand infants through her organization Bharatiy Samajseva Kendra and Anuj through adoption.
Smt. Jayashri Shinde (Balbhavan Project, Snehalay, Gandhi maidan, Ahmednagar)
Sv. Govardhandasji Gujar aadarsh karykarta Award
Changing lives of 2000 children in various slums in Ahmednagar city.
Mr. Shyam Pimpalkhare
Svatantrasenani Manohar Devachkke karyakarta Award
Creative and active Volunteer of Snehalaya shouldered various responsibilities of Snehalaya, Pune. Active in the programme being conducted for senior citizens in Pune.
Mr. Jayprakash Dashputre
Svatantrasenani Achutrao Patvardhan sevavrati Award
Participation in various social activities being conducted by various organizations in Pune.
Mrs. Jayatai Jogdand
(Snehalalya Parivartan Sankul, Shevgaon, Ahmednagar.)
Late Mrs. Latabai Pawar jivangourav Award
Concrete contribution in changing lives of women in prostitution and there children in Shevgoan.  

Monday, October 31, 2011

Precious Donation

Snehalaya is having few big donors who are supporting few projects of Snehalaya but we have large band of small donors building and enlarging the social support for the cause. 

Since inception, Snehalaya is regularly getting the small donations by the prostitutes.  Most of them are setting aside 1 rupee or 2 rupees behind every customer.  They used to insist us to use this amount for education of the children sheltered in Snehalaya and for the treatment of the HIV positive women in prostitution.  Even today this tradition is continued, some prostitutes have actually left the prostitution on inspiration by Snehalaya because Snehalaya all the time give them pledge that, though they are prostitute today, will not die as a prostitute and try to change their own life. 

Some of our sisters not only left the prostitution but also contributed their life earning to ‘their’ Snehalaya.  The contribution of Mrs. Abeda humbled everyone and proved intense gratitude and sensitivity towards the inmates of Snehalaya.   

Mrs. Abed Yekin Shaikh, the former prostitute has shown her faith in Snehalaya and donated two rooms of 500 sq. feet (Survey no. 67, nr. Santoshi Mata Temple, Katraj, Pune) for the new project in Pune at Katraj.  Mrs. Abeda is connected with Snehalaya since long time.  She is the witness of the selfless humanitarian work being done by Snehalaya.  She wished to donate the piece of land to Snehalaya in Katraj.  There are several colonies of migrant laborers and economically poor people etc.  It is such a place where the intervention in child rights and child protection is needed.  Mrs. Abeda recognized it and decided to donate the land to Snehalaya to start the project for the children.   

It is the grate and precious donation ever we have received because there is a passion and faith behind it.  Mrs. Abeda believes that she has tried to pay back to Snehalaya whatever she has got till today. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Helping Hand of Daily Loksatta

Daily Loksatta had taken the initiative to mediate the potential donors, philanthropists and the dedicated social organizations in Maharashtra through publishing the innovations and dedicated work of the various organizations for the underprivileged human beings during Ganesh Festival under the title ‘Sarva Karyeshu Sarvada’. 

Daily Loksatta also included Snehalaya and given wide publicity in Maharashtra State, appealing for the donations on the occasion of Ganesh Festival.   The people from all over Maharashtra were enquiring about Snehalaya and wiling to extend the support through various ways e.g. volunteering, donating in kind or cash etc.  Many people came and visited Snehalaya after the articles appeared in the newspaper. Loksatta converted their district offices in the donation collection centers and shouldered the responsibility to the editor to collect the cheques of the donations. 

Loksatta organized a programme on 19.10.2011 at Express Tower, Nariman Point, Mumbai to distribute the collected donations to the respective organizations.  Mr. Devasthali, Chairman of Larson and Tubro (L&T) was the chief guest of the programme.  Mr. Girish Kuber, Chief Editor, Loksatta interviewed the representatives of organizations as well as the other people who were participated in the programme asked the questions to them.     

Mr. Milind Kulkarni, Secrerary and Mrs. Jaya Jogdand accepted the donation Rs. 192000 by the hands of Mr. Devasthali.  Mrs. Jaya Jogdand expressed gratitude on behalf of Snehalaya.    

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Inauguration of Kalpak Balbhavan

We all are well aware about the problems in slums.  Snehalaya has started working with the slum children since last 8 years through its Balbhavan project, currently 1300 children (child beggars, child labors, rag pickers, children in conflict with law, school drop-outs etc.) are attending Balbahvan. 
Balbhavan has recently conducted survey to know the need of the similar type of work in various slums and identified two major slums.

On 24th, October 2011, sixth branch of Balbhavan project has been started in Sarjepura slum.  The local community has shown the interest to involve in the activity.  First time, the local people organized the whole programme.  The eminent personalities like Mr. Arif Shaikh local Corporater, Dr. Vijay Patil, Dr. Mahesh and Dr. Anshu Muley, Mr. Nirmal Gandhi and Dr. Suhas Ghule were present for the programme.  They appreciated the efforts of Bahlbhavan project and assured to extend all sort of assistance to Balbhavan.    

The representative of the local community gave the vote of thanks to the guests.   The new Balbhavan has been named as ‘Kalpak Balbhavan’.       

Inauguration of Parivartan Sankul at Shevgaon

Snehalaya has started the Parivatan Kendras in all the major red light areas of Ahmednagar district.  Shivnagar in Shevgaon is one of the potential red light areas to work with.  More than 250 women in prostitution are living in Shivnagar red light area.  Snehalaya is working in Shivnagar since last 10 years.  The work began with the children in the red light area.  Then we have started STI clinic, Counseling center, DOTS Center, anti-trafficking center, pre-primary school in the rented house. 

Caring Friends, Mumbai supported Snehalaya to build our own center on 4000 sq. feet piece of land.  Now the well equipped clinic, Drop-In-Center, counseling Center, vocational training center etc. is ready to serve the beneficiaries. 

The inauguration ceremony was held on 27th, October 2011 in the presence of Ms. Florence Koenderink from Holland, Mr. Arun Lande, President of Shevgaon Panchayat Samiti, Dr. Laddha, Dr. Meghatai Kambale, Mr. Suvalal Shingavi and Dr. Girish Kulkarni.  400 women in prostitution from all over district were present for the programme.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Snehalaya celebrated India's 65th Indepndance Day .

Ahmednagar, 15th August 2011

Snehalaya's children celebrated Independence day at the Rehabilitation Centre. Prof. Makarand Kher began the celebrations by hoisting the national flag. He addressed the students and talked about sacrifice of several freedom fighters, such as Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, etc.

Children also gave speeches in honor of our freedom figthers. City Yoga students performed yoga to patriotic songs. Mr. Dagdu Lomte (Volunteer) performed 'Lahu Ka Rang EkHai' song. Foreign volunteers Florence Koenderink (Holland), Bonny Astor (England), Sophia Browne (England) also participated.

Mr. and Mrs. Deshpande , Mr and Mrs. Karmarkar, Makarand Vaidya, Milind Kulkarni (Secretary), Mr. Girish Kulkarni (Director) were presented during the flag hoisting.

Mr. Suvalalji Shingvi (President) gave a vote of thanks. Mr. Vilas Zhalte hosted the ceremony.

In the evening, the common birthday of Snehalaya’s children was celebrated at Anand Mela, a Fun Fair. The program involved a dance competition, an enactment of the Independence movement, and songs performed by the children. Mr. Krusnaprakash (Supt. of Police) was present for the program and praised the children for their efforts. Everyone wished good health and long life to the children.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Snehalaya felicitates Anna Hazare on the occasion of his 74th birthday

Ahmednagar,15 June
"Snehalaya is a pure creation of passionate, self less youth who have dedicated their lives for the justice of the most exploited and neglected class of our society. I always get new energy and hope whenever I visit Snehalaya and talk to the young soldiers committed to social change", said anti corruption crusader Anna Hazare.
Anna, who is the first life member of Snehalaya was felicitated on the occasion of his 74th birthday at our Rehabilitation Centre.

During this occasion, Anna inspirational words were "No law by itself, can curb the deep rooted corruption in our country till we create a large civil society. Fortunately there are many dedicated and honest govt. officials, NGOs and senior political leaders. If we can all coordinate our efforts, we can overcome hurdles on many fronts. Legislations like Jan Lokpal will definitely create a check to the corruption at the top levels. Time has come to give top most priority to our nation. Else, our next generation will have to face total anarchy."
Snehalaya planted 1000 trees as a celebration on the occasion of Anna's birthday.

Well known artist Pramod Kambale made Anna's statue in clay during the programme.

Snehalaya also organized a send off ceremony to former District Collector, Dr.P.Anbalgan and welcomed the newly appointed D. C., Dr.Sannjeevkumar Dayal.

Dr.Anbalgan appreciated the pathfinding work of Snehalaya and publicly appealed the new D.C. to extend all possible support to the cause.

Mr.Popatrao Pawar (chairman of Idle Village Scheme of Maharashtra scheme), District Police Chief Mr. Krishna Prakash, several other top level government officials, eminent social workers and the media were present at the occasion.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Snehalaya's child Mayur, successful in State Level Higher Scholarship Examination

Ahmednagar, 20th May 2011.

Snehalaya's child Mayur Dumbare has come from a very challenging background. 

Recently, he secured scholarship in the State Level Higher Scholarship Examination. He is the second student to achieve this in Ahmednagar district.He was also one of the class toppers in the 7th standard examination. Mayur has achieved success against odds by his sheer determination and hard work. 

We, at Snehalaya are continuing to plan for his future career, with the help of our supporters and well wishers.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Prostitutes support Anna Hajare’s movement

New Delhi - April 4th, 2011

People from all walks or life supported Loknayak Padmabhusan Anna Hajare’s movement to pass the Jan Lok Pal Bill in New Delhi. 

The representatives of the prostitutes from Ahmednagar district joined Anna Hazare at Jantar Mantar to support his movement against corruption.

On April 4th, 2011, Smt. Meena Shinde, Smt. Sangita Shelar, Mrs. Suman Tribhuvan, Mrs. Sunita Unwane, Mrs. Hasina Sheikh, Mrs. Malan Gore, Jaya Jogdand, Mr. Pravin Mutyal and Mr. Yashwant Kurapatti went Delhi to support to Hon. Anna Hajare during his movement at Jantar Mantar to support passing of the Jan Lok Pal Bill

These representatives of prostitutes participated in the rally from India gate and concluded at Jantar Mantar

Mrs. Meena Shinde, trustee of Snehalaya addressed the gathering about the purpose of hunger strike, alongside Annaji, Mrs. Kiran Bedi, Swami Asimanand and Mr. Anil Khiranjwal 

Municipality renders victim sex workers homeless. Snehalaya fights back

The local leader of Sainathnagar was running a brothel on the land that belongs to Zilha Parishad (Govt. land) for the last  25 years.

When the opposition party raised the issue in the assembly, Kopargaon Municipal council abruptly destroyed 150 huts at the Sainath Nagar red light area.

Around 250 women sex workers became homeless overnight and they lost every small thing they had possessed. The Municipal Council did even deem it necessary to give any pre-intimation about the Action. 

It is a mockery of government machinery that allows illegal constructions of land barons and political bigwigs go unnoticed, but the small huts of poor victim women are demolished without providing a notice, let alone alternative place to stay. This when they have been exploited for years by the politicians themselves.

The representatives of the women discussed the issue with the District Collector, Dr. P. Anbalagan. He was requested to provide the other options for living e.g. vocational training, microfinance to Self Help Groups etc.   Smt. Meenatai Shinde demanded the housing scheme for prostitutes. The collector has given some assurance to take positive action.    

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mr. Satish Kane receives Vasantrao Deshmukh Award.

Mr. Satish Kane, the editor of Daily Samachar and one of the trustees of Snehalaya was recently awarded  with the Vasantrao Deshmukh Award for path-breaking Journalism, by Shreerampur Municipal Corporation.

Mr. Kane donated the whole award amount of Rs 25,000 plus Rs.10,000 to Snehalaya.  Mr. Yashwant Kurapatti accepted the donation on this occasion.  Mr. Kane has helped spread the word about the work of Snehalaya for the last layer of the society, in several of his articles. During the occasion, he appealed to the journalist fraternity to raise the issues related to the common man - because he said 'they have no voice, otherwise'.

He appreciated and thanked the donors, well-wishers and supporters of Snehalaya in Shrirampur for their contribution.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Snehalaya's participation in Annaji's fight for Jan Lokpal bill.

31 st March 2011,  Ahmednagar

Anna Hazare is Snehalaya's first life member, ex. trustee and continued inspiration to all of us.

On March 31st, we organized a public meeting of Anna at Neel Kranti square in Ahmednagar where more than 12 thousand people were present.  We then took up  25 Chowk Sabhas (square meetings ) in the city to invite people for this meeting where we handed out 20,000 hand bills to support Anna in his fight against corruption.

Annaji also addressed live on our Radio Station, Radio Nagar 90.4 F M for 1 hour on Lokpal Bill and his Satyagraha. 

Snehalaya's trustees Meena Shinde, Hasina Shaikh and volunteers Sunita Unawane, Sangita Shelar,Yashwant Kurapati, Pravin Mutyal and 15 others are with Annaji in Delhi travelling with him from Rajghat to Shahid Jawan Jyoti and to Jantar Mantar. Not only the common people, but even sex workers, men and women from the lowest strata of the society in  Ahmednagar are participating in his fasting.

Snehalaya is undertaking many more programmes at city and district level in Ahmednagar and will continue to fight alongside our leader.

Long live Annaji. Long live India. Let's make our nation corruption free.

Girish Kulkarni

Monday, February 28, 2011

Snehankur declares Chikhali village "Free from Female infanticide"

The Chikhali village in Shrigonde tehsil has been declared free from Female infanticide after the " Save the Girl child Mission " initiated by Snehankur Adoption centre.
This Well irrigated and prosperous Shrigonde Tehsil has a bad reputation for increasing female infanticide. The girl to boy ratio has declined to 780 females against 1000 males despite the efforts by the government.

Our Snehankur team (Mrs.Prajakta Kulkarni, Mrs.Sarika Temghare, Mr. Ajay Wable ,Dr.Suhas Ghule)  designed a program to promote 'Female infanticide Free Villege ' and save the girl child. We launched this program in Chikhali villege located in Shrigonde tehsil of Ahmednagar district on 25 th Feb 2011.  We involved the Gram Panchayat and organised a day long programme in the village.

The formal inaguration ceremony took place in Rameshwar Temple. Female  members of self help groups,  Private doctors, Nurses in Primary health centre, Female employees of Asha scheme and members of gram panchayat were assembled.
Through Film shows, slide presentations, talk shows and dialogues,  our team sensitised the audience about female infanticide and the huge social problems associated with it. We also brought it to their notice that laws-police and the Government have limitations in solving this issue and hence their complete support is required for the cause.

A pocket size literature was distributed to each villager. They were appealed to not kill a girlchild and were educated about 'organised social interventions ' in the such cases. In case of unavoidable circumstances, people can legally handover/relinquish  the girl child to Snehankur Adoption Centre instead of going through illegal abortions and killings.
On this note, Snehankur team shared a data of rehabilitated girl children  and rehabilitated unwed mothers till date.

We received a very positive response from the villagers. They have taken a joint pledge to act unitedly on the issue and in keeping the villege free from female infanticide. 

There are 1570 gram panchayats in Nagar district. Our Snehankur team is planning a 3 days training programme in month of May with the support of interested youth volunteers in these14 tehsils.
These volunteers will attend the Gram Sabhas of the villages in their tehsil and sensitise the grass roots about the social problems associated with female infanticide.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Our New Ambulance to the rescue of a girl child

Snehankur adoption centre frequently receives calls for rescue of children in danger. In the remote parts our district and at odd times, medical facilites are hard to find. For the last eight years, this team which had only an old vehicle for rescue, and always wanted an ambulance.

For lack of funds, we were not able to provide this facility for the team - till two days ago. We purchased an Ambulance on 'credit', and were hoping to inaugurate it over the weekend. 

Last night, at 11.30 PM, Snehankur got an anonymous call from Shirdi, 85 km away. The caller informed  about an abandoned girl child. It takes 2 hours to reach the place. Our local volunteers at  picked up the child from outskirts of Shirdi. The girl child was facing suffocation and many other .
The Snehankur team reached the spot at 1.30 am. The child urgently needed oxygen. Fortunately this was   available in our ambulance. The life of a girl  child was saved by our new ambulance

The girl child has been named 'Sohini' and the the Child Welfare committee ordered to admit Sohini to Snehankur centre.

We still need to repay the loan we took to purchase the ambulance. But Sohini's improved health, thanks to the effort of Dr. Jaydeep Deshmukh our pediatrician, has given a great boost to the team at Snehankur.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Think positive. Adopt elder children

Most prospective adoptive parents want to adopt an infant. We at Snehankur often wonder why many educated parents waiting for adoption do not accept elderly kids. Why is there such a lack of trust and confidence? We have learnt that many parents are afraid of non acceptance and rigidity of elder children. We know that this fear is unfounded and imaginary. Children can and will accept the family very easily. It is upto the adults to trust and accept these children. They have been waiting for parents and a family for years and will happily embrace you. 

While it is a routine activity for the team in Snehankur to handover children to prospective adoptive parents, yesterday was a very satisfying experience. Three families, by their own choice, happily accepted children of age 6 years and above, on the same day.

Mrs.Anuradha and Mr.Uttam Suryanshi, though young enough to adopt an infant decided to take an elderly kid in adoption. They had full confidence that, intellectually and emotionally, their child was fit. They added "We have no moral right to deny an elderly kid when he eagerly accepts us as his parents. It would be our weakness if we did not trust this child ". Mrs.Saumya and Mr. Anandteerth Kagwade told that their child was strong and shared his tragic past experiences. He was tough and at the same time loving. They saw in him affection and gratitude which moved their hearts. They felt the same towards their son. He called them Mummy and Pappa from the first meeting. Another family accepted an elderly child who was having a medical problem which could be cured in a few years. The child was distressed when they first met them and asked them innocently if they really want to take him as their child. He said his medical problem seemed like a punishment for no fault of his. "We looked at each other and with tears we hugged our child," the couple told us.

None of the three families are over aged or poor .They may get an infant within few years. But they trusted the children to complete their family today, than wait indefinitely.

The number of abandoned infants has drastically reduced in the last 6 months. Pregnancy prevention pills and  abortion pills are helping to eliminate the issues of unwed mother. While that is a good news, what about the patents waiting for adoption? Now most children available for adoption are between age group of 6 to 12 yrs and we have very few infants. The elderly children lost their parents in unfortunate circumstances. But prospective adoptive parents are hesitating to trust them .We request you, from bottom of our hearts, to leave your prejudices and suspicion. Trust the elderly children. They will surely trust you. .

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Snehalaya Childline rescues 4 children from Railway track work. District Labor officer faces action

Feb 7th, 2011 Ahmednagar: 

Four children were found working under a contractor on railway tracks. Upon receiving the information, Snehalaya childline team immediately swung into action and took the police help to rescue them.  

The district labor officer Jairam Mitke did not take notice of complaints by Snehalaya against the contractor. He did not cooperate with the police to bring the guilty to justice.  It was unfortunate that the official whose primary responsibility was to protect children from exploitation was acting in the interest of influential contractors. He supported the contractor Suresh Mesu Damor and his supervisor Pankaj Patil who were using the children for railway track work, by not filing a case despite several complaints. 

Snehalaya childline team did not give up and escalated the matter to District collector.  The collector not only ensured that the case was filed, but also promised to take severe action against Jairam Mitke, for negligence of duty. The collector agreed that child labor is a grave problem in the country and praised the efforts of Snehalaya team in this rescue and pursuing the complaint against the erring officials.  Local newspapers covered the issues and brought to issue to public notice.