Ashram for children of leprosy patients, Gangapur

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Source: Seva-English      Date: 12 Jan 2013 16:30:23

$img_titleThe Indian society has yet to free itself from the malicious ideas and concepts it has ascribed to the disease of leprosy and to those suffering from this disease. Due to ignorance many people still believe that leprosy is a contagious disease. But they are wrong, for, their fear is not real. It is a fact that leprosy is caused by a certain germ and the disease is contagious and non-contagious both. But people believe that the progeny of these leprosy patients will also be the carriers of the disease, and hence they always try to keep a ‘safe distance’ from such patients and their children. This act of them actually results in ‘social boycott’ of these leprosy patients and their wards. This affects the psychology of these children who are as fit and fine as children of healthy parents.
Datta Bal Sewashram of Gangapur has extended a helping hand to such children of leprosy patients who could not make arrangements for providing them good education and guidance. The project launched in 1985 at Gangapur, a place shot to fame as a pilgrim centre for the devotees of Datta Sampraday. The project is started under the auspices of Vivekananda Kushtha Seva Samiti.
$img_titleThe children staying here are provided free boarding, lodging and education, says Vyankatesh Gurunayak, a senior trustee associated with this ashram. The beginning was made with 20 children of leprosy patients of Bijapur and Gulbarga Leprosy Colonies. In the past 25 years many such children completed their education and are working in various sectors with success. Now there is a beeline of such children who want to seek admission in the Ashram but for the want of the proper set up every year 20-30 children could not be given admission.

Vocational Training Centre
The ashram activists realized that vocational training could be best to make the children self-reliant, and they started such a centre for them. The money came from Shrimati Sarada Rao of Ban galore who donated a sum of Rs one lakh in memory of her husband M S Neelkanth Rao, who had worked with the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Leprosy Foundation which had made her familiar with the activities associated with the service of such patients. This understanding of their plight inspired her to donate such a huge amount for the ashram, said Gurunayak.
He further said that the financial requirement for this centre was around Rs 1.60 lakh. Remaining Rs 60,000 were collected from the generous donors of the region. Prayank, son of Karnataka PCC President Mallikarjun Kharge, donated two computers for the centre. The ashram plans to appoint teachers to teach mathematics and science to children staying here.

Nandgokul Shishu Gruh
Datta Bal Sewashram contemplated on starting an orphanage for children who lost their parents in natural calamities like floods, earthquake or cyclones or due to some family catastrophes. Leaving such children to fend for themselves might give a wrong direction to their future life. Therefore, to save them from such a disaster this Nandgokul Shishu Gruh was started in 1994 with the admission of two kids. Now there are 20 children who are provided free boarding, food and education. Along with formal education these students are imparted moral and cultural education too.

Contact
Shri Datta Bal Sewashram
Deval, Gangapur, 58 52 12
Thasil- Afzalpur, Dist- Gulbarga,
(Karnatak, India)
Phone +91 08470 274366 

Vivekananda Kushtha Sewa Samiti, Gulbarga
Website: http://nandagokula.in/contact.html 

Nandagokul Shishu Gruh
Udnoor Road, 58 51 05
Dist- Gulbarga
(Karnataka, India)
Phone +91 08472 253061
Email- [email protected] 

Contact Person
1. Shri Vyankatesh Gurunayak
Managing Trustee
Phone- +91 9448380363
2. Shri Sunil Kulkarni (Trustee)
Phone- +91 9480272800 

How to reach
Gulbarga the nearest town is situated at 35 km from Gangapur. The nearest airport from Gangapur is Pune which is 350 km away.
Railway: Gangapur Road station is located on Mumbai-Pune-Bangalore route. From here the original place is 25 km. Train services are available from Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune or Sholapur.
Roadways: Gangapur is approachable from major cities of Maharsahtra and Karnataka by state transport buses and private buses as well.

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