HIV Affected Children at ‘Snehasadan’- a St Camillus Care Home located at Kaikamba, in the outskirts of Mangaluru run by the Camillian Fathers, who take care of the adults and children affected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in All Smiles Receiving Footwear from ‘Spread A Smile’- a Non-Profit Organization in Bengaluru; and Ice Cream Cups from Ideal Ice Cream, through a project coordinated by Mangalorean.com
Mangaluru: ‘Spread a Smile’ is a non-profit organization, based in Bengaluru, which works for HIV affected kids, elderly persons, Covid-19 relief in Karnataka state, artwork in special homes, food, clothes and blanket distribution drives across Bengaluru city. The Organization works towards the development and happiness of society. It was in the year 2017, Dhanraj Kumar and Gautham Bhagath, after completing their MBA studies at Nitte College-Karkal in 2013, after moving to Bengaluru finding a job in IT firm, started this organization- “Spread A Smile”. Later Gautham’s twin brother, Gaurav joined in their venture, and then it was history when more youth joined the organization and made a difference in the society through their various community services.
Ever since its inception, ‘Spread A Smile’ has celebrated birthdays of HIV kids at a children’s home, helping out at old-age homes with a purpose, and many other projects. Currently with 75 + volunteers with similar mindsets of changing lives, the Team members have been spreading smiles through diverse events such as recreational activities, food, clothes and blanket distribution drives, the artwork of interest, education funds for the underprivileged and much more- and they all feel happy as to what they are doing for the less-privileged society. Recently ‘Spread A Smile’ in coordination with Team Mangalorean/Mangalorean undertook a community service project in distributing ration kits and rice bags to the needy during the lockdown. ( Ref: Bluru Youth of ‘Spread A Smile’-an NPO Put Miles of Smiles on Faces of Needy during Covid-19 Lockdown )
Founders of ‘Spread A Smile’ NPO are L-R : Gautham Bhagath, Dhanraj Kumar and Guarav Bhagath
Following close on its heels after successfully completing the above project, when Team Mangalorean requested Dhanraj Kumar if his NPO would like to sponsor footwear to HIV affected children at a Care Home, he readily agreed, and the date was set for today to distribute the footwear to these less-fortunate children and a few adults, residing at ‘Snehasadan’- a St Camillus Care Home located at Gurpura/Kaikamba, in the outskirts of Mangaluru run by the Camillian Fathers, who take care of the adults and children affected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). The mission of ‘Snehasadan’ is to be a positive force in addressing the comprehensive needs of the sick, ensuring their dignity and overall quality of life, by motivating, caring, supporting and rehabilitating, with a priority for the care of special children. Their vision is to bring total health to all and to promote a culture of life ensuring human dignity in the given reality. Their core values are- Care, Compassion, Commitment and Competence.
“This is my vocation, this is my resolution and my entire purpose, to serve the poor sick, as serving my kings and princess, because in serving them I serve Christ our Redeemer”- had said St Camillus de Lellis, the Founder and patron of the Camillian Order who are called to serve their brothers and sisters this means helping them to stand up and walk on their own, exercising their fear of the unknown and expanding their minds through education. It entails feeding them when they are too weak to feed themselves, opening their eyes to the realities of life, challenging them to let go of hurts and prejudices and liberating them to even-greater horizons of transcendence and beauty.
This is how the Camillians continue the healing ministry of Jesus so that ‘the blind see again, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and deaf hear, dead are raised to the life-the good news is proclaimed to the poor (Luke 7:22). At “Snehasadan”, currently, there are nearly 40 residential children and 10 adults, who are being cared for by the Camillian priests and staff- and it functions as one of the care and support initiatives of Sneha Charitable Trust owned and operated by Ministers of the Infirm (Camillians)-India. “Snehasadan” take pride core in values” Care, Compassion, Commitment and Competence. It’s vision is to ensure human dignity in the given reality. Having a 65 + beds facility for the inmates, Snehasadan was built on a 2 acres land donated by Entrepreneur/MD of Eden Club., Mangaluru-Eugene Rent and family.
Even Pope Francis has praised the members of the Camillian Charismatic family for living their mission “in an exemplary way” by “assisting the sick, especially the poorest, in their bodily and spiritual needs, and teaching others the best way to serve them, for the benefit of the Church and of humanity”. Appreciating the work done at ‘Snehasadan’, Bishop of Mangaluru Diocese Rev Dr Peter Paul Saldanha had said to the Camillians “God’s mercy and compassion is made manifest to the world through your ministry to the people in great distress. You have been helping them in their burdens. I invoke God’s blessings upon you and upon your ministry”.
And Dr Ravi Vaswani (MD-Internal Medicine) the visiting doctor, who takes care of the inmates at Snehasadan says, “Snehasadan stands out like a shining beacon- a source of hope and comfort to hapless humans tossed about in the turbulent waters of life. In my 15+ years of association with Snehasadan, I see the unconditional love with which people living with HIV are cared for. It is the one unchanging, stabilizing, a comforting attribute that has endeared thousands of persons with HIV and given them a ‘Home Away from Home’. I have been blessed that Snehasadan has imbibed me into its circle of love and affection, treating me as one of its own. Apart from the selfless and dedicated work that Snehasadan staff do, ‘Snehasadan’ is no doubt a Cornucopia of Ceaseless, Unconditional Love”.
And for that matter, the youth members of ‘Spread A Smile’ NPO, picked the right place to help out in the needs of the children and adults at Snehasadan, and made a difference in their lives, and also brought miles of smiles, by donating footwear to them, a needed essential when monsoons are near. Speaking on the occasion, Fr Teji Thomas MI, the Director of Snehasadan said, “The valuable service rendered to our organization by NGO’s like ‘Spread A Smile’, Good Samaritans like Mukund Kamath, the Managing Partner of Ideal Ice Cream, our Doctors, Nurses, Counselors, Volunteers, Neighbours, partners in Health Care and Education; and our great friends from Team Mangalorean/Mangalorean.com, I am fortunate and blessed to live in this ‘Love Home’- a BIG family, since six years. It’s here I found, that- Doctors and Nurses care even when there is no cure; Even a ‘smile’ & ‘touch’ does miracles in the wounded persons even in the midst of sufferings; Even a stranger can turn on green signal light to wipe away the tears from eyes of many; The importance of ‘Good Will’ and God sends his warriors/Angels. My sincere thanks to you all for the role you play in making this home a ‘Love Home’. Thank you, ‘Spread A Smile’, Ideal Ice Cream and Mangalorean.com”. Fr Jomin Thomas MI- the Administrator also expressed his gratitude during the occasion.
“I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ideal Ice Cream”- and what its the right Ice Cream that makes one happy and smiling. And Mukund Kamath-the Managing Partner of Ideal Ice Cream, who has never said No, whenever we ask sponsorship/or Ice Cream treats, readily agreed to donate the new flavour ‘Litchi Rose’ Ice Cream Cups- which was happily enjoyed by the children and adults after lunch. Yummy, the flavour was, and they all wanted more!. Happy to note that we made these less-fortunate children and adults at Snehasadan happy. ‘Spread A Smile’ has created a compassionate heart among these youngsters, and they have become conscious about the downtrodden. It’s nice to note that the members of this organization are doing yeomen service to the community with its members as Good Samaritans. It’s not just the indigent of society-it is the youth too who have been strengthened in carrying out philanthropic work with no complaints or hesitations. And they do it for love.
In conclusion, 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 neighbours and caregivers..
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 “Snehasadan” -a St Camillus Care Home, where the Community members are inviting well-wishers and friends to be partners in their endeavours to help the persons living with HIV to live a life of dignity. Open your hearts and give generously to a good cause and make a difference in the lives of these less fortunate.
For more details how you can contribute contact: Snehasadan-St Camillus Care Home, Kaikamba Post, Kaikamba-Mangaluru-574151 Ph: 0824-2258118; 2258119; 9686207119; 9448118119; Email: email@example.com Website: www.snehacharitabletrust.org
I end this column with thought-provoking words of Saint Mother Teresa:
“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. 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.”