With hope and care

With hope and care

It is rightly said that jana seva is janardhana seva. The feeling of self satisfaction that comes when one serves the needy is divine. We find many people who find happiness in helping the underprivileged. U C Paulose is one such person whose heart always throbs for the poor and unprotected people. Seon Ashram Trust, founded by him in 1999 has given shelter to hundreds of destitutes. 

The idea of forming a trust occurred to him in the late 1990s when he saw a mentally and physically challenged person rushing to the public dustbin to eat waste food. Though he couldn’t react immediately, he discussed the distressful situation with his wife Marry and they decided to serve the downtrodden and exploited class of the society.

The beginning
Seon Ashram Trust started its homecare activities in a hut in Gandibagilu in Belthangady taluk of Dakshina Kannada district. Now it has become a home for people with disabilities and has about 380 residents. One can find people from different regions here. The age of residents ranges from one month to 100 years. They live together as a family irrespective of their caste or religion. The challenges faced by the residents also vary. Some are physically challenged, some are mentally ill while some others are victims of sexual abuse. Aged destitutes, widows and orphans stay here as well.

Some of the destitute children are picked from the streets while some are sent by their families. Social workers and civil society organisations also admit people here. The main objective of the Trust is to rehabilitate its residents and is working towards it.

Seon Psychiatric Hospital,which has a 200-bedded space, provides treatment for various psychiatric problems like Schizophrenia, chronic psychosis, bipolar disorder, severe depression and dementia. “Most of these psychological diseases are curable. We hope that some of our patients will be able to, with the help of their family and friends, return to their normal life one day,” says Paulose. Persistent efforts of the Trust have helped cure over 500 persons and unite them with their family over the past couple of years. Recently a psychiatric patient gave birth to a baby and is being looked after with utmost care.

The Trust runs a school called Little Flower English Medium School in Karkala of Udupi district to cater to the educational needs of its young residents. More than 300 students study in this school currently. They are provided with all the facilities necessary to excel in the fields of their interest — be it academic, sports, music or any other skill. A few students have even got opportunities to do higher studies.

“I am privileged to get the support of the Trust. It has helped me realise my dreams,” says Danesh, who studies diploma at Sri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara (SDM) College, Ujire.

For a better society
The child sponsorship programme of the Trust supports about 300 economically deprived students in the locality, by providing them school bags, books, and a part of their school fees. The Trust has also formed a federation of self-help groups called Seon Swa Sahaya Sanghagala Okkuta. It comprises 130 groups and a total of 1,473 members.

The Trust conducts outdoor and indoor activities for its residents. It also facilitates them to continue their hobbies and provides skill-based training. Some of the residents have made craftwork like flower bouquets, paintings, glass paintings and handmade embroidery. These items, that are exhibited at the Trust, attract the visitors with their colourful designs.

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