Working with children and youth for the past 18 years has taught us one thing- the recipe for Miracles of Hope!
- Take ownership of children, young women or youth
- Understand what they need most
- Begin by pouring a cauldron full of love in their lives
- Add a caring touch, a compassion and oodles of encouragement
- Add a good measure of support of mentors, caregivers, social workers, trainers, volunteers and generous individuals
- A good amount of guidance goes a long way for a perfect recipe
- Stir with excursions, camps, celebrations, workshops and social campaigns from time to time
If all the ingredients have been added in good measure, the children, girls and youth will blossom into happy, responsible individuals.
Read the triumphant stories of our children from Udayan Ghars, young girls from Udayan Shalini Fellowship, youth at the IT&VT centres and Little Friends who are our Miracles of Hope. We hope you find them as amazing and strong as we know them to be.
Its the support of our invaluable volunteers and Big Friends that goes a long way in Helping to Create our Miracles of Hope.
Megha was just 9 when un-fateful circumstances forced her to come under institutional care. At a very tender age she experienced a traumatic past which every child would dread: separation of her parents, a cruel stepmother, so much so that she was even deprived of basic childhood rights.
Being a child with special needs she needed extra care, love and protection. But on the contrary she was forced to do all the household chores. To add on to her troubles Megha was abandoned by her father at the Railway Station from where she was rescued by the Railway Police and was sent to a children’s home. Keeping in view the best interest of the child; Megha was transferred to Udayan Ghar Sant Nagar by the Child Welfare Committee in 2006.
At Udayan Ghar in the warmth of a family and love and care of her Mentor Mothers, Megha never had to look back. Having similar experiences with children with special needs in the past, her Mentor Mothers made sure that got the best mental health care from one of India’s renowned child psychiatrist.
Today, Megha is studying in a good school in Delhi and has blossomed into a fine sportswomen winning medal after medal. The most recent being her achievement in Special Olympics, Bharat (National Championship for Athletics) where she won a Gold Medal in Shot Put 3 kg Div. And a Silver Medal in 4X100 M Relay and 100 M Run.
Before, Pinki came to Udayan Ghar, Mehrauli, 14 years ago, she was facing difficult family circumstances. Only 10, she had been orphaned and was abused and foced to do tough household chores where she lived.
At her Udayan Ghar, with the love and emotional support of her Udayan family, Pinky overcame her trauma. Not only did she excel academically, she showed equally good skills in painting, theatre and other arts.
Now at 24, Pinki has been an independent young woman for the last 3 years, a young professional expanding her horizons everyday.
Before Deepak came to Udayan Ghar, Gurgaon, he had lost his parents and could not adjust living with his uncle. At the tender age of 9, he just boarded a train and reached Delhi. Often he would work in hotels to help him survive.
Reaching Udayan Ghar was like coming home for Deepak. Barely able to write, today he studies in Class XII with Commerce as his subject.
Barely able to read or write, Deepak was home tutored till he obtained admission in a good school. Since then he has not looked back. Growing into a talkative, friendly and articulate young teenager, each year he has excelled in academics, securing 89% in the Class Xth boards!
Deepak wants to pursue B.Com from Delhi University and become a CA as well as complete his MBA. Deepak's hobbies are theatre, singing and playing cricket.
In 2002, Ruchi, just 14 years of age, came to Udayan Ghar, Mehrauli. Having lost her mother and her father unable to take care of her, Ruchi had lost all hope.
Today, with the love and care of her Udayan family and her hard work, Ruchi works as a trainee with JW Marriot Group of Hotels in Pune.
She was recently sent by the Hotel for a workshop to Jaipur by air her first experience of flying high in the sky! As she says, "I want to excel at my work and travel to many more places."
Raja joined our Udayan Ghar in Mayur Vihar (II) in 2009 before which he had no exposure to schooling. In order to earn their living, Raja and his aunt would often sing on the streets to solicit money.
With home tuitions and regular counselling, he was then admitted in Class II in one of the best schools. He participated in every school competition and continued to win prizes throughout the year. He has won not one but three gold medals in 400 meter race, 200 meter race and swimming competition in his school's annual sports event.
Ruhi joined the Udayan family at the tender age of 14 in 2001, when she needed the support of her parents the most. After the demise of her mother, her father was unable to look after Ruhi and her two siblings.
Today, 12 years on, she is a perfect example of an achiever despite all hurdles. Not only is she a valued employee of Albion Software but also a home-maker. Married to Surendra in 2010, a man of her choice, Ruhi stands as a proud Udayan with the values and simplicity that Udayan Care holds close to its heart.
Somnath was just 3 years old when he came to Udayan Ghar in 1992. Lost from his family, he was not even at an age when he could share his thoughts with us.
Today at 20, Somnath is pursuing his Engineering at the Hi- Tech Engineering College in Ghaziabad. A talented sportsman, Somnath also did well in his studies. Completing his school education with good marks, Somnath secured admission with a free-ship to Ghaziabad's Engineering College.
Shweta, USF Kurukshetra, Batch-7 (2013-14):
Shweta, from Kurukshetra joined the USF programme in 2013 with an ambition to become a Pilot. Coming from a family where even making the ends meet becomes a difficult task, her aim seemed a farfetched dream. The USF Programme gave wings to her dreams and transformed her personality. Today, Shweta is self confident girl, a Shalini, and she even did us proud by excelling in SPST (Society for Promotion of Science and Technology) summer school organized at Seth Banarasi Das College of Education and won a Dell Tablet as first prize for her best performance in all subjects. “The prize which I won here at the camp is the result of motivation received from my mentors/mentor didis. Thank you for proving me as a dignified Shalini”, says Shweta.
Salmara , KUSF Uttarakhand, Batch-2 (2009-10):
Salmara's father was a daily wage laborer in Mussoorie who supported a family of 7 members. His meager wage barely covered the basic needs of the family. Nevertheless, he always encouraged Salmara to study.
Hearing about USF in Uttarakhand from her teacher in 2009/08, Salmara applied and cleared NAT easily. Being a Shalini for the past three years, Salmara is now preparing for college, where she will pursue her degree in Bachelor's in Education. She aims to become a successful Maths teacher as it is a subject she enjoys thoroughly. She continues to be a source of strength to her parents and a role model for her 4 siblings.
Salmara believes that "apart from the financial support, the small group workshops have helped a lot as they provide vital information, making me more aware of choices, so that I could experience different opportunities."
Reena Burman, USF West Bengal, Batch-1 (2007-08):
Reena's father worked as a beedi maker, earning a minimal month wage. With two children to bring up, the family faced a daily struggle. Reena did not even dare to dream of pursuing higher education. That was before she heard about Udayan Shalini Fellowships in Kolkata.
She appeared for NAT in 2007 and to her great delight, was selected! Reena pursued her long cherished dream of a Masters degree in Sanskrit from the West Bengal University, securing a first class! She aspires to become a teacher. Her parents, family and community are extremely proud of Reena, since she is the first woman in her village to have studied this far, becoming an inspiration for many young girls!
JASPREET, USF Haryana, Batch 4 (2010-11):
Before Jaspreet joined the USF Programme, she was not encouraged to pursue higher education. Jaspreet's family belonged to rural Haryana and hence did not feel the need for higher education for her. Moreover, her father, being a labourer could not afford to send his daughter for higher studies.
However, Jaspreet, an aspiring young girl, applied for and got selected as a Fellow. She topped her school in the Class XII Board exam with a whopping 90.4% in commerce stream! Today, Jaspreet is keen on accountancy and aspires to work with a bank. As she puts it, "Through this fellowship, I want to touch the sky. And since I am able to continue my education with USF I am sure I will achieve my goal."
Darshana Joshi, USF Delhi, Batch 3 (2004-05):
Darshana was born in a lower middle class family of marginal farmers in a village in the foothills of Himalayas. She was the second of three siblings. Her father, along with the family, moved to Delhi to work as an electrician with the local government. Her home environment was difficult because of the limited resources and also because her father had to look after the extended family in Uttarakhand.
She was selected for the Udayan Shalini Fellowship program during her higher secondary grades and today she is perusing PhD in Physics from the prestigious Cambridge University. Only recently she was awarded with the “WIN Nav Kiran Award, 2012” in a special category “role models for the future”, making her the youngest recipient of this award at the age of 23.
“My association with Udayan Shalini Fellowship Programme has been the life changing step for me. It was because of their constant mentoring and motivation, a shy dreamer was turned into a motivated and determined young lady.”
Rajni Salvi, USF Aurangabad, Batch 2, (2009-10):
Prior to joining the USF Programme, higher education was a dream young Rajni Salvi had buried deeply in her sub conscience. With three children to bring up, on a meager salary as a domestic household help, Rajni's father faced a daily struggle to make ends meet. While Rajni definitely did not want to be an added burden, her heart ached to pursue studies.
It was at this time that Rajni heard about the Udayan Shalini Fellowships in Aurangabad and to her great delight, was selected after clearing NAT!
Now studying in her 2nd year of Bachelors in Computer Sciences, a hardworking student, Rajni secured a 2nd rank in her batch last year. She feels "Udayan Shalini Fellowship has been a huge factor in enabling me to study further, with encouragement from my family."
Aruna Chauhan, USF, Dehradun, 2008
Aruna’s father was an ex-serviceman, whose penson was the only source of income for the large joint family. Being extremely difficult to fulfill the needs of each family member, Aruna was uncertain what her future would be after finishing high school.
Inspite of all the difficulties, Aruna worked hard at academics and always secured a good rank in every class; even in class X she secured 77%. Wanting to study further she explored many options and heard about the Kusuma Udayan Shalini Fellowship Programme. She applied for and was inducted into the Programme.
The Kusuma Udayan Shalini Fellowships gave helped enhance her strengths and Interests. She strongly believes that, “the guidance of her Mentors and Mentor didis totlaly changed my life.and the workshops,camps and educational tours helped me gain confidence too.”
For Aruna, apart from the financial help, the mentoring and motivational support was crucial in “my overall development.”
Vibha Maurya came to Delhi as a young bride of 25 from a remote village in Bihar. Earlier, she had completed Class XII but could not pursue higher education, due to her marriage, after which household responsibilities left her with no time to even think of continuing her education. Her husband worked as a casual employee in a company, earning a meagre salary, besides not being entitled to any benefits. Vibha, sensing her husband's anxiety, was very keen to support him financially and ease him of the anxiety of being the single earning member of the family.
Her determination paid off as she came to hear of the Udayan Care IT&VT Centre for Vocational Training in Beauty therapy. The Jagshanti Udayan Care Centre was very close to her home in Greater Noida making it convenient for her to attend her classes as well as look after her home.
Vibha completed the six month course in Beauty parlour training and has now got a job in a beauty parlour in Greater Noida itself, earning a decent salary, making her "very happy to become economically independent and support my husband". With the new found confidence, she even went on to complete her graduation!
Twenty year old Sumita always has a smile on her face, no matter what the circumstances. But beyond her happy-go-lucky attitude there was another reality. Before joining the ITVT programme, Sumita wasnt sure if her dreams would come true. The eldest of 3 siblings, Sumita was keen to pursue Law as a profession. However, her father, being a painter, with limited income, was not able to afford the cost of the specialised education.
Determined not to let the family's economic difficulties come in the way, after completing Class XII Sumita enrolled herself at the Kishwarna-Udayan Care Computer Learning Center (Badarpur), which she heard about from a friend. She joined the ADCA (Advance Diploma in Computer Application) course as well as the three month Spoken English. Soon after completing the course, she was placed as an Accounts Assistance in an NGO, by the placement cell at IT&VT Centre, Badarpur. As she says with a smile lighting her face, "Today me & my family are living with pride & my mother was very happy when I got my first salary." Sumita is now confident that she will pursue her specialised studies carving a bright career for herself.
Pankaj Kumar, after completing primary education from a government school in Bihar, came to Delhi after class 12 for further studies. Realising that he needed to improve his English language and Computer skills, he tried many institutes, before joining ITVT programme of Udayan Care, but could not afford their high fee.
He then heard about, and joined the Kishwarna Udayan Care Information Technology and Vocational Training Centre in Badarpur. After completing the Tally course, Pankaj did a DTP Course. He also enrolled for the spoken English course, the centre had introduced. Armed with both Computer and English skills, Pankaj got selected with Reliance Infrastructure as a Toll Booth Operator, with a 4-figure salary package! Today he is extremely happy at being able to support his family well and looks forward to a bright future!
Twenty two year old Salini Choudhary is the youngest among her four siblings – an elder brother and 3 sisters all of whom are studying. Her father’s job does not enable the large family to live in comfort. With difficult financial circumstances, Salini, though the youngest, took it upon herself to improve her family’s financial condition.
A Commerce graduate, she realised that without computer skills, it would be impossible for her to get any decent paying job.
As she was exploring options for enrolling in computer classes, she heard about Kishwarna -Udayan Care Information Technology and Vocational Training Centre, Badarpur, through her friend. She enrolled herself for the MUPP & TALLY course in April 2012.
After completing the course, she now has a job in AAR ESS & Company, a chartered accountant firm as an Account Assistant with a monthly salary of Rs. 10000/- Along with her full time job she is also pursuing a distant learning course from Jamia Millia Islamia University She is very happy that she is now able to support her family and hopes to study further and make a computer-related career.
Being the eldest son of a famer family, Kanwar Singh was expected to shoulder the family responsibilities along with his father. After completing his graduation in Commerce, 22 year old Kanwar was searching for a job, but without any knowledge of computers, he could not succeed in his efforts.
He then heard about the Ramakant Munjal Foundation - Udayan Care IT Centre through Udayan Care’s community mobilisation team. He joined the ADCA course (Advance Diploma in Computer Application) at the RKMF Udayan Care IT Centre in Sidhrawali (Dharuhera). After completing the course he got his first job through our placement cell at the R.K MILK PLANT, Dharuhera (Haryana) as an Accountant with a salary of Rs.10000/- per month. His family is very proud of his efforts and truly believes that the computer training and holistic development at the centre has helped transform the life of the whole family.
Babita*: Babita*, a young adolescent living in the Model Town, was always quiet and withdrawn. In fact she seemed content to be in her own shell before she joined the programme. However, when Udayan Care started meetings for the Big and Little Friends at the Mahavir Jain Sr. Model School Base Camp, Babita* too attended one of them. As she started coming more often, Babita* opened up. As she recounted at one of the meetings, "I lost my father ten years ago and still miss him very much. My mother and sister work and are not there when I need to share my feelings and solve any of my confusions." It suddenly became clear to everyone that Babita* was not withdrawn out of choice she simply didn't have anyone to talk to; and it was exactly this gap that Udayan Care's Big Friend Little Friend Programme sought to fill. Today, Babita* is slowly learning to trust her group of new found friends because "they understand what mood I am in, and are always keen on listening to me and let me share my views on every single thing."
Akshay Chandna, Big Friend, Kanak Durga Base:
Akshay (25) came aboard as a Big Friend in 2011 after he heard about the Big Friend Little Friend Programme from his friend. As a Software Engineer working in a corporate, taking out little time for volunteering, seemed like a daunting task. But the concept of the programme intrigued him enough to give it a try.
Even before Akshay was paired with Rohan*, his Little Friend, they hit it off as if they had known each other for a long time. It's been a year since they became friends and it has been a deeply enriching experience for both.
"My little friend has taught me to be more grounded and stay happy irrespective of the future. It gives me a lot of satisfaction to help him out whenever he needs my advice. No matter how busy we are with our lives we make a point to at least catch up over phone on weekends. It's been a great journey of learning and giving."
Wendy Leggat, from France Residential Volunteer, Udayan Ghar Mehrauli:
Wendy came as a volunteer at Udayan Ghar, Chattarpur where she lived with our 13 young girls. Unfortunately she had to rush back to France as she fell ill. Driven by guilt, as she had promised the girls so much, from the moment she felt better, all she could think of was getting back to them!
She tried her best and returned, this time to Udayan Ghar Mehrauli, surprising all of us. She was so happy to return that she treated the girls to French chocolates and specialties to celebrate!
As she says, "The work the mentors have done with these girls is fantastic. I'm so glad to be back with the girls especially because it's the exam period and we can work together with them!"
Aunna Wilson, from USA, Residential Volunteer, Udayan Ghar, Greater Noida:
Recounting her childhood memories when just having someone to patiently listen was such a help, Aunna was determined "to be a trusted friend to the girls, encouraging them to realize their dreams."
She spent her 10 weeks helping girls express themselves with confidence through dance (ballet, hip-hop, Latin). She stressed the importance of girls doing their own work, thinking of their own ideas. Aunna also engaged the young girls in animated discussions on world affairs, reading the newspaper, circling words and then thinking of fun sentences.
She was thrilled to see a noticeable improvement in children's English skills and dancing, developing in them a new found confidence and independence.
"My experience has taught me to be flexible, quick-thinking and open minded as in a busy house with 41 girls you have to learn to adapt very quickly! I hope to return soon. I will also guide future volunteers so their time can be as meaningful as mine was. My overall experience with Udayan Care was fantastic. I think you are a truly great NGO .The children are truly in the hearts of everyone who works, volunteers and is associated with the organization. I feel that my time in India in the Greater Noida was one of the most meaningful, wonderful, emotional and life changing experiences of my life. The girls are some of the sweetest, strongest and most caring individuals I have ever met."
(* Name changed to protect privacy)