Mangaluru: Seon Ashram Trust- a Home Away from Home for People with Disability

” To create a supportive environment for a holistic development; To raise the quality of their (Ashram residents) life; To enable them to become self-reliant; and To integrate them with the mainstream society”- Vision of Seon Ashram Trust (R)

“To identify, enroll and rehabilitate mentally challenged individuals who are destitute; To provide shelter for people suffering from depression or who are oppressed or those who are abandoned; To provide minimum with basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter and medical care to the inmates; To provide vocational training to the inmates; To provide education to the orphan children; To spread community awareness and participation towards the care of the disabled community; To collaborate with other like-minded institutions, NGOs and individuals to attain Ashram’s common goal”- Objectives of Seon Ashram Trust (R)

Mangaluru: I have visited many ashrams/orphanages in the past, but my visit lately to Seon Ashram Trust, located at Gandibagilu in Belthangady Taluq. where the care and love that the founder of the Ashram, UC Paulose, his wife Mary, and his family members show towards the 386 residents ranging from the age group of 1 month old infant to 100-year-old adult is unbelievable and has touched me a lot- the Paulose family nurture and care for these folks just like their family members, irrespective of caste or creed. These residents are with various disabilities like mentally ill, senior citizens who are destitute, widows; children who are orphans; people with physical disability and victims of sexual abuses.

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As Jesus had said according to Mathew 25:30 in the Bible, “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brethren, that you do, unto me”- with reverence to these words of our Lord, lay person UC Paulose supported by the dedicated family, generous donors and well-wishers, founded this home and ever since its inception has taken good care of the residents just like his own family members. This is a live story of a miracle village, Gandibagilu in DK district, at least for 386 destitute and sick people, whose lives were originally shattered for one reason or the other and were confined to the street corners and railway stations, who had to resort to food from the garbage bins. These people, unwanted by the society, have been and are being, picked up with love and care by an uneducated couple without any of their own income source with only one ambition in life – service to mankind.

When asked Paulose what made him to start this Ashram, he replied, “Seon Ashram was started quite accidentally. Once I saw a mentally ill person eating discarded food from the roadside garbage bin. I felt ashamed for the fate of this human being having to act like a stray animal. When I returned home, I discussed the matter with my wife and we both decided that will will ultimately run an orphanage for such people. We had no idea of the magnitude of this decision as we had no real source of income of our own to do this. All that we had was love and compassion for human beings turned away by the society and belief in God”

He further said, “The institution started in our own small house with a girl who could not walk. Later I went around town picking up people from streets and looking after them. Then as the news spread, more people were brought in by those who were aware of the work done in this institution. All along, by the grace of God, support has been forthcoming from many benefactors, and sixteen years later this Ashram is quite active and alive. Me, my wife, my children and other family members feel proud as to what we are doing for the less privileged, destitute and the disabled”.

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When I saw some of the orphan kids, I asked to myself, “Are they different from other/your kids? Seon Ashram has reformed these orphans into confident school going children. They study in Ashram’s English medium school named Little Flower English Medium School” as the Trustee seeks to ensure that they don’t lose out in job opportunities competing with the affluent children from the society, though the local medium schooling would be a cheaper option. Their future lies in the safe hands of the donors and benefactors like you. Please treat them as yours.

All facilities provided the inmates are obviously free, as all of the beneficiaries are originally orphans and destitute. The Trust completely depends on the caring and sharing individuals and institutions that have supported the organization in the last 16 years and nurtured the humanitarian attributes of the Trustees and the Trust’s staff. There are nearly 30 orphaned children who receive English medium education at the cost of the Ashram. Some charitable and community institutions outside India have also supported the children’s costs. Though the Trust is recognized and approved by the Government, the latter’s financial support is meager and grossly inadequate for the growing costs.

Among the projects at the Trust are the 80-bed Psychiatric Hospital, and also the ashram runs a school “Little Flower English Medium School” at Ranganpalke in Karkala Tq, and also Seon Ashram Hostel at Ranganpalke, for school going children. Among the 386 inmates the Ashram takes care are- Mentally ill-173, Mentally Challenged (Retarded by birth)-77, Aged (Seniors)-62, Child Care (Babies)-19, School going children-30, and Physically handicapped-25. The Ashram has no permanent financial source to feed the ever-increasing number of inmates and depends heavily on the generous donors and benefactors like you. Through increased awareness, some funds are now provided by some NGOs and individual donors.

The efforts made by the Ashram have also drawn the attention of countless people who visit this place, observe the love and care given to the inmates and extend their appreciation for this charitable work. The Government officials and the Non Governmental Organizations have visited the Ashram, appreciated the good work done by this institution and have bestowed several awards to the Ashram and its founder. Every year, Seon Ashram is becoming popular for its self-less service and is drawing the attention of people from far and near. The efforts have also received widespread media attention.

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The Ashram with a area of nearly 10 acres is situated in the picturesque verdant surroundings in the foothills of Charmady Ghat (Hill), in the Dakshina Kannada District (Mangalore) of Karnataka. The Seon Ashram located in Gandibaagilu, is about 7 Kms from Kakkinje (a village) located on the state highway connecting Mangaluru with Chikmagalur (the coffee growing region of Karnataka), and is 22 Kms from Belthangady town (the Taluk Headquarters). The nearest city is Mangaluru about 87 Kms distance. The Ashram has also done some cultivation of vegetables/coconut trees etc, and has a dairy with nearly 30 cows providing milk for the Ashram daily use.

The inmates hail from the places far and near covering all the districts of Karnataka State and as well as other states like Bihar, Orrissa, Rajastan, Gujarat, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Andra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamilnadu and Haryana. The target group is not restricted to one section of the people or those of particular problem. The Institution welcomes mainly the mentally ill, mentally challenged (retarded) and physically disabled along with the old aged, widows, paralysed, and orphan children. The major objective of the institution is to look at the problems faced by people discarded by the society and the concern for the sick and the suffering.

The Founder UC Paulose and the Trust have received many honors : 12th Zilla Kannada Sahithya Parishat Mangalore has honored him on 18.3.2001; Lions Club Bantakal has honored him by giving “Phalapushpa” and a Cash award; On 15.8.2003, 57th Independence Day, His Excellency the Governor of Karnataka has given U.C.Paulose a “Prashamsa Patra” and Cash award of Rs.10,000; On 28.10.2003 Rotary Club Mangalore South honored him by giving a Memento; On World Disabled Day 3.12.2003 – His Excellency the Chief Minister of Karnataka honored him with a Shield and a Cash award of Rs.25,000/-; On 1.10.2004, (Old Age Day) Hon. D. C. Aravind Srivastav and Deputy Director, Women and Welfare Department Mangalore, Ms Gertrude Veigas has honored him for his social work.

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On Jan.25th 2005 on the eve of Republic Day NRI Welfare Society of India has honored him by giving Hind Rattan Award by Mr K.C.Panth at New Delhi; On 11.11.2005 , www.daaiz.com a website run from Kuwait, has brought out a special issue of ‘Divo’ Konkani periodical (from Mangalore) for the benefit of Seon Ashram and presented the Ashram with a cash award of Rs.2,50,000 and a trophy; On 29.1.2006, Kerala State Second Kannada Sammelana Award was given to him for his Social Work; A detailed report has appeared on www.mangalorean.com under the title “Mission Impossible” on 27 August 2006;

Kannada Sahitya Parishath Award-2015; Sandesha Special Recognition Award-2013; Mother Teresa Excellence Award-2012; All India Achievers Foundation Award-Delhi-2012; Hind Rattan Award by NRI Welfare Society of India-2005. Apart from recognitions and awards, Br Paulose’s efforts have been featured on regional TV channels such as Kairali TV, Chandana TV, Namma Naadu and several newspapers and magazines published in Karnataka.

The Trust seeks support of all humanitarian and benevolent people and charitable institutions to run this effort to assist the affected and deprived people and to provide them with basic amenities. Large funds are required to provide good living conditions to the inmates and the Trust is struggling to cope with the mounting requirements. Donors may support by way of meeting a child’s education and maintenance cost or the costs related to a mentally retarded adult or towards other daily expenses. Donors may also provide support in kind for the inmates – clothes, toys, equipment, medical supplies etc. The Trust has also plans to facilitate accommodation to 500 Psychiatric patients; To assist and support rehabilitated residents to settle down in life with essential facilities; and To implement child care centre.

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U C Paulose has a prayerful appeal to mangalorean.com readers, saying, ” With struggles and trials, with the bountifulness of God, through our donors and sponsors, we have been marching ahead to reach out our set goal. Any mission, any vision needs willing hands and generous heart. Every bit of your outstretched charity will be of great value in serving the inmates. We invite your gracious visit to our Ashram and for generous contribution in cash or kind, more or little. Your contribution can also be like : Expenses of one inmate per month at Rs 3450/; sharing a meal with our inmates and make your special day memorable; One child’s Education and Nutrition at Rs 2500 per month; or Contribution can be in the form of groceries and daily basic items. Your donation to our Trust is exempted under 80G of Income tax Act. We along with our inmates, assure our prayers. we have special prayers for your intentions. Thank You”.

More importantly, all benefactors are urged to pay a visit to the Ashram or contact Paulose or other staff for more details. Following details are for funds transfer or any other contribution to the Ashram :

Seon Ashram Trust
Gandibagilu Post – 574 228
Belthangady, Dakshina Kannada, Karnataka State

Email Id: seonashramtrust@gmail.com Website: www.seonashram.in , Facebook: www.facebook.com/seonashram

Telephone (2): +91 82 56 – 20 81 22(BSNL)
Mobile (1): +91 8197780884 (Airtel)

Mobile (2) +91 9740181028 ( Airtel ) Office

DD (Demand Drafts)/ Cheques in favour of “Seon Ashram Trust” by post is possible using above postal address.

OR

Our Bank Account Details

1. Domestic (India)

Seon Ashram Trust(R)
Syndicate Bank, Branch Kakkinje
Belthangady T.Q, D.K District, Karnataka
A/C No: 01773070000059
IFSC Code: SYNB0000177, SWIFT Code: SYNBINBB008

2.
Seon Ashram Trust(R)
AXIS Bank, Mangalore,
Branch Essel Tower, Ground Floor, Bunts Hostel Circle Mangalore
A/c No: 077010100127783
IFSC Code: UTIB0000077

3. Foreign Currency (International OR Western Countries) & Through NRI Account directly you can transfer donation to below using this bank account.

Seon Ashram Trust(R)
Syndicate Bank, Branch Kakkinje
Belthangady Taluk, D.K. District, Karnataka
FCRA A/C No: 01773070000082
IFSC Code: SYNB0000177, SWIFT Code: SYNBINBB008

Note: Donations are subject to exemption under Section 80G Of Income Tax 1961.

Please try to email or contact us through phone for your valuable prayers and supports.

WHAT CAN WE RETURN FOR YOUR SUPPORT: Praying is our only way to offer you something in return for your interest and every kind of support. That is why we invite you to share your wishes and concerns with us and we will remember you in our daily prayers.

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