We are honoured to have partner NGOs in India that do incredible work to change the lives of the less fortunate every single day. Each of them has a story that inspires us to keep doing what we do to raise funds for NGOs across the country.
This year, the recognition our NGOs received have come from the likes of Amitabh Bachchan. Many of them have graced the hot seat at India’s beloved show, Kaun Banega Crorepati. On the show, they’ve had a chance to share their powerful stories.
To celebrate the work they do, we are highlighting the founding stories of our partners Apna Ghar Ashram, Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, and Cuddles Foundation.
Dr. Brij Mohan Bharadwaj grew up in a small village in Uttar Pradesh. As a child, he saw the 85-year-old cowherd in his village lose his life to illness. He passed away because there was no one to look after him when he fell sick. Seeing this changed Dr. Bharadwaj’s life forever.
He grew up to become a homeopathic doctor. In 2000, he along with his wife, Dr. Madhuri Bharadwaj, set up Apna Ghar Ashram in Bhajhera village in Rajasthan.
They established Apna Ghar to give shelter, hope, and happiness to the homeless, oppressed, ill across India. Their vision is to not let anyone perish due to lack of help and support.
Today, they have 21 ashrams across the country and serve over 4000 people. They serve those who are homeless, as well as those who suffer from illnesses such as cancer and AIDS.
Dr. Bharadwaj’s consistent effort and desire to help poor people have saved thousands of lives across the country. The NGO has provided them with food, shelter, and medical care. They are able to rehabilitate over 50% of their residents and restore into mainstream society.
In 2016, the State Government awarded Apna Ghar Asharam as the Best Services Organisation for the commendable work that they do.
Apna Ghar Ashram identifies helpless people found on railway platforms, bus stands, and on the roadside who are neglected by their families and due to various illnesses. They are brought back to the ashram and treated with the help of partner hospitals. You can support them by pledging a small amount to look after an abandoned destitute in Rajasthan.
Professor Achyuta Samanta’s journey began in a remote village in Orissa. He was just four when his father passed away and left his mother to raise seven children with no money.
The harsh circumstances he grew up in pushed him to work hard. He took private tuitions and mentored other students to afford his education. He graduated from school, got a degree, and even a postgraduate degree in Chemistry. These tuitions opened him up to the world of teaching and the difference that education can make to children.
Years later, he went on to establish Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) with just Rs. 5000. KISS is an NGO for children from tribal Orissa that he wanted to turn into a model educational NGO in India. Today, they educate over 27,000 kids from the poorest parts of Orissa right from kindergarten to post-graduation.
KISS is now not only one of the top NGOs in India but the largest free, exclusively tribal institute in the world. Not only do they raise some of the brightest minds in the country, but they also nurture their children in athletics and sports. Many of their students have gone on to set up their own successful enterprises and even take part in the Olympics.
Samanta believes in transforming their lives on every level. His life’s dream is that no future generation has to ever live in the kind of poverty that he did. You can support Samanta’s dream by making a donation to provide meals to a tribal child at KISS.
Purnota Dutta had a lucrative career in the corporate world when a visit to the TATA Memorial Hospital in Mumbai changed her life. She came across a girl, about the same age as her daughter, who was battling cancer. The incident shook her and she knew right then that she had to get involved and somehow make a difference.
Upon research, she found that 90% of children who go to government hospitals for cancer treatment are from poor families. She also got to know that 80% of them are malnourished at diagnosis. She learnt that without nutrition, a child’s body reacts to chemotherapy like it is being poisoned. About 4,000 children in India abandon treatment due to this every year.
A year later, she founded the Cuddles Foundation to work on the nutrition of poor kids who battle cancer. Cuddles provides nutritional supplements, hot meals, diet plans, counselling, and feeder tubes to underprivileged children fighting cancer. This ensures that the kids have the strength to endure treatment.
When thinking of cancer, most people don’t think of nutrition. But Purnota’s efforts towards spreading awareness has changed the way thousands approach cancer treatment in India. The dropout rate has come down by 86% in TATA Memorial Hospital since Cuddles came on board and made nutrition a part of their treatment plan.
Cuddles has worked with 35,000+ children in 28 hospitals across 19 cities in India and continues to reach more every day. They even received the President’s Award for National Child Welfare for 2015-16.
While undergoing treatment, it is necessary that the children have freshly prepared nutritious food in sufficient quantity and don’t stay hungry for a long period of time. Cuddles tackles this by providing hot meals at hospitals to the affected children. You can support their efforts by making a donation to save the life of a poor child battling with cancer.