A mother means a world to many, but to the children at the Delhi-based Sai Kripa, founder Anjina Rajgopal is literally their world.
It all began in the town of Bellary in Karnataka where Anjina lived as a 10 year old. Every week, she would see groups of children beating drums and carrying notebooks, walking down the streets, knocking at every door, collecting donations for the orphanage they lived in. Coming from a happy and well-to-do family herself, Anjina would feel sorry for them. Then one day her family moved from Bellary to Sandur and she soon forgot about these children. Years later, in 1976, when Anjina was in her late 20s, her parents suddenly passed away. In order to get over this personal tragedy, she moved with her siblings to Delhi. She also started work at The Times of India as a personal assistant to the Managing Director, in order to support them. Then in 1983, she moved to Noida.
Being an ardent devotee of Sri Sai Baba, every Thursday, she used to visit the Aghapur temple. At the temple, she used to see kids begging, being shouted at and sometimes beaten by the locals. Images of her Bellary days kept coming back to her every time she encountered such a scene. It was then that she wanted to create a platform where kids could come, spend some time feeling secure and confident, eat their meals, be loved, and cared for. But there was still time before her dream could become a reality, simply because she was still supporting her siblings.
Another decade passed before her dream turned to reality. In 1988, a chance meeting with an old friend, connected her to the voluntary organization Pradan. While she went to Pradan for guidance, they offered her a three month fellowship to enable her to visit various homes across the country and do an indepth study of the way they are run. One such home where she spent 20 days is the Antar Bharati Balgram at Lonavla, near Mumbai. By this time, she also had friends willing to support her in her own endevour. With their support, she went on to set up Sai Kripa, which was officially registered in March 1989.
Sai Kripa comprises of Bal Kutir and Sai Shiksha Sansthan, which have been described in detail below. It also comprises of Sai Bal Sansar (an informal education center that diverts children’s energy from ills like begging/smoking/drugs towards preparation for formal education), Sai Vatsalya Sansthan ( a center for disabled children from underprivileged communities) and the Sai Vocational Training Center (which offers tailoring, baking, beautician etc. courses to school drop outs or those not wanting to pursue a higher education).
As the organization grew in activities and donations ( thus reducing the dependence on her salary), Anjina gave up her job at the Times of India to serve full time at Sai Kripa.
Future plans include the setting up of a home for the destitute-elderly and getting CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) affiliation for its current State-Board affiliated school.