The Sankalp Foundation is a registered society (Regd. No. 215/2011) that has been operational since 2007. It aims at emancipating destitute children, give them hope and assistance to build a better future. The foundation works at different activities like imparting education, providing shelter and developing innate talents of children who are deprived of such opportunities of growth in their routine life.
It was Miss. Rosy Gundra’s initiative out of her humane concern for homeless and destitute children that led to the birth of Sankalp Foundation. She had always felt that they also deserved proper education and ideal living conditions to grow in. To her determination to do her part in eradicating miseries of children, “Sankalp” (meaning ‘determination’ in Sanskrit) was the apt name for the foundation.
The humble beginning of the foundation and its activities goes back to the times when we, at Sankalp, were taking free tuition and providing free food for impoverished children. We also started to encourage the children to involve in various activities viz. drawing, singing, games and dance, even giving them stage to compete in each of these directions. What started with 17 destitute and begging children, taken in to be rehabilitated, gradually grew into a movement that concentrated on imparting essential education to this needy lot.
The hard truth
The gory truth is that India is a country where a huge population of children under 18 years are victims of abuses like foeticide, human trafficking, begging and flesh trade. There is an increasing number of orphans too who are abandoned due to growing urbanisation, HIV/AIDS, unwanted pregnancies and other unfortunate circumstances. Many of these children are picked up and made beggars and rag pickers and are even thrown into the flesh trade that seeks to exploit these innocents.
It was hard for us to realize that many children, including orphans, were languishing with the beggarly and strangers. Those who exploited them were sending them out to beg, pick rags and do menial works. They earned using these helpless children. It was a very imminent requirement that we initiate the efforts in our own way to fulfill our responsibility as human and social beings to protect and bring up the needy children.
So we approached those with whom these children lived, to get them to school and involve them in cultural and productive activities. It was hard to convince the adults in charge of these children to send them to our school. We initially even had to compensate monetarily for their daily earnings from these kids. After months of effort, we could bring many children to our school and run it enduring much difficulties and limitations. Our activities gained attention of many well-wishers whose contributions and support enabled us to run the school and orphanage under the foundation.
Our fruitful efforts
We are glad that many of the parents and caretakers of these children changed their mind after seeing our honest efforts to emancipate the children by educating them. We could even save these children from going to beg!
We are running a school for destitutes and mentally and physically challenged children. The school was named Sharada Vidya Niketan, devoting it to our late honorable school headmistress. At present there are more than 480 kids at the school, studying from 1st to 10th classes. Of these students, many are beggary ones and the rest child labourers, street children and mentally retarded. At the school, these children are given motivation classes for nearly a year and classes in basics for another year. This school is an English medium school with state syllabus. We conduct training courses for teachers at the school to keep the teaching standards up.
We are also running an orphanage named Little Angel’s Home for children. The orphanage began with 7 children and the number of children taking shelter and receiving education rose to 30 by 2015. Initially, the orphanage was run at Miss. Rosy’s home. Her efforts at rehabilitating orphaned children gradually caught the attention of people through the media. In 2011, there were 11 children who lived in a shed built on a land donated by a philanthropist. Police, press people and railway employees began to hand over orphaned and wandering children to the orphanage to ensure their care and safety. Police of Sherilingampallly alone handed over 6 children to the home. By the year 2012, the number of children in the home grew to 17. In 2013 there were 22 children and in 2014, five more children joined the home. Now, there are 27 children, who are fed and educated by Sankalp Foundation.
Eventually, the shed was demolished and the orphanage was shifted to an RCC building with all amenities, that was built in its place, all with the contributions from philanthropic and good-hearted people. This relieved the children from difficulties from leaking roof and difficulties of poor structural conditions. The new building assures them safety and security. The new building now has a proper kitchen and dining area and separate floors for boys and girls. A proper borewell has been dug and water purification mechanism has also been installed. The funds for this building was raised by hardwork of many people and with valuable help from Mrs. Lakshmi Ravikumar and Ms. Shailaja Rao, the principal of Future Kids School.
There are 15 children within the age group of 4 to 10 years in the orphanage. Rest of the children are above 10 years. The home, where children feel belongingness, is staffed by benevolent persons. They call the caretaking couple as “mom” and “dad”. In the home, they are no orphans and the staff are not treated as employees. The orphanage functions like a family. Educated women and young students come to the home on Sundays to provide supplementary coaching for the children. Many people in and around Lingampally come to the home and celebrate special days like birthdays and marriage with the children, the little angels.
The children in the orphanage get educated at the school run by Sankalp. They are given nutritious food 3 times a day apart from snacks in the evening after school hours. The children are also visited and examined by willing doctors who are interested in social service.
Apart from this, we are running a vocational training centre for women to train them in crafts like embroidery work, painting, tailoring etc. Our social activities are with a view to deliver the needy from suffering, which are evident from initiatives viz. petitions for saving the old aged and those who are begging at the railway stations and on the roadsides. All our activities are run with the donations and sponsorships of philanthropists. We don’t take any financial support from any funding agencies. Orphaned children are mobilised for the orphanage with the support of local police and railway authorities. Whenever Police/Railway officials or even local citizens come across any orphans, they bring them to the orphanage and they are admitted as inmates.