SHORT STAY HOME
Home for 30 destitute and helpless women who have been harassed and ill-treated by men and relatives. The home provides food, shelter and protection to the inmates for a specified period. Counselling helps them work out their life the way they want. Skill development programs like tailoring, beauty parlor, computer training will be given. They will be taken care of physically, emotionally, psychologically, legally and economically till they are capable of handling life in a dignified, decent and fearless way.
Running home for adolescent orphan girls. We will provide free shelter, food and education. After education, we also get them married so that they can get a good home.
SENIOR CITIZEN HOME
We are running homes for senior citizens for those who are homeless and childless and neglected by relatives and other. We give food, shelter, medical support and moral support to them.
We also organize the following for the welfare of the society:
1. Health camps, family counselling, legal awareness camps
2. Distribution of books for poor girls
3. Women empowerment activities
4. Eradication of child marriages
Smt. Sujata started this shelter about 15 years ago. More than 200 girls and young women have been helped by this shelter, in all its incarnations. She cares about each and every person that walks through that door - and helps them get life skills (sewing, computer word-processing, beautician), become self-sufficient and get a chance at a decent life. She works diligently to find the families of these girls and negotiate their acceptance back into a normal life. These girls and young women come from all socio-economic strata, all religions and castes.
In some instances, the families cannot be found or simply refuse to take these women back into their fold. Sujata personally paid for and celebrated the traditional Indian weddings (read: Bollywood-style) of 14 of these young women as if they were her own daughters. These married and settled women often come back for the delivery of their children or to celebrate festivals, since the shelter becomes their "puttinillu or maika” (a substitute for their parents’ home, thus their homebase). In this fashion, Sujata has become a “grandmother” many times over long before her own two sons have ever become parents. Before the wedding, Sujata personally screens the prospective bridegrooms - and they better meet her high standards :) Currently, she is negotiating the wedding of a physically (mobility) challenged yet energetic Sitamma* - and Sujata is insistent that the groom’s family register part of a house in the young woman’s name before the wedding, so as to ensure the bride’s security.
All of this happens in the background of a lower middle class family. Sujata’s husband is employed as a conductor of the local bus system, a job that is notoriously low-pay, requires long-hours and lots of time away from family. Sujata’s two sons have achieved high academic honors.
As is often the case, the funds that are promised by the government for taking care of certain categories of at-risk youth rarely materialize. On our previous visit, Sujata was preoccupied with getting some of these funds released before a then-predicted change of government administration teams. Some civic minded community members donate bags of rice etc on the occasion of their birthdays. Some donate money direct to the shelter, which is a 80 (G) nonprofit (in the US, that would be the equivalent of a 501c3 nonprofit). But the shelter is not (yet) allowed to accept funds from overseas, which is where the Timeless Changes Foundation comes in.
Whether the government, community or donors give a penny or not, the thirty or so young women that reside here on any given day must each be fed thrice a day. The two or three staff members must be paid each month. The teacher that comes in to teach the girls how to sew, the beautician that comes in to teach the girls how to give facials or manicures - must each be paid. The rent, utilities, water delivery, doctor’s bills - these must all be paid. When the money does not come in, Sujata dips into her family’s savings - and from her husband’s paycheck - to pay the bills. Once when we met her, she was on the verge of pawning her mangala-sutram (the equivalent of her gold wedding band) to pay the bills. Luckily, it did not come to that. For this selfless service, Sujata receives the love of these girls and young women who have found a home and a person that gives them the tough love that they need. They call her Amma (mother). We think she deserves that title and all that love!