Compassion in Action

Anna Daan

This is a heartfelt effort powered by the local community to help feed our hungry brothers and sisters. Dedicated volunteers (families, schools, corporations) collect grains and donate them to MS, which we then distribute monthly to families who struggle to survive.

The Anna Daan project was started in 1994 as a way for the community to assist its underprivileged members. The literal meaning of Anna Daan is “donation of food”, and in the project’s original form, Ahmedabad families would put aside a fistful of grains daily and then donate it to use for monthly distribution. In more recent times, the donations tend to come in the form of cash, which we use to purchase food supplies and prepare the following kits: 5 kg wheat, 4 kg rice, 2 kg moong, 1 liter cooking oil. Every month, we distribute the kits to needy families and elderly who we have identified and support for one year. In exchange for the grains, the recipient gives a token fee of 10 rupees so they do not feel like they are being given handouts.

People Served Monthly: 206

Harihar Ram Roti

Another humble but loving project to offer food to the vulnerable, we set up a food cart in a different area of Ahmedabad every evening to serve a warm, wholesome meal to the homeless, tired and hungry.

People Fed: 150 daily

Tyaag Nu Tiffin

This program was started in 2011 by the late and beloved Raghu Makwana, who migrated to Ahmedabad to find work to help sustain his family in the village. However, over time, he saw the struggles of the abandoned and impoverished and felt strongly moved to serve them. He started Tyaag nu Tiffin, delivering hand-cooked meals to the absolutely neglected and destitute.Today the project continues at the hands of Ramesh, his wife Ushmita and their team, who prepare and hand-deliver 19 tiffins twice a day to elders who are incapacitated and alone. They also cover doctor visits and medical costs if someone gets sick. In the past they have provided funeral expenses. The team imparts love and care through daily interactions and they involve volunteers in helping with deliveries.

In a serendipitous chain of events, Ramesh met Raghu very briefly a few days before Raghu encountered a fatal accident. Ramesh was inspired to carry forward Raghu’s spirit and work. In order to maintain this heartfelt offering, MS supports the expenses of the program.

"I'm not doing anything great. I'm not on a mission to change the world. God has been very kind to me in my struggle to survive. Now it is my turn to repay the kindness by helping other needy human beings." – Raghu Kulkarni

Elderly Served: 19

Bhav nu Bhojan

The program has been running since 2010 to provide a daily, regular meal to elderly who have survived leprosy, and lack any family support. Every day two women from the Loving Community, Jyotiben and Fulaben, prepare a wholesome meal offered to these selected individuals at the community hall. The program consists of a cross section of Hindu and Muslims coming together to share a meal. If due to health issue someone cannot come to the kitchen, they deliver food to their homes. The program also supports the sick with doctor visits and medication.

About an hour before this daily activity, several of the local children gather to sweep and clean the dining area. They participate in the prayer before the meal, help serve food, and clear dishes. This program celebrates service, harmony, community and promotes the spirit of helping others.

Regular Daily Beneficiaries: 30 people

Batuk Bhojan

Once a year, in each our Community Centers, we organize a "Batuk - Mata Bhojan." All the children and mothers of the community are invited with love to the Center for a nice meal. This is an open event for all children and mothers and not just for the regular beneficiaries of the Centre. The spirit behind this is to create an environment of love, where we can serve and feed everyone together. There is an average of 1500 -2000 children and mothers at each of these special events. We decorate the centers and our MS family and volunteers collectively cook the food, welcome the guests, serve them with love and clean up afterwards. The higher and lower cast stigma still prevails strongly in the communities. Every one eating together is one way to break the barrier. Furthermore, many of the mothers and children get to come to the Center for the first time. They learn about the projects and ways they can be involved in uplifting their family. Normally each event is sponsored by donors every year.

Dream Homes

Several decades ago people infected with leprosy were forced to settle on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. Though the disease is eradicated, subsequent generations still face the associated stigmas and struggle to transition from a life of begging. As the area, which we call the Loving Community is low-lying, the homes completely submerge in water during the monsoons. The living spaces are small, dark, and lack basic necessities. In collaboration with De Montfort University, we are surveying, redesigning and rebuilding each home based on the family’s needs. The residents say the project is a dream come true.

Homes Built to Date: 8 | Total Homes to Build: 125

Peddle Rickshaw Project

A collaborative initiative between Manav Sadhna and Dreams Foundation, this project supports pedal rickshaw drivers. On any street in Ahmedabad, one is likely to see a frail man struggling to pull a heavy load on a pedal rickshaw, often over a flyover. Many of them suffer from TB. Most are addicted to alcohol and tobacco as a means of relief from such strenuous physical labor.

Nearly 70 percent of the drivers rent the pedal rickshaw at 20-40 rupees per day, meaning that they pay over 7000-8000 rupees per year. Some rent these rickshaws over a span of 8-12 years, paying 60,000-120,000 rupees in rent. Their average income is 60-150 rupees per day. The pedal rickshaw project was started by comparing the total amount that pedal rickshaw drivers pay in rent with the average cost of actually buying a pedal rickshaw, 6000-6500 rupees.

The project has two prongs-design and interest-free loans. We improved the quality and design of the rickshaw to decrease the amount of exertion required by the driver to also decrease maintenance. We improved the bearings have been improved, shortened chain length, and provided a simple spring for shock absorbance. The total cost of the rickshaw is Rs. 6200.

This improved rickshaw is given to a driver on loan, letting the driver pay the same amount as he would pay to rent the rickshaw, but he would be able to own the rickshaw in approximately one year. Close to 1000 men living in the Ramapir no Tekro slum earn their living by pulling a pedal rickshaw.

Pedal Rickshaw Drivers Supported: 165