Paucity of govt funds don't cripple cheers of Cheshire home inmates

The Mangalore unit of the Cheshire Home, located at Kankanady, has not received even a single rupee from the government, since 2009. But it has not taken away the joy and enthusiasm on the faces of the 27 differently abled inmates here.

Faced with a grim future and the apprehension of feeding the inmates five years back, the management committe members of the homes put their heads together and came with novel ideas such as sponsoring a resident or sponsoring meal schemes etc. Today, the wonderful habitat for the differenty abled is vibrant with the inmates’ creative work, cultural performance, fun and frolic.

“We have directly approached the central government in need of fund. But the new amended law which stipulates to have a minimum 20 residents under the same disability category played the spoilsport. Earlier, we used to get funds from Union government, though meagre,” said Mangalore Cheshire Homes Management Committe Chairperson Wilma Aranha.

Caught in a puzzled situation in 2009, the committe members themselves came forward to sponsor an inmate for a year by offering Rs 6,000. Soon the idea gained momentum and the sponsor’s list grew to 40 within a short span. Donations and contributions also ensured the smooth running of the home.

Currently, the home has 20 residents and 7 day-care inmates. Started in 1965, the home now boasts of a vocational training cum rehabilitation centre which provides skill development training in greeting card making, hand embroidery, broom making, phenyl making besides jasmine weaving, vegetable gardening and horticulture.

For the skill development programmes and conducting computer classes, the services and fund of the Government Polytechnic for Women is being utilized. The various artefacts manufactured by the inmates have found a space in the market, said an elated Wilma. “We are not treating residents as a less privileged lot. A regular weekly medical checkup, daily yoga and exercise, healthy menu are being provided to them without fail. You can not find any inmates dull or gloomy here but cheerful always,” she asserts.

The doctors, physiotherapists and medical students from Fr Muller Medical College Hospital, Dr A B Shetty Dental College and KMC regularly visit at the home.

Future plans

Mangalore Cheshire home management committe secretary Hazel Colaco told Deccan Herald that they want to buy physiotherapy equipment for the inmates and to expand the activities by constructing an additional storey. There are 25 Cheshire homes in India which cater to the needs of differently abled people by imparting them skills development training to make them empowered and independent.

Foundation day

At the foundation day function held on Wednesday, Soft skill trainer Dr Hima Urmila R Shetty who inagurated the programme said that social service was all about answering to another person’s need.

“Empathy and compassion are the elements which help you to identify such needs,” she reminded. Representatives of Lioness club, Rotary Anns, Inner wheel, Ladies Social Service were present. The programme was followed by a dance performace by the inmates.

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