Experiences of working with Ekjaa – Maharshi Bhowmik, EKJAA Campus Leader IIT Kharagpur
“It was a drop that flowed into an ocean The soul merged with the almighty Limited, it assumed gigantic proportions. Endless, inspiring Your memory was my strength, Every girl child a mirror image for you The love of a mother embraced the world Truly, you liberated me.” -Dr.Sarojini Agrawal(Founder of Manisha Mandir)
While volunteering with EKJAA ,we researched on 3 NGOs namely Manisha Mandir(Lucknow),Abalashrama(Bangalore) and Grahini voluntary organisation(Chattisgarh) and finally decided on the first one since it was nearer thus easy to focus on. Ever since its foundatiion,the ashram (ManishaMandir) has been catering to the needs and requirements of destitute girls abandoned by their parents. These girls are not just provided shelter, clothing and food by Sarojini Madam but also limitless love, warmth and all that a mother can possibly give. She has ensured the girls, over all confidence and self-dependence, To make all such destitute uncared and helpless girl self – reliant by providing them shelter and imparting training in character-making.
Our aim was to do the pre-disbursal monitoring for the project; we took up with NGO on behalf of Ekjaa. We visited their centre located in Gomtinagar,Lucknow. The environment is green and clean. There are lovely trees, a garden and badminton court on the premises, where the children are free to play. There are two dormitories for the inmates. The old dormitory is mostly used only for sleeping purpose of the inmatees, but the new dormitory is more spacious, modern and built with many activity rooms. Now inmates have more bathrooms and separate rooms for different activities, like studying, dancing, learning computer or watching TV. To meet the growing needs of water supply, Manisha mandir has its own boring or
underground done, courtesy Simple Web Inc. The Simple Web Inc. sponsored the expenses around $1000 for the submersible water jet pump so that Manisha Mandir does not face water problems.
Our purpose of visiting was to have communication with end beneficiaries, the NGO team and to look the functioning of work and know about their expectation from us.When we reached Manisha mandir we were glad to find such a serene place for young girls to live.We were invited to the office room of Mrs.Sarojini Agrawal.The room was filled with tokens of appreciation she got for her selfless work including a picture of her receiving Mother India award from the honourable former president of India-Mrs.Pratibha Patel.We took a quick interview of Mrs. Agrawal regarding the vision,working,needs,problems and future plans of the NGO and heres what we found-
More than 500 children have been rehabilitated, through legal adoption, helping them secure jobs. Set up business, getting them married and by ensuring a safe return to their close relatives .
Over the last 25 years 11 of ashram girls have grown up to be responsible citizens, who are now married and living happily with their families.The girls are being educated in reputed schools like
Seth M R Jaipuria , CMS, Riverside Academy, Rani Lakshmi Bai etc. They have secured 1st division in high school & intermediate examination.
.Then we interviewed the girls who seemed to be quite excited towards it.There were 42 of them aging from 8 to 20.We were quite happy to know that the girls were being given quality education at respected schools,proper hygienic conditions to live and strong moral values to cultivate good character.Mrs. Agrawal admired Ekjaa for trying to make a good change for the society.
It was truly a heart warming experience.
Through this blog I would like to make an appeal to the people that there are so many destitute girls in our society who for want of proper protection and guidance go astray and are forced to lead a miserable life. ‘ManishaMandir’ besides providing protection to such helpless girls is also vowed to first educate them in a befitting manner and then get their marriages solemnized with suitable grooms. The success of this gigantic and noble task is not however possible without your active cooperation. A huge sum of money is required to meet expenses on providing food, clothing shelter sports and entertainment – cum – education and eventual marriages of these poor and helpless girls.Hence you are requested to liberally make your contribution for the upliftment, education and marriage/rehabilitation of these destitute helpless poor girls as well.