“If you judge people, you have no time to love them. Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love. If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved. God doesn’t require us to succeed, he only requires that you try. It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving. At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by “I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in. I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things. A life not lived for others is not a life. Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” – Mother Teresa
Mangaluru: The Mangalore Cheshire Home is celebrating its Golden Jubilee on 27th September 2015 and takes pride in renewing its commitment to serve the disabled and include them in the mainstream society. Thanks to the dear donors and well-wishers, Mangalore Cheshire Home has reached greater heights in serving and creating opportunities for people with disabilities. This has been made possible through the solidarity of countless friends. The Mangalore Chapter of the Cheshire Homes India, started on 7 August 1965 when service minded citizens of Mangaluru inspired by the noble ideas of Lord Cheshire, set up a Home for the rehabilitation of twelve burnt out Hansen women abandoned by society and their families, due to the stigma attached to the disease. It is a matter of great pride for the Home that Lord Cheshire himself inaugurated the first wing housing 12 inmates.
Captain Leonard Cheshire-Founder of Cheshire Homes Fraternity
The Cheshire Home Fraternity was started by Group Capt. Leonard Cheshire, a war veteran who was devastated by the bombings at Hiroshima while he served in the II World War. This prompted him to open his home as a refuge to the soldiers maimed by war and the first Cheshire Home was opened in U.K. in 1948. Now Mangaluru Cheshire Home is proud to belong to a fraternity of over 250 Cheshire Homes throughout the world with 24 Homes in India alone serving the differently abled in their quest for dignity.
From its humble beginning the Mangalore Cheshire Home (MCH) has emerged as a full fledged organisation with a home specially designed to accommodate paraplegics, physically handicapped and mentally challenged women with wheel chair friendly passages and wash areas. It’s present strength is 20 residents, including women with cerebral palsy, mentally challenged, orthopaedically handicapped, persons with multiple disabilities and Leprosy Cured Patients; and 7 day care students. Though the Cheshire Home initially was a refuge to destitute differently abled women, over the years the focus gradually shifted from merely providing food shelter and clothing, to creating a holistic approach to disability or simply trying to make the disabled able. This new approach steered the local Cheshire Home to start training programmes for the residents and presently they are involved in making of greeting cards, tailoring and embroidery, flower making etc.
A recent venture was jasmine cultivation and broom making which is suitable for those unable to master any craft due to deformities. The greeting cards and other crafts are sold by the committee members at various bazaars and churches thus generating income. Encouraged by the response of the residents who take a pride in earning something and not being treated as dependent human beings, MCH launched a vocational training centre on 10th June, 2007 and also started enrolling day care students to learn job oriented courses. The Women’s Polytechnic (PWD) Bondel, collaborated with MCH to begin training programs for their students where they would pay the teacher and a stipend to the students and a diploma at the end of the course and MCH would supply the computers, sewing machines etc and the courses being conducted in the Cheshire Home premises itself.
The Home went a step further and launched the Livelihood research Centre on 26th April, 2011, with the financial aid and donation of two used computers from the National Council of Cheshire Homes. Adding one more new computer along with two used ones, the computer training program was started. So far nearly 25 students have completed the training, passed the course, and some have been employed at call centres and other firms.
Today the MCH is proud that many of its students both resident and non resident are empowered either employed or self employed and live a life of dignity. The MCH is in every sense a home for the service users who not only take part in all the activities but also contribute to the running of the Home. They also celebrate all religious festivals irrespective of caste or creed and observe national days like Independence Day and Republic Day. Excursions, picnics and visits to the circus or other places of entertainment. They also participate in solidarity programs conducted by other disabled organizations and the Women and Child Welfare Department. Physiotherapy facilities and regular medical check ups are also organised regularly for the residents.
The Mission of MCH is – To provide persons with disability, regardless of caste, creed, race or color a quality assured residential home; To empower persons with disability to become independent, confident citizens by imparting vocational training in employment oriented skills; To encourage persons with disability to be accepted in society as equals and ensure they are given proper opportunity to live a life of dignity; To create an awareness amongst public the rights of the differently abled; and To help the differently abled persons to procure disability certificates, Government pensions, railway and bus passes and other amenities provided by the Govt.
Keeping in mind the needs of the service users, the Home has all the relevant facilities like wheel chair friendly passages and toilets, convenient wash rooms, mosquito proofing, power inverters, security grills, rain water harvesting and other amenities. The Rehabilitation unit also provides physiotherapy and conducts yoga classes and exercises daily for the residents with the guidance from the Physiotherapy Department of Fr Mullers Hospital. MCH is managed by local committee of service oriented people-though the Home is a part of the Global Alliance, it is an autonomous entity with independent funding depending entirely on donations and grants for its maintenance. But the sad part is that the Home has not received any grants from the Govt. for the last 4-5 years. Also the Sisters of the daughters of Charity along with a dedicated staff ensure the smooth running of MCH.
Speaking to Team Mangalorean member about “The Miracle of the Mangalore Cheshire Home”, Wilma Aranha-the Chairperson of MCH said, “.As we near the day of the Golden Jubilee of the Mangalore Cheshire Home, our hearts are filled with Joy and satisfaction in the wonderful work we are involved with. We thank our mentors who have shown us the way to love and care for those who are waiting at the threshold to receive it. Working with the differently- Abled is an experience by itself. No recreation will bring you this happiness which we get by serving the very special people of God. We have not been receiving the stipulated Grants for the past seven years but. We are able to carry on with the support given by the generous public, for some reason come in and offer their gift to the home. We thank all those who have supported us throughout the years which has helped the Mangalore Cheshire Home to reach the 50th milestone with dignity and pride “.
According to Mathew 25:35-36, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, ….”, we should know that giving is something done voluntarily. Giving should not be done under compulsion, coercion, duress, or conviction. There are some exceptions, of course. When you do give, you are to give what you have chosen in your heart. Those who take pity on those less fortunate than us are true neighbors and care givers..
There are many reasons to give – we give in order to help fellow citizens in need, help the poor and less fortunate, people with disabilities, and even help family members in distress. All you have shall some day be given – therefore give now, that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors. No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted. We should never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up. The place to improve the world and society is first in one’s own heart, head and hands. The joy of being able to bless and give someone you love and care, and to make them smile, is priceless. The satisfaction that comes from making a difference in the lives of others cannot be overstated.
Knowing that you have helped make someone else’s life a little brighter and better is a special feeling, and one that will last with you for a long time. And in our world of plenty we can spread a smile of joy. So if you are looking for a way to enhance your act of sharing and giving experience, try giving back now. Let’s give to the less fortunate, ashrams, non-profit organizations, needy families and children, and others a feeling of hope, and make a difference in their lives. And one place you can donate some of your wealth is Mangalore Cheshire Home, where the Committee members of MCH are inviting well-wishers and friends to be partners in their endeavors to help the persons with disability to live a life of dignity.
Sponsor a MCH resident with a donation of Rs 12,000, or Co-Sponsor a resident-Rs 6000 or pay for a special meal costing Rs 1500- and all your donations to the MCH qualify foe exemption under section 80G of the Income tax Act. For more details of Mangalore Cheshire Home and how you can support the Home please call 0824-2430468 (O); 9480958541, 082436505 (Chairperson-Wilma Aranha); 9449837332, 0824-2437332 (Hon.Secretary-Hazel Colaco)