Beyond Money
A Home for the Needy
Maher,  lives up to its name and offers the warmth of a home to battered, exploited and destitute women and children
 
It now seems a long time ago, but this is how it all started. A young pregnant woman was set on fire by her unfaithful husband just outside the walls of the convent where Sister Lucy Kurien lived. On hearing her screams, Sister Lucy ran out, smothered the flames and rushed the woman to a hospital. But it was too late. Not only the young mother, but her baby also died that night. Utterly devastated, Sister Lucy spent the next six years in a determined struggle to find a practical solution to the appalling lives of poor women in India. Finally, in 1997, Sister Lucy moved to a small village in Pune district (Maharashtra) and founded an inter-faith community for women and children in crisis. Maher, which means parental home in Marathi, opened with just Sister Lucy, one house, three residents and daunting odds.
 
The children of Maher come from the streets and slums, from begging communities, from parents unable to care for them, from other institutions that have rejected them. They come for short- or long-term stays, and for as long as they live at Maher, they receive schooling, tutoring, excellent nutrition and medication.
 
Today, Maher operates 36 houses served by a veritable army of loving doctors, social workers, teachers, trustees, business people and volunteers, providing homes for close to 1, 200 full-time residents (860 children, 300 women—including 120 mentally ill women and 31 mentally ill or aged and destitute men). Thousands more are reached by Maher’s community outreach programmes such as self-help groups, kindergarten schools, village libraries, street theatre performances and health and education initiatives. All are welcome at Maher—regardless of religion, gender, caste, colour, creed, or social status.
 
Sister Lucy says, “Maher believes in giving equal opportunity for all and, with this purpose, Maher sends children to private English-medium schools. We cannot afford to send all 860 children to English-medium schools, so the ones who show some promise and interest in studies are sent to English-medium schools. The remaining children go to Hindi, Marathi, or Malayalam-medium schools.”
 
Maher also conducts extensive community service programmes. These include kindergarten schools and day-care centres for small children, adult literacy programmes, implementation of community funded micro-loan programmes, and conducting seminars against superstitions, counselling, transportation of poor children to school, administering study group for children, job placement for men and women and supply of food grains to poor families.
For readers with a feel for numbers, Sister Lucy sums up, “Over the past 19 years, Maher has benefited 2,874 women and 2,915 children and 140 mentally ill/aged destitute men. These numbers continue to grow as fast as our resources allow.” Maher works in three states of India—Maharashtra, Kerala and Jharkhand—and volunteers are always welcome.
 
Maher plans to purchase 12 khattas of land (1 khatta = 720sq ft) for the construction of homes in Kolkata. It will be a children’s home for 25 girls and boys.
 
Sister Lucy says, “Every donation is welcome and urgently required. Sponsorship includes food, clothing, education and shelter.” Donations are entitled to tax exemption under Section 80G of the Income-Tax Act, 1961.
 
Finally, Maher wants to branch out to areas where it will have no day-to-day operations. “There is a great need to expand this into a vibrant training programme which would not only serve our trainees, but would also help Maher to meet some of the demand for our services in areas where we cannot commit to a full project. By training qualified professional and service staff who come to us from other areas, and mentoring them to start their own projects, Maher can steward other much-needed projects in other regions of India without having to take on the entire financial and organisational burden,” says Sister Lucy. You can do your bit to make her realise her vision and to help those less fortunate than you are.
 
MAHER
Vadhu Budruk, Koregaon Bhima,
Taluka Shirur, 
District: Pune - 412 216, 
Maharashtra
Email: [email protected] or
[email protected]
Telephone: (020) 27033421
Web: www.maherashram.org

 

User

South India Paper Mills Limited : Bottomed Out?
Well-poised for economic revival
 
South India Paper Mills Limited (SIPML) is a...
Premium Content
Monthly Digital Access

Subscribe

Already A Subscriber?
Login
Yearly Digital+Print Access

Subscribe

Moneylife Magazine Subscriber or MSSN member?
Login

Yearly Subscriber Login

Enter the mail id that you want to use & click on Go. We will send you a link to your email for verficiation
Former Speaker P. A. Sangma passes away
New Delhi : Former Lok Sabha speaker P. A. Sangma died of a heart attack on Friday morning. He was 68 years old.
 
Sangma served the sixteenth Lok Sabha as its speaker from 1996 to 1998. He also remained the chief minister of Meghalaya from 1988 to 1990. 
 
Meanwhile, current Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan read an obituary for the departed leader and the house observed a two minute silence before it was adjourned for the day. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

User

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)