Sharanya… Functioning among the poor

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An NGO Silently Functioning Among the Poor: A Case from Hyderabad, Sharanya Development Foundation

(Shankar Chatterjee)

Millions of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are in action in the present day across the world. They tend to focus on political, economic, or social causes, and while an NGO can get funding from government agencies and/or businesses, but they are supposed to be free from government influence. Anyway, some of the activities they take care of inter alia are, medical care, addressing hunger, helping during natural disasters, arranging education for the poor children, etc. In this article, a case of an NGO from Hyderabad namely, Sharanya Development Foundation, is presented which has been doing good work among the poor echelons of the society. The Organization has been set up by four members – three females and one male. The website is under the banner of “donate for needy”. Sharanya Development Foundation from time to time has been distributing food, clothes, etc among needy people. The objectives, inter alia, are to support the needy people who are unable to afford and get the minimum requirements of life e.g., arrangement of food articles, items related to shelter, medical issues, and educational materials.   In the context of food, the activities are serving food at slums, old age homes, homes for mentally challenged people, roadside destitute, girls’ homes, orphanages, etc. Regarding education, basic stationaries such as notebooks, pencils, erasers, pens, colour boxes, school bags, etc., are given to children.

Medical Support: As medical support, the elderly people living in slum areas and old age homes have been provided with walkers, walking sticks, wheelchairs, bed pans, adult diapers, spectacle frames, clothes, food, medicines, etc. In this section, few cases and activities are presented for the benefit of readers so that readers can get an idea about T the activities of the NGO

 Case 1 (eye-sight issue): Eyes are great assets of all human beings also sensitive. Without eyesight, one cannot enjoy the beautiful creation of nature. When there are issues in the eyes consulting an ophthalmologist is the sine qua non but because of financial issues all can afford to go to the Ophthalmologist. The Sharanya Development Foundation helped many people in this regard. The case of Karuna, a girl student, may be presented here.  Karuna,  an orphan, was in 10 class, living at Kismatpur of Hyderabad. She had a serious eye-sight problem as a result she was unable to see writing on the blackboard. With the initiative of the NGO, after consulting the medical doctor, Karuna’s problem was resolved as she was provided with medicines and spectacles, so she could be fully devoted for study.

Case-2 (School bag issue): Another case pertains to a girl student name Pavani, who was in five-standard in a  government school (weaker section). She decided to drop out because she did not have a school bag and notebook. So the NGO came forward and helped her and thus she could continue her study.  Like  Pavani, many benefitted as the  NGO donated 500 school bags and 1000 notebooks to needy children in slums and orphanages.

Case-3 (school dress/clothes): Rani, a girl student of class eight was provided with clothes as her clothes were decaying and could not be used properly. So like Rani, many were given clothes as the NGO distributed 10,000 clothes to needy students, persons in slum areas in Hyderabad, orphanage homes, old age homes, homes for the mentally challenged, roadside destitute,  etc. Like Rani, all others were happy to get clothes. 

Case 4 (Blankets given): The NGO helped the poor echelons of society mainly orphans, roadside dwellers, and others by providing blankets to get rid of cold in winter as around 500 people benefitted. A case may be presented here – Chandrashekar, (50 years old male, orphan person), after getting the blanket could sleep properly on the footpath. When the team met after some days he was quite happy and prayed for the welfare of the organization.

Case 5 (Activities on Republic Day):  On the occasion of Republic Day, 2023, the NGO donated school bags, pens, pencils, blankets, etc., to 80 kids at Sandeepani Avasam in Mahbubnagar district of Telangana. Also, on the same day, the NGO donated blankets to around 500 people.

Case 6 (School bags given to many and also menstrual pads): On 19 January 2023 altogether 19 children were given school bags in the slum located near Himayatnagar,  Moinabad area of R.R. district, Telangana. Also donated sanitary pads to 23 underprivileged females to maintain health and hygiene during the menstrual period. It is pertinent to mention that this is a serious issue among the school and college girls’ students as the author (Chatterjee)  had studied Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Maharashtra, and West Bengal where different SHGs and NGOs like GRAMALAYA (Tamil Nadu and Telangana) helped the needy women by supplying pads during menstrual periods.

Case 7 (Distribution of clothes):  The NGO under the leadership of Dr. Deepthi Vasa along with Mrs. Naveena, Mrs. Geetha, Mrs. Madhavi, Mrs. Manasa, and Mrs. Malathi collected clothes from the residents of Libdom Villa (Raj Reddy Valley), Banglaguda Jagir, Hyderabad in December 2022. It is pertinent to mention that the villa campus is spread over 17 acres of land inhabited by around 190 families hailing from different parts of the country belonging to different castes and religions, depicting a mini India and all the families spontaneously donated clothes for different age groups and genders.  Thus, around 1500 clothes of different sizes were distributed among 200 families including children on 17 December 22 at Aziznagar slum colony at Moinabad Mandal of Ranga Reddy district. For such noble activities, residents of Libdom Villa (Raj Reddy Valley) and others appreciated the NGO and volunteers. 

The NGO has been doing excellent work among the poor echelons of society. With limited manpower vis-à-vis with limited resources, the services rendered by the NGO are highly praiseworthy. The activities of the NGO inspired me so thought to pen down a few lines about their activities because readers can get an idea in this regard. By quoting Swami Vivekananda, I would like to conclude here, “There are greater works to be done than aspiring to become lawyers and picking quarrels and such things. Far greater work is this sacrifice of yourselves for the benefit of your race, for the welfare of humanity”. 

Dr Shankar Chatterjee is a former Professor & Head (CPME),NIRD & PR, Hyderabad,  India

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