Jeevan Aanand Sanstha, a registered organization under the Charitable Trust Act in Mumbai, was initially established to cater to the needs of destitute senior citizens. In the course of time, it became a home for the homeless, the abandoned and the impoverished. Today, the destitute suffering from mental disorders, children living on the streets and the disabled who have no access to basic sanitation and shelter find refuge here, along with access to free medical treatments, rehabilitation therapies and counselling sessions.
The man behind this philanthropic endeavor is Sandip Parab and he believes that the homeless, just like any one of us deserve to live a dignified, secure, and peaceful life. And this is exactly what Jeevan Aanand Sanstha is aspiring to do – help the neglected and marginalized members of the society, deprived of fundamental civic amenities and necessities.
As a social service worker, Sandip worked a lot with the disadvantaged and underprivileged. But it was one his field visits to Santacruz, Mumbai that changed his life. The deplorable state in which a group of homeless people lived under a dilapidated bridge in Vakola, served as a huge reality check. He decided to help.
Fast forward to 2013 – he established Jeevan Aanand Sanstha, a home for the abandoned senior citizens. At present, Jeevan Aanand Sanstha manages 3 homes, 2 in Mumbai and 1 in Kudal, Maharashtra. While the two in Mumbai provide free medical facilities and other basic amenities to the homeless elderly, the one in Kudal accommodates pregnant women, homeless children, senior citizens, and jobless youth. Inmates are also encouraged to take up jobs like farming and chopping vegetables at the Kudal centre.
Sandeep and his team regularly travel from state to state and conduct awareness sessions on the importance of looking after and caring for the elderly folks at home. These sessions emphasize the value of a joint family system and Sandip with him team do their best to unite senior citizens, estranged from their families. In addition to this, this zealous team conducts regular medical camps and social work training.
But all of this is easier said than done. Just like any social change that is hard to bring about, Sandip and his team have to cope with the day-to-day challenges of managing an organization, that houses 3 branches, 65 staff members and 150 patients.
Legal issues and mountains of paperwork to fill out when admitting the young and homeless, inadequate staff members, lack of qualified and trained personnel to provide optimum care to various categories of people sheltered in the 3 branches are some of the obstacles to begin with.
The biggest challenge however is the scarcity of funds. Sandip says, “We get food grains, clothing, stationery and medicines on a regular basis. However, there are additional regular monthly expenses like accommodation, staff salary, electricity and fuel cost that also needs to be met.” Sandip urges people to donate whatever they can, to help him keep the wheels of this social undertaking running.
In the future, Sandip is very confident that he will continue to facilitate fundamental rights to senior citizens across the country. He also aspires to create nationwide awareness to save lives and nourish them with humanity and kindness.
Like to help Sandip and his team with this initiative?
You can contribute by becoming a volunteer or donating funds. Reach out to Jeevan Aanand Sanstha at www.jasngo.org or contact Sandip on 9820232765. By giving a little, you can change a lot!
About the author
Priya Narayan is a postgraduate in Child Development from SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai, India. She is the founder of Sparkling Stories, an enterprise that sees her curating stories across the globe and combining them with music, mediation, artwork, and theatre for all age groups. Besides writing, she also teaches English Grammar, Creative Writing and Spoken English. She has written several blogs, poems, articles and short stories in the last 20 years, and has also co -authored a travelogue and 2 poetry compilations in 2020.