Leonard Cheshire – 100 Yrs of Inspiration! 52nd M’lore Cheshire Home ‘Founder’s Day’ Celebrated

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Leonard Cheshire – 100 Yrs of Inspiration! 52nd M’lore Cheshire Home ‘Founder’s Day’ Celebrated

Leonard Cheshire-100 Yrs of Inspiration! 52nd Mangalore Cheshire Home “Founder’s Day” and “Birth Centenary of Founder Capt Leonard Cheshire” celebrated with Dignity and Pride, serving the Disabled Folks

Mangaluru: The Mangalore Cheshire Home (MCH) celebrated the “Birth Centenary of its Founder, Capt Leonard Cheshire” and also the “52nd Founder’s Day” of Mangalore Cheshire Home on Sunday, 24th September at 4.30 pm at Roshini Nilaya Auditorium-Mangaluru, thereby taking pride in renewing its commitment to serve the disabled and include them in the mainstream society. Thanks to the dear donors and well-wishers, and also due to the dedicated, committed and service-oriented “young” members, 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 was a matter of great pride for the Home that Lord Cheshire himself inaugurated the first wing housing 12 inmates, which has now 21 inmates, taken good care with love and solace.

Prior to the formal function at the auditorium, the unveiling of the Leonard Cheshire Statue ( the statue was handcrafted in Makrana, the marble town of Rajasthan, using the famous Makrana marble) erected at the Mangalore Cheshire Home was done by PM John-Chairman, Cheshire Home, Mumbai/Ex-Chairman of National Council, along with CM Muthanna and Geetha Chengappa-Chairman and Secretary respectively of The Cheshire Home-Coorg, joined by Wilma Aranha-Chairman of Mangalore Cheshire Home and other board members. The differently-abled inmates of the house welcomed the small gathering by a prayer song and dance which reflected their enthusiasm, despite their disabilities.

It is should be noted that Cheshire Homes have been serving people with several disabilities, making them realize the skills they are unaware of and striving to make them self-sufficient by teaching them. And here at MCH, the 21 inmates are taught to work on things like Glass and Fabric painting, Envelope and making of paper bags, making brooms, gardening and cultivating vegetables, Greeting cards for all the occasions, Tailoring and even to work on Computers- and also train them in co-curricular activities, including music and dance. And their hidden talents developed at the MCH were unleashed during the function.

Wilma Aranha-Chairperson of MCH welcomed the dignitaries on the dais and the audience and gave a brief description of Miracle of the MCH and its activities saying, “As we celebrate the 52nd Founder’s Day of MCH, and the Birth Centenary of our Founder, Capt. Leonard Cheshire, 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 from the government, but still, we are able to carry on with the support given to us by the generous public. We thank all those who have supported us throughout the years which has helped the Mangalore Cheshire Home to reach the 52nd milestone with dignity and pride, where we serve the 21 inmates with love, care and solace “.

The duo celebrations were marked with the garlanding of the portrait of Captain Leonard Cheshire-Founder of Cheshire Homes Fraternity, (Portrait of Capt Leonard Cheshire was an artwork done by Mrs. Wilma Aranha), and also by lighting the traditional lamp by Chief Guest, Rev Dr Aloysius Paul D’souza- Bishop of Mangaluru Diocese, along with MLA J R Lobo; PM John; CM Muthanna; and Wilma Aranha. “Vision of Leonard Cheshire” a documentary film was shown to the audience, followed by addressing the gathering by PM John where he said, ” Cheshire home, which has made several inmates independent and for providing the confidence for them to live a normal and happy life. As Leonard had once said, “The basic key I people. If you have the right people, the rest will follow. MCH under the chairmanship of Wilma Aranha has a highly dedicated and resourceful committee members who will give their time and resources. Seeing is believing if we all visit MCH”:

“Regarding Leonard, he had envisaged opportunities and facilities for the disabled residents to engage themselves and become useful or fitted for employment by suitable treatment. He could foresee the dignity and self-respect a disabled person would enjoy when he/she becomes economically self-reliant and can lead a life of dignity. He had a deep understanding of Indian culture and love for India. He had remarkable wisdom in the rehabilitation of the disabled people of this country. Glad to note that all the Cheshire Homes in India, including here in Mangaluru are extremely doing good and serving the differently-abled with love and care” added PM John.

Addressing the audience, Bishop Aloysius Paul D’souza said, “The concern of every religion and every community is to eradicate poverty. We Christians, have a special mission and responsibility in this regard. Christians should join hands with people of other religions too to wipe out poverty prevailing in the society. Every person, especially the poor in the society deserves respect and dignity. Jesus had great love and concern for the poor, it is also mentioned in the Bible that the poor, sick and marginalized are very close to Jesus. We should respect every person especially the poor and treat them equally and not discriminate them. We should inspire and motivate all to work for the poor. These 21 residents have found a new home at Cheshire Home, and are lucky to get all the love and caring. The training and other co-curricular activities being taught to these inmates by the committee members, caretakers and other volunteers needs to be commended and appreciated. Service to the poor is like doing God’s work, and we should all appreciate and commend Mangalore Cheshire Home for their tremendous service and love towards the less privileged, and may God bless its residents, management and staff”.

Also speaking during the occasion, MLA JR Lobo said, ” I am extremely surprised to note that MCH doing a yeomen service to the people with disability have still not received any grant from the government. Any NGO with over 10 inmates are eligible for grant from the government, and for that matter, MCH does qualify for govt. aid. I will see that the govt. sanctions the loan after proper documents are submitted. I am very much aware of the work and dedication that the MCH members put in, and they all should be applauded for their generous gesture. You can always approach me if you need any assistance or help from my side”.

A humane gesture of the people who visit the place was also seen during the Founder’s day celebrations, where a number of people come forward to help the house with their small contributions for the successful running of the house- and these kind donors were presented with a rose and a group snap for sweet memories. MCH also appreciated the support and wide coverage given by Mangalorean.com all these years, and ‘Yours Truly” was honored with a flower bouquet and a memento. As always Team Mangalorean looks forward to appreciation and gratitude for the coverage we do, and nothing else- but many organizations/institutions lack this quality and gesture. Thanks MCH for appreciating Team Mangalorean’s efforts.The vote of thanks was proposed by Ms Dorothy Vas-the Vice President and the function was professionally compered by Ms Shobha Shetty-Vice President and Board Member respectively.”A journey of Compassion” a skit was enacted by the MCH committee members and inmates, which received a loud applaud from the audience.

In conclusion, now that Cheshire Home-Mangaluru has successfully completed 52 years, they still need the support from the public/well-wishers to continue with their mission to serve the less fortunate/disabled-so let’s donate generously towards this Home, so that they can continue with the good work that they are all entrusted with. 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.

“Do not forget the doing of good and the sharing of things with others, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” (Hebrews 13:16). “We are the world. We are the children. We are the ones who make a brighter day. We’re all part of God’s great big family. And the truth is that love is all we need. So let’s start giving, for it’s true, we’ll make a better day. Just you and me.” – These thought-provoking lyrics by the late pop-star Michael Jackson are quite befitting here. Show Mangalore Cheshire Home that you care. Yes, we all can do it if we make up our mind. If you are looking for a way to enhance your act of sharing and giving experience, try giving back now- and contribute to Mangalore Cheshire Home. For more details of Mangalore Cheshire Home and how you can support the Home please call 0824-2430468 (O); 9480958541, 082436505 (Chairperson-Wilma Aranha); 9448457332, 0824-2437332 (Hon.Secretary-Hazel Colaco)

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