Downtown

Putting derailed lives back on track

K. Rajini Devi, (extreme left) Joint Secretary, Kalaiselvi Karunalaya Social Welfare Society, interacts with children and senior citizens. Photo: M. Vedhan   | Photo Credit: M_VEDHAN

Around 650 children in five hamlets in and around Mogappair, Ambattur, Thirumulavoyal are receiving assistance to pursue their education.

Not just that, there is help for the grown-ups too, with special programmes for the men and women in the community.

The women are encouraged to establish self-help groups within the community. Unemployed youth are provided vocational training and taught life skills. Dropouts are motivated to return to school.

For elders, who are unable to go to hospitals for regular check-ups, a mobile medical van visits them regularly. A doctor goes on house visits, examines the patient and gives sufficient medicines for a month. Kalaiselvi Karunalaya Social Welfare Society, Mogappair West, has been involved in such community-building projects with the support of Child Fund India for quite sometime now. A State and Central government-recognised organisation, it is offering services to the marginalised for 30 years now. Started by Purushottam, a post-graduate, who wanted to do something for society, the organisation was first opened for the destitute elderly. Later, it extended its services by offering support to girls who were unable to study due to family problems.

“We have a home for children who come from various parts of the State. We get then enrolled in a nearby school and provide for their food and shelter. They stay here till they complete their class XII. We provide assistance for higher education and jobs as well. At present, 25 girls are staying here,” says K. Rajini Devi, joint secretary.

The seniors’ home is also located on the same premises. “We have created an integrated campus, where the young can interact with the seniors. Many of these seniors are referred to us by the police through the Commissioner’s helpline,” she adds. The organisation is planning to build a new home for seniors on a plot nearby that it owns.

Also, help is extended to destitute women. “We shelter them for a year. But our primary aim is to reunite them with their families,” says Rajini.

The centre also runs a free family counselling centre, with two professional counsellors visiting it twice a week and one permanent in-house counsellor. “We get around 25 cases every month. Simple cases of misunderstanding are handled by us, but if a case involves dowry or domestic violence we refer it to the Legal Aid Clinic at our organisation,” says Suganya, a counsellor.

The Legal Aid Clinic is operated on Tuesdays and Fridays. But, the mobile medical outreach project is their pet project. Every weekend, a van with a doctor and nurse travels through the streets of Mogppair, Avadi, Pattabiram, Ambattur to reach out to those aged above 60 years. “At present, our services are limited to the neighbouring areas, but we wish to expand,” says Rajini.

For more details, contact K. Rajini Devi, joint secretary, at 9445199619. Address: 3/PP1, 3rd Block, Mogapair West.




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Printable version | Sep 25, 2021 2:58:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/Putting-derailed-lives-back-on-track/article14028679.ece

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