A Foster Home for Mentally ill Women
Many years ago, Dr Rajendra  Dhamane noticed a mentally ill woman sitting amidst garbage eating her own stools. This shocked Dr Dhamane to such extent that he started feeding such women using family resources. The family used to initially feed them on the roads and leave them there. This went on for two years. Later, the Dhamane family realised that it would be better to start a charitable home their for them which would serve as their shelter and help in upkeep. Treatment would be possible and it would also put an end to the sexual abuse of such women.
 
Dr Dhamane’s father, a retired teacher, Bajirao Dhamane Guruji, offered his 6,000-square feet plot of land for the work. The family started construction. Eminent philanthropist and structural engineer late YS Sane, from Pune, donated Rs6 lakh for the construction. The home for the mentally handicapped came up in Ahmednagar in 1998. The leadership was with Dr Rajendra Dhamane and Dr Sucheta Dhamane, the husband and wife team.
 
The home came to be known as Mauli Seva Pratishthan (MSP) popularly known as ‘mauli’. It has been providing love, affection and care for the destitute, homeless and mentally affected women and children. (mauli means mother in the local language, Marathi).  
 
Mauli is a full-time commitment for Dr Dhamane and his family. He says,“We provide lifelong care for them and their children, many of whom are born at the shelter. The work in Mauli is 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. The day starts at 6am and ends by 11pm. As these women are in a bad state physically and mentally, they need to be attended to personally; the attendant has to bathe them, clean them, address their toilet needs. Post-bath, feeding them breakfast and looking after their medical needs is important. Special attention is given to psychologically distressed women and those affected by AIDS and those having children.” The enormity of the work is evident from this matter-of-fact narration; it also highlights the sexual exploitation of such women. 
 
Mauli Seva Pratishthan is accredited by the Mental Health Authority of Maharashtra, as a registered/licensed institute working in the field of psychiatry and also has an ISO 9001-2008 certificate. Currently, the Pratishthan is looking after 100 women and 16 children. Dr Dhamane says about the children,“We hope to raise them to become honest and respectable citizens of society.” 
 
“Until now, Mauli is entirely funded by public donations with no support from the government. All the work carried out here is with the help of recovered inmates. Paid staff is not available. We are working in multiple roles—as a doctor as well as a cook, ambulance driver, attendant, nurse, lab technician and as cleaning staff also,” says Dr Dhamane. 
 
Dr Dhamane produced and directed a short film called ‘Janaa’ based on the story of one of the inmates. The film was selected and screened at various film festivals in France and India. This helps to educate people about mental illness and how to be helpful to them. Dr Dhamane adds, “People are becoming more sympathetic towards these unfortunate women.”
 
In June 2016, Dr Rajendra Dhamane received the prestigious International Humanitarian Award 2016 from Rotary International at Hong Kong. The Award, worth US$1,00,000 is dedicated to the cause and for the new construction project of ‘Mangav’. These are the future expansion plans.
 
We, as citizens, as well as the government, have a duty to ensure that Mauli Seva Prathishtan and organisations like it have the resources and support, to care for the mentally ill. After all, it is our social responsibility. For those who wish to help, donations to the Pratishthan enjoy tax benefits under Section 80-G of the Income-Tax Act. 
 
Mauli Seva Pratishthan
YS Sane Indradhanu Project
Village Shingve Naik
On Ahmednagar-Shirdi Highway
District: Ahmednagar
Ahmednagar - 414111, Maharashtra
Mobile: +91-9860847954

 

Like this story? Get our top stories by email.

User

COMMENTS

Dharmalingam Selvi

9 months ago

How&how much the parent pay charges for 10 years old mentally disordered child per year

Mahesh S Bhatt

2 years ago

Sad to see Women who creates us we donot have adequate rehablitation centers for slow long term healing for mental illness in Mumbai I had awful experience of failing to support a 35 year old mentally challenged woman when local court of Bandra failed to allow me to take her to Thane Mental Hospital for certified Mentally ill patient by Thane Mental Hospital stating this is State Police job & NGO's job Police failed to support later I paid nominal amount for 3 months rehab support but later Thane Mental Hospital refused to support as there were many patients Went to Vandrewale fondation/rehabilitation center in Bhiwandi all told females patients bring additional sexual risk challenges finally sadly I left her on streets again family disowned her due to economic reasons Jai Mauli Mahesh

REPLY

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

In Reply to Mahesh S Bhatt 2 years ago

So sad to read your social work to a mentally challenged lady.
Government rules are so harsh, that it is just impossible to admit a mentally ill patient Govt mental Hospital, Thane.
My neighbour's wife became mentally ill. Doctor's treating her at psychiatric OPD at Sion BMC Hospital, told that she is fit to admit to Thane mental Hospital, but Thane Mental Hospital will not admit her on the basis of recommendation of Sion Hospital's Psychiatric doctor's recommendation. She has to to be taken to the nearest police station, then police has to take her to magistrate, and if magistrate finds she is fit enough to admit to mental hospital, then he will give order to admit her to mental hospital.
'If such is the plight of a lady mental patient, whose husband was ready to bear her hospitalisation cost, but he ( and even doctors) wanted her to be admissted to the hospital, as under the fit of her madness, she will use any instrument to kill family members and neighbours.
What a pitiable conditions for psychiatric patients to admit them to mental hospitals in our country.

Mahesh Krishnamurthy

2 years ago

God Bless Dhamane family

captainjohann

2 years ago

God bless Mauli

Healthy Environment for Underprivileged Children
Born in Sangli district to a Maharashtrian family, Dr Suhrid Tembe moved to Jamnagar (Gujarat). Dr Tembe did his schooling at St Xaviers and completed his medical studies in MP Shah Medical College (Jamnagar). He worked as assistant professor of general surgery at Irwin Hospital (Jamnagar). A superb surgeon, the soft-spoken Suhrid Tambe devoted his life to helping poor and suffering patients, often working without food, rest or concern for his own health. When he died in 1993 at the young age of 32, his friends and family, decided to set up Suhrid Foundation in his name, to carry forward the work that he was passionate about. 
 
The Foundation started with intention of providing support to underprivileged children in the field of healthcare. Healthcare support is the first interaction of Suhrid Foundation in any area that it works. It starts with a medical survey of the region, mainly through a medical camp; follow-up camps are organised for subsequent procedures such as investigative tests or operations that may be required for some patients. Local leaders (such as the sarpanch or the police patil) and school teachers from the region play a key role in organising such camps by way of logistics support and coordination. Over time, it hopes to have its own primary healthcare centre that can provide sustainable support the community. Apart from medical camps, Suhrid Foundation aims to provide advance medical support, cancer support, nutritional support, Suvarna Prashan (an Ayurvedic form of immunisation for children under the age of 6 years).
 
The Mumbai chapter of the Foundation was launched in August 2012 at Vikramgad, a tribal area around 120km from Mumbai. Several medical camps were organised to understand the background, culture, health-related challenges, food habits and availability of healthcare.
The Foundation has covered schools around Vikramgad area making them an attractive place for kids by providing holistic support (beyond health) such as education, sports, infrastructure, personal grooming, hygiene, etc. The approach is to make each school self-sufficient for the basic needs and then involve parents, once it gets positive results, for subsequent improvements in health and hygiene.
 
Suhrid’s work is not restricted to children. The Foundation has conducted eight full-scale medical camps since October 2012; its actual work includes general health and eye check-up camps and special camps for kids with the support of schools. It has distributed more than 200 spectacles, conducted cataract operations, administered tetanus injections where required got over 800 blood investigations for children in the past three years.
 
Another concern for Suhrid is undernourishment among school children. Although students get mid-day meals comprising rice, dal and matki from the government, the meal does not meet the vitamin, protein and mineral needs of students. Hence, Suhrid launched the SUN project, in March 2013, which provides a dietician-defined menu to several schools. In the first phase, it added locally available vegetables, jaggery, etc. There were immediate results in terms of better attendance and more consumption. Teachers track the impact on children through daily and monthly reports that include checking on height and weight, daily menu and the cost incurred.
 
Suhrid has also been working on infrastructure support for schools. Important infrastructure-related challenges include availability of gates, compound wall, minor repairs of the walls, bore-wells, motors, etc. Good infrastructure motivates parents to send their children to school. Schools are graded, based on the infrastructure. If the schools score well, they may get permission to start higher classes helping reduce school dropouts. 
 
In 2016, Suhrid Foundation expanded its community support by starting a drinking water project, increasing employability of youth and women to increase household income and building check-dams on rivers or seasonal streams to recharge groundwater. 
 
Suhrid Foundation is registered under Section 12AA of Income Tax Act, 1961. You can get involved in its work or make a donation which is eligible for tax exemption under Section 80G of I-T Act.
 
Suhrid Foundation
D/704, Panchsheel Heights, 
Mahavir Nagar, Kandivili (W), 
Mumbai 400067
Mobile: 9821239737
Email: 

 

Like this story? Get our top stories by email.

User

A Passion for Education and Igniting Minds
In the summer of 1967, Shiva Balak Misra, a graduate student at Newfoundland’s Memorial University discovered some rare fossils at a place called Mistaken Point near Cape Rock. He prepared a geological map of the region to classify the fossil assemblage which formed a part of his Masters’ thesis. The discovery was reported in Nature in 1968 and in another paper that Mr Misra published in 1969. The 565-million-years-old fossil, Fractofusus misrai, was named after him, in 2007. 
 
This article is not about the rare and spectacular fossil, but about the amazing human being behind it. Dr Misra, a well-known scientist and geologist, started life in a poor family at a village near Lucknow. He walked 12km to reach the only school in the area, determined to succeed. It was important for him to do well in school to get a scholarship and not have to pay fees. He was a topper throughout and completed his Masters’ degree staying at an ashram and teaching other children to earn money. A scholarship to study at the Memorial University in Canada was a turning point. It was there, as a geologist, that he made his famous fossil discovery and earned well-deserved recognition in his field. 
 
But, three years later, when India was reeling from a severe drought in 1966-67, he chose to return home. Having seen great hardship as a child, it was always his dream to start a school in his village near Kunaura. In 1971, soon after his marriage to Nirmala, the couple started Bharatiya Gramin Vidyalaya (BGV) with his savings. It was an area untouched for decades by education, development and prosperity and had no electricity or proper roads. 
 
Prof Misra’s dream was to ensure that more professionals and scientists emerge from this school. When his savings, which were fully invested in the school, ran out, he went back to teaching at Lucknow while Nirmala Misra (who had never lived in a village before marriage) continued to run the school. But help did come from various quarters and, over the years, BGV has transformed thousands of lives not only through education but also through socio-economic welfare programmes like training courses for unemployed youth, courses for young widows, entrepreneurship programme for women, forestation drives, tailoring courses, etc. 
 
There is a lot that still needs to be done and resources are needed, to make it happen. Mr Mishra’s son, Shailesh, a software engineer, tells us, “While the organisation has brought about enormous change to the lives of people in the area, the task is half done. Even today, many children have to walk over 5km to school. They either drop out or show poor attendance. Physically challenged children cannot study.” 
 
He goes on to say, “We see BGV becoming a powerhouse of energy, creating more people who can be successful in what they do in the village or in cities. When we brought in computers to the school two years back, children adapted and, now, we have had two batches of children who have graduated, everyone getting distinction in Class XII and confidently writing computer programs. Some people doubted that they will be able to do it and they were proven wrong. Today, after Class XII, girls have a challenge since they don’t have a college nearby and parents are not comfortable sending them over 12km away. We also want to focus on education for the physically challenged children who cannot come to school. We want to provide free transport facility to such children. The school would like to run voluntary courses which can enable children to become self-sufficient. The school would like to run free training for focused professions including civil services and medicine. The school would also like to develop the villages nearby to become Internet-enabled, and to adopt the latest farming and horticulture techniques. We would also like to work on forming farmers’ groups.” Prof Misra, who is 78, and his wife continue to serve the school even today.
 
Readers can contribute to BGV. It is registered under the Societies Registration Act 1960 and is a not-for-profit organisation; donations are eligible for tax exemptions under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act. 
 
Bharatiya Gramin Vidyalaya
Village Kunaura, Post Mahona, 
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
Mobile: 9810292288

 

Like this story? Get our top stories by email.

User

COMMENTS

Rajendra Ganatra

2 years ago

Thanks for the superb article. I am going to Lucknow next month and would visit BGV to learn and adopt.

REPLY

Shailesh Misra

In Reply to Rajendra Ganatra 2 years ago

Dear Rajendra, I will be happy to connect you with the organization when you visit.

Yograj Patel

In Reply to Shailesh Misra 2 years ago

Dear Shailesh, I am co-founder Gyankriti School, Indore. We have done lot of research work in teaching pre-school children and lot of it has been uploaded in a free and open source online course. You can refer to 100s of activities for kindergarten students through this link gyankriti.com/moodle
- Click on 'Education Reserach & Training 2016-17' course link
- On the login page click on 'login as a guest' and enter the guest password
If you need any assistance you can reach me on [email protected]

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

online financial advisory
Pathbreakers
Pathbreakers 1 & Pathbreakers 2 contain deep insights, unknown facts and captivating events in the life of 51 top achievers, in their own words.
online financia advisory
The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Online Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
financial magazines online
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
financial magazines in india
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Online Magazine)