Giving a family, a home and a ray of hope to those whose families have abandoned them
Started in 2008, the NGO, The Earth Saviours Foundation, is a home to more than 500 destitute. Fighting all the odds, the founder Ravi Kalra is running the NGO successfully in Gurgaon.delhi Updated: Feb 18, 2018 12:39 IST
The sight of a chid and a stray dog searching for food from the same garbage pile changed the life of Ravi Kalra, the founder and president of The Earth Saviours Foundation, an NGO that works for the destitute children, abandoned senior citizens, victimised women and specially abled people. “I’ve been through a tough life. Being an average student, facing financial crunches, I’ve worked hard to reach my goal. My father was in Delhi Police and his tough attitude shaped my life,” says Kalra.
The 4th level Dan Black Belt in Taekwondo achieved all his dreams through hard work. “In 2007, I had accomplished everything that I wanted to, but there was a sense of emptiness. I wanted to do something for humanity. Thus, in 2008, I stared this NGO. But, when I took up this endeavour, I lost the support from my family. They thought that I was too dedicated. I faced legal charges and locals declared me as a fraud. It was much later that government recognised us and promised to donate two acres of land. But, it never happened. Now, we’ve around 500 people living in our premises. We’ve rescued people, which even included ex-army officers, from roads and garbage piles,” says Kalra, who was felicitated with Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Award for excellence in humanitarian work in 2014. They can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karunaanjali, who has been associated with the NGO since its inception, was a corporate trainer. She says, “There are around 100 bed-ridden residents here. From changing diapers to cleaning them, they need extra attention. We treat all equally irrespective of their religion or other details.”The NGO celebrates festivals, too, to cheer up its inmates. This Shivratri, singer Ashoo Punjabi performed for them. Dancing to his tunes, the residents forged a bond that is stronger than the blood ties, who’ve abandoned them.
Here we bring you the stories associated with the rescued people:
Sarita and her infant’s story
After marrying her lover against all odds, Sarita was abandoned by her husband. For the past four months, she has been living with her 11-month-old baby in the NGO. “I’m still fighting a legal case against my husband for abandoning me and my child, when I was pregnant. I’m happy here but I need a settled life for my kid and I’ll fight for it.”
Meera and the tragic tale with her siblings
48-year-old Meera lives every moment of her life with laughter. She lives in her own childish world. “She didn’t get married because of her mental instability. She is from Aligarh and used to live with his elder brother. After his death, her younger sibling left her here. This is her family now,” says Karunaanjali.
Ram Devi’s tryst with loneliness
80-year-old Ram Devi is waiting for her children for the past two years. “I had four kids, but two of them died. To support my other kids, I started working as a cook. However, as I grew old, I couldn’t continue it for long. My kids left me here saying that they will take me back one day. But I’m still waiting,” she said.
Forsaken Mamta’s high spirits
Suffering from photophobia and sclerosis, 40-year-old secluded Mamta is living with the NGO for the past two years. “Police left her here and all we know about her is that she is a happy-go-lucky woman. Despite being mentally-challenged and suffering from vision deficiency, she participates in all activities” says Karunaanjali.
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First Published: Feb 17, 2018 15:36 IST