Bringing Kiran (Light) to the lives of the disabled
The holy city, Varanasi, attracts people from across the world – some come to scatter ashes of their departed family members into the holy Ganga, others to cleanse their souls by taking a dip in the holy waters themselves, yet others come to pay their respects to Lord Shiva at the famous Kashi Vishwanath Mandir. Amongst all these people, is a particular set of parents who come to the city for an entirely different reason. Parents of children from Uttar Pradesh itself, as well as neighbouring Bihar and Rajasthan who all have one thing in common – they have a disabled child (/children). These parents make their way here to enrol their children into Kiran Society, a 20+ year old nonprofit organisation that caters to the needs of special children.
India’s poverty hits many people, especially those who come to the country for the first time. It was no different for Ms. Sangeetha J.K., when she came to India (to Bangalore) as a nun with the Little Sister of Jesus.
This was back in 1972. She had come to the garden city of Bangalore from her home in Switzerland. A professional nurse, who had served many years with leprosy patients, she had come to the country to offer her services here. A few years later, while walking through the narrow labyrinths of Varanasi, where she was transferred, she was moved by what she saw. Many differently-abled people, uncared for, ridiculed and abandoned sat on the ghats (steps) of the holy river Ganga. She saw how they were living a life devoid of dignity and respect; and realised that they would only cared for in an institutional setup. However, the rules of her religious order didn’t allow her to run an institution.
If you’re willing to spend a few months at Kiran Society, volunteering your services ( working with special children or administrative help), please get in touch with Kiran Society.
Best NGO for the year 2008 by the National Trust for the welfare of persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation & Multiple Disabilities, (Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, New Delhi)
The Swiss Brandenberger Award in 2007. This is given by the descendants of the Swiss industry-pioneer J.E. Brandenberger once a year to a person, who deserves this honor because of having engaged her or himself completely for the welfare of humanity