We recently visited a very interesting programme supported by Concern India Foundation in Mumbai that works towards uplifting the life of underprivileged women by focussing on their health, family planning techniques and sanitation habits.
Established in 1990 with 5 Clinics, today the programme has more than 15 clinics working across various slums.
The clinics take care of basic ailments and advise patients to consult specialists for complicated diseases. There is also a fully equipped polyclinic with modern equipments to take care of medical needs of the local patients.
A volunteer is appointed from each community to conduct a door-to-door survey and create awareness about the clinics and the medical services offered at minimal costs.
The women volunteers belong to the community and are trained at the centre once a week.
Health, informal education, sanitation training and the importance of family planning are taught to them so that they can teach the same to the women from the communities and thus help create a lasting impact.
– Trupti Kudtarkar, Administration Manager, Concern India Foundation (Mumbai)
It’s been a little more than a month since I joined Concern India Foundation. Having worked with a corporate for quite some time, I always wished to be a part of an organisation that works towards empowering the needy.
The word “empowerment” has always fascinated me. Empowerment is providing direct access to resources, rights and decision making to all individuals. Being a social worker, I always wished to recognise myself as a contributor towards true empowerment.
Orientation, observation visits to projects and knowledge transfer sessions make my days vibrant at Concern India Foundation. Project visits especially are a heart warming experience. One such visit that I particularly remember was to the evening tuition centres supported by Concern India Foundation, located in the heart of the city in the slums. These centres cater to children of domestic workers and rag pickers.
I was amazed at how all the school going children from the entire colony were there. They were adjusting to the limitation of space, keeping their books and pencils on their laps. I saw the passion of a game changer in the tutors. The children shared an emotional bond with the tutor and for many she was a role model.
Before visiting these centres, I couldn’t appreciate the importance of supporting them, but I realised that the story would have been much different without the efforts of Concern India Foundation. Many of those children would have been school dropouts while others may have gotten into domestic work.
Concern India Foundation has its supporting hands wide open – from education to livelihood training, special care, help to the mentally challenged, rural women empowerment and many more. They are equipping everyone they support to earn a living, stand on their own feet and make their smiles bigger. The best aspect of support given by Concern India Foundation is that it ensures that all its beneficiaries turn self sufficient one day. Isn’t this real empowerment?
– Sreekala Keeramath, Programmes Co-ordinator, Concern India Foundation (Chennai)
When girls are willing to battle their day to day challenges, they build their family, society and the country to the fullest extent.
N.D. Malleshwari is one such girl who was enrolled to this shelter home for young girls and women supported by Concern India Foundation in Hyderabad. She came here at the age of 9 and is currently pursuing her BSc in Math, Chemistry and Computers in an English medium degree college.
Her teachers think she is a responsible girl who now helps others in their studies and lends a helping hand in the everyday affairs of the shelter home.
Malleshwari believes that girls need education to add value to their personal and professional life. It helps develop their future and makes them financially independent. She also thinks that any opportunity to be educated should not be taken for granted.
She wants to teach at the shelter home where she is currently living to help nurture the other girls living here. According to her “the future belongs to you if you get an education”.
– Programmes Team, Concern India Foundation (Hyderabad)
‘Every child can paint’ is the motto of SPLASH – a sit-and-draw competition held annually for special children studying in various NGOs across Mumbai.
Organised by Secure Giving in aid of Concern India Foundation, the competition encourages the artistic ability of every child by giving them a larger canvas and space to express it. It is a unique opportunity for the children to come together and enjoy a day out doing what they love best – painting the world in their favourite hues.
This year, around 130 children from 10 NGOs came to participate in the event that was held at the College of Social Work Nirmala Niketan. Presented by SBI Caps, the children were in the age group of 7-18 years and despite being intellectually disabled, their artistic talent and creativity left everyone amazed.
15-year-old Pallavi Tanawade is moderately mentally challenged. She expresses herself through art and chose to use an ear bud instead of a paint brush. The technique was time consuming and required a lot of patience, but the end result was stunning. Her teacher Heena Dave told us, “Art and craft relaxes Pallavi’s mind, improves her concentration and provides her with a sense of satisfaction.”
SPLASH is organised in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Pune every year.
– Communications Team, Concern India Foundation (Mumbai)
A very special community development project in the outskirts of Bengaluru works on issues related to the socio- economic development of the rural poor by focussing on empowerment programmes for women.
The objective of this programme is to provide livelihood opportunities to rural women to make them self-sufficient. The project focusses on sensitising women on legal issues, increasing their participation in the empowerment process, accessing cheaper loan facilities, reducing migration from villages in search of employment and involvement of Self Help Group members in gramsabha activities.
One woman who has changed her life around with the help of this programme is Sunanda Pulikatti. She lives with her husband and two children. Both she and her husband worked as coolies to run their family until she found out about this programme.
Sunanda successfully underwent training with other women selected from different villages on cattle management, insurance schemes, monitoring Self Help Groups and maintaining accounts. On completing the training the trainees were also given medical kits.
Today Sunanda makes daily home visits to other houses in and around her village and educates families on maintaining hygiene and preventing common diseases.
Apart from this she is also involved in documenting Self Help Group meetings, facilitating opening of bank accounts and motivating members to attend training. The project pays her a monthly income along with incentives. She is happy and grateful to the project for helping her lead a dignified life in her community.
– Programmes Team, Concern India Foundation (Bengaluru)