Om Sai Seva Sangh, Moosapet

Visited this home on 3rd June and 6th June.

Om Sai Seva Sangh home is in the lane beside Sriramulu Theatre (Bharat Nagar Colony/Moosapet). Ph: Sri Venkat Rao: 99899-28552. Thanks to AMMA Sreenivas for sharing the details of this home.

This is set up by a Sathya Sai Devotee Aruna with the guidance from Sri Sathya Sai Baba Himself. She initially started a school in 1992 in a poor hut now it has a own building like any regular school for 1st to 10th class. They teach in English Medium. They also run a vocational center where they teach tailoring and computers. Later they started a home for girls and also an old age home for elder women. The oldage home and orphan home runs in the same premises.

A retired couple, Mr. and Mrs. Venkata Rao, stay at home and look after the girls and elder women.
They are in need of provisions and also support for building construction. Both the school and the home runs in own premises.
They accept used clothes. We can also give mats, mattresses, pillows, blankets etc., and any other item to be used at home.
They are in need of support for provisions. The school they run is completely free. They provide text books, uniform and free education till 10th class for the day scholars. For orphans they allow them to study up to their choice.
They also provide Milk one day and Bananas one day in a week to school children.
They will get the text books at the printing cost and it is approximately Rs. 35000 a year for two children. For two pairs of uniform to 250 to 300 children it will cost around one lakh rupees. There is a regular vendor from whom they buy.
Coming to the daily expenses at hostel it would be Rs. 2000. So if we want to support for a month it would be Rs. 60000.
They do not encourage donations in cash but in kind only.
For game material, they have carrom boards only. So Chess Boards, Ring Ball, Balls, Tennis Bats, Skipping Ropes would be good.
Coming to used clothes, they are not that welcoming. The reason being they give 2 pairs of clothes which is like a uniform again, which they would wear after coming from school.
It seems they do not want to encourage wearing jeans etc., So any cotton clothes would be fine and they accept them. The problem for accepting used clothes is that if they are not sufficient enough for all the girls, the other girls who do not get the clothes might feel bad. Also they might have to alter the clothes. So this is a lot of work, again.
Per Day:
Rice – 25 Kgs
Milk – 10 lts
Dal – 3 kgs
Oil – 1/2 kg
Sugar – 1/2 kg
Tamarind – 2 to 3 kgs
Other Material – Per Month:
Dry Chilli – 1 kg
Turmeric – 1 kg
The curry ingredients – 1 kg each
Minappappu – 20 kgs
Godhuma Ravva – 25 kgs
Idli Ravva – 30 kgs
Ata – 30 kgs
Chai Powder – 1 1/2 kg
Cosmetics – Per month
Coconut Oil  – 1 litre for all girls
soaps – 1 bath soap; 1 washing soap and 1 100 gms. surf packet – for each girl
Paste – 100 gms for each girl
Brush – 1 – a new brush once in three months for each girl.
 Support from TMAD:
On 30th June, we provided provisions worth Rs. 20,000.  Their requirements are beyond our budget of Rs. 20000. They require 700 kgs rice which was anyway not considered as we do not have enough money. Among the other requirements, we had to exclude Bengal Gram, Dal and Sugar. We were less of 10k to buy these 3 items.
Volunteer: Sivaji.
Donors for this project are:
1. Navin Ramisetty – Rs. 10000
2. Lava’s friends – Rs. 10000 (will update the names once Lava gives the list)
Long Term Support:
Aruna ji and her team want to construct a building in the premises – renovating the current one so that the requirements are met. Our member, Megha Shyam, is an Architect and he came forward to design plans free of cost. The home currently does not have any hard copy or soft copy of th existing structure. Shyam will provide the designs so that this will be base for anyone who works on the project when the fund is raised for construction.

St. Theresa’s Tender Love n Care Orphan Home

Visited this home on the evening of 28th June.

This Home is in St. Theresa’s Hospital in Erragadda. Address wise it is in Sanath Nagar. Sister Marie (78 yr old) takes care of 28 girl children (10 to 12 yrs old). The children goes to St. Theresa’s High School which is in the same compound.

Phone Number of the Home: 040-23710029; 040-23817127

Of all the Homes I visited, I can say that these children are the naughtiest and mischievous lot. It was no different to our homes where grandmother scold the grand children but they care a damn and be on their job (of making noise).

All are very active, healthy and bubbly girls. The care taker (forgot her name.. am sorry about it) is there right from the day the home has been set up here. She might be b/n 35 and 40 yrs. The children are not sparing her either.

There is a girl Lissy (I might have misspelt the name) is good at painting. She has good collection of her art work most of them are the pictures of Jesus and Mary and some are on Nature.

Sister Marie is no different to any grandmother next door or our own. She showed me the photos of the girls and boys which she gave for adoption and also the letters that they send to her.

There are many things to share about this visit but too drowsy now. But one important point is that Sister Marie is interested to give these girls in adoption. As a Home they had the license once but not now. Still interested parents who would be willing to adopt the girls (10 to 12 yrs age), can visit the home, select a girl and then go to state home, file the application and say that they select the child and follow the regular procedure.

A Professor couple who lost their grown up daughter in an accident adopted a girl from this home in this process. This is a complete legal procedure and through State Home only except that the child is not from the state home but from TLC. Amazing fact is that the 12 yr girl who was adopted by the couple looks “EXACTLY THE SAME” as their daughter. Even Sister Maria saw the photos of their daughter when she was of the same age as this adopted girl. Now the girl is very happily settled in her new home.

As per Sister Marie, the children are willing and look forward to be adopted by any couple as two to three of their friends left for their new home in this manner.

Complaints on the Home and the Truth:

Let me tell you that there were complaints on this Home earlier which were shared by Sister Theresa Maria herself. She told me the reasons as well on why the complaints were on her home and what happened etc.,

I read in News of the child trafficking racket when Swaran Jit Sen was DGP and his wife Anita Sen’s name was involved. But am not aware of the details.

When I browsed I found several links on the allegations on the home and tried to relate with the info. shared by the Sister. I do not know what transpired and it would only be one-sided version if I go only by the story as shared by Sister Maria. But somehow I feel like (may be gut feeling) there are no selfish motives in the adoptions at least by the photos shared and by the letters of those adopted babies who are kind of 12 to 15 years and are very active.

Even if we see the girls at home now, we can say about their brought up. They enjoy much freedom and they are no different to the kids being brought up at grandma’s place.

You can pay a visit and verify the claims. In fact, she shared all the info. with me. I had no clue that this is one of the homes which was accused (CARA gave clean chit to this home) when I visited the home. But Sister Maria herself shared the details and showed the photos also.

At times it pains a lot to see how the truth is distorted and only particular points are highlighted instead of the complete picture. She told me that she became sick and was very depressed for couple of months when the incident happened. She had to spend seven and half lakh in Rainbow hospital to get treatment for these children (who are there at the home now). All these kids were initially in very dire straits and they were on incubators. (This 7,50,000 rupees she repaid in five to six years not at a time). All the healthy children were taken away by the govt. (one or two of them were given in adoption to the officials/ministers’ relatives).

Support of Church:

Enquired her if Church supports her financially and if school fee is waived. As the building and place is provided for free, they do not support monetarily. In Telugu Medium school, fee is waived. But in English Medium school, fee is a must and there is no waiver.

I wish we can find 28 couples who would welcome these girls to be part of their families.

Offline Response:

I felt so happy after receiving a mail from a person who adopted two girls from this home and mentioned that she never experienced any sort of malpractise at the home. She has been associated with the home for quite some time as she adopted two girls (after a gap) from the home. She says that the home is so close to the hearts of children that they at times ask her to take them home and spend time with their friends.

Can we imagine the amount of love and freedom they exercise at the home that made them request to go back and spend some time at the home as if a holiday trip to grandma’s home!!

Pray for Sister Marie

I wish I have the time and energy to right what all I felt and the gist of the discussion etc., It was a wonderful time – the two and half hours that I spent with Sister Marie and the children. At the end, Sister Marie asked me to pray for her.

Please join me and keep Sister Marie in our prayers. May god give her all the strength in the world to do His work by serving the children. Let us hope that all the 28 children find a new home with parents.

Help from TMAD:

We gave a small amount of Rs. 1625 for the purchase of shoes for 5 children. The donors are Nichenametla Pavani (Rs. 1000) and Santhosh Alladi (Rs. 625)

Long Term Work for the Home:

Want to source funding from any organization. Refer the home to devout christians and other philanthropists. More so, will focus on looking for people who are interested in adopting 10 to 12 yr old children.

Story of the Orphan Homes Study

For long, I wished to take a break from work and engage in a social work activity. Initially I thought of visiting different places of importance like Wardha, Warora, Pune, Nagpur, Dhammapur etc., Later changed my mind to select one place and learn something there by staying for 30 to 40 days. Discussed with Sri Sameer Kurvey of Wardha and he agreed to guide us and was very supportive. But to my surprise, I didn’t receive any response from him latter for my mails, messages and calls. So I thought to drop off.

Now comes the question of how best I can use this time for a quality work. Zeroed in on visiting the orphan homes in Hyderabad (around 50) and understand the motivation of setting up homes, challenges faced, govt. rules and regulations, funding etc., I had lot of thoughts with respect to this project (can be seen on the new page in this blog).

My work started from 2nd June and overall it was a good experience. Thought of updating the blog daily but emotionally my visits are very draining in the sense, I kept on thinking and thinking about the visit, various questions that cropped up or the answers that I received etc.,  As I am used to staying near office and avoid commute to long distances, it is very strainful for me when I go on a visit to far off places.

Lot of learning and many experiences which I will jot out one by one. When I look back now, I felt I got the much needed break and my stress level has been reduced considerably.

I am now in the final phase of my vacation and I hope to use this period to close all the pending tasks with respect to TMAD, BosF and compile the findings of the study.