Sai Aashraya Adarsh Gram
It was the Year 2015 (Before Sai Aashraya was started) and some of our volunteers were going by road through a busy area of Bangalore and what they saw shocked them. There were a group of leprosy patients who were sitting on the road and asking for alms. The people who passed by weren’t nice to them. They didn’t have some of their fingers and toes. There were holes in their hands and legs. The disease was eating them up. The volunteers interacted with them and soon followed an out pour from the patients. They were outcast from the society and had to move away to a village allotted to them. The entire village was outcast. They traveled to Bangalore bearing an arduous journey by road and train. They would sit on the pavements of the busy road near a railway crossing and ask for alms. They were being badly treated everywhere. But with the little money they would get they would pool all the money and pay for their children’s education. Tears rolled down the cheeks of the volunteers. There were 85 of them that night.
The volunteers then made a list of essential items that the patients would need long term. The list included special cups and vessels which the patients could use, sweaters, mufflers, sarees, dhotis, torches, buckets and mugs and other daily use items. The next week on the eve of Christmas, the volunteers met the patients, interacted with each one of them and distributed all the items which were packed in bags and gift wrapped. There were tears of joy shed by all that night and all the patients were invited to be part of the Christmas celebrations in Sai Sannidhi the home of Sai Aashraya from where all activities begin.
The next morning a fleet of cars went to pick the patients from their temporary location in Bangalore. The patients were overwhelmed by the love they were experiencing. As the convoy reached the residence, the car doors were opened by the volunteers and a rose was offered to each of these patients. The entire neighborhood was thinking that it was an actor coming in a convoy but when they saw the first patient a man dressed shabbily, puss oozing out, with fingers and toes missing and a hole in his leg, the neighbors were moved to tears.
Christmas prayers were done by the patients. The patients then sat for breakfast with the volunteers. As the patients and volunteers started having their breakfast, an aunt from among the leprosy patients started to weep inconsolably. When the volunteers gave her water, and consoled her she said with sobs “Even if you would have given us a lakh rupees, we wouldn’t have been feeling as happy as we are feeling now.” There was a silence filled with sobs every now and then. The patients after the breakfast began narrating their day to day challenges in their village and how food and nutrition was so hard and how their health was getting worse every day. As the volunteers listened to these experiences, a decision was made to adopt their village permanently and provide them Holistic Medicare, Educare, Food and Nutrition.
Why we do
Sai Aashraya’s Medicare Camps takes care of the health and overall well being of the leprosy affected people and their families. Regular dressing of the ulcers are done and a detailed examination is done to make sure that the ulcers don't spread. Medicines are provided for a month & ten days and the records of all the patients are stored in the cloud. The medicare camps are done on the 3rd Sunday of every month. Sai Aashraya provides notebooks and other stationeries along with imparting Educare.
Provisions along are distributed to all the 75 families for a month. Along with rice and daal, fresh spinach is also given to every individual. Once in 2 months clothes and other daily needs items are packed and Lovingly handed over to patients and their families.
The children are are taught valuable life lessons along with the regular academic syllabus and are also involved in planting trees and taking care of them. Games and functions are organised on a regular basis and children are elders alike take an active part in all the events.
We celebrate all festivals in the village and the people organise the festivities and put up various programmes highlighting India's rich culture and heritage. Creating awareness about how leprosy is a curable disease and ensuring a life of dignity for all these inspiring people is a major part of our Seva. By collaborating with the local administration, we have been able to ensure that the basic needs of the people in the village are well taken care of.
What we do
This humble village has today become self reliant and is a center of development serving as an inspiration for all the surrounding villages nearby. The people today are confident, bold, forthcoming, and most importantly happier than ever before. The super specialty Medicare has had an amazing effect on the village. The pain that was causing so much of distress is no longer plaguing the people.
Sai Aashraya witnesses miracles everyday during the course of Serving all with Love and one such miracle is here in the village. Leprosy ulcers are not ulcers that heal or get cured completely. But, here that's become the reality. Most of the ulcers have healed completely and the people who have were suffering from 20-25 years are living happily free of any pain today. Healthier, the patients and their families want to take up serving their village in their own way.
The children are healthier and study well. The impact is seen today with children being actively in all the village activities.
The society which outcast the patients and their families today respect and see the village as an ideal community. This has given the village and it's dwellers due respect and recognition. Most importantly, the people are happy and there is a radiant smile on every face young or old. Sai Aashraya Adarsh Gram is verily a testimony to the Power Of Love!
To learn more about the incredible story of Sai Aashraya Adarsh Gram, please do watch this video: -