The Shishu Enclave - an exceptional project
        Community
 

In 2007 Shishu Mandir became aware of a land near the new airport which was offered for a reasonable price. We developed a plan to invest in this land in the name of Shishu Mandir and later distribute it in portions to our staff and some bigger children. In the fast growing megacity of Bangalore it is difficult to obtain a land at a reasonable proximity to the city, so to wait until our staff would have the funds to pay for their portion, the prices would have escalated beyond reach. The poor would remain poor for ever. Therefore Shishu Mandir bought the land like a caretaker until all who should benefit from it would have paid their portion.

24 persons made themselves eligible to obtain a piece of land varying in size between 1200 and 600 sft. Staff members managed the payment by strict saving over the years. As for the children we informed the sponsor parents about our plan, so few could afford to donate such an amount, consequently few children obtained such a big gift. Now ultimately all beneficiaries have paid their basic amount and the land is transferred into their names.

It is the first time that they experienced the feeling of being the owner of a piece of land, looking at a piece of land that carries their name, where in the far future they might construct their own house, where their children can live in peace. It is like a dream for them, but we know - it is reality.

 

The Child Care Centre - Chikku Shishu

 

When in 2004 we received a special donation from a donor who specifically wanted this amount to be used for 'the whole community', we did not have to think long before we decided to build a community hall from this amount. Kithiganur Colony, a village near to our school, offered us a reasonable site of about 4300 sft. and we started the construction. It was an extremely simple hall with two small rooms, but it could serve for common gatherings or celebrations for the villagers and for conducting daily evening study sessions for children of government schools. Luckily we received more funds which we used for constructing toilets and a water sump at the side of the hall.

A daily-use purpose was soon found. Mrs. Vimala Anand requested us to use it for a child care centre, which we were happy to accept. What better purpose could have been found for this hall?

The demand was overwhelming. Young mothers saw a chance of leaving their children in a safe place and go to work again. It was a great blessing, and in no time the originally 30 children increased to 75 children who are looked after from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm. Besides playing they have the benefit of a breakfast and a cooked lunch and evening snacks, they learn hygiene by getting their hands washed over a bucket every day several times and they are prepared for school. After lunch they drop into sleep on mats on the floor like herrings in a box.

Not only during their afternoon nap the children lay packed in the hall, also for playing inside or outside the hall the space was absolutely too small. A new building was the need of the hour. Still it took several years before donations for a new building trickled in so that the building - of course in the style of all Shishu Mandir buildings - could be started. At this moment 30% of the building cost is to be covered still as well as funds for basic equipment with furniture and toys or games. As the drawing reveals, the building will have two floors which will have space for a hall in each floor measuring 580 resp. 750 sft., 4 rooms, 7 toilets, a washing place for vessels and a playground of 1880 sft. The building will be finished by the middle of next year and

no doubt, it will be another Paradise for Children.

September 2014