An orphanage in Cuttack, Jashoda Sadan has been making a difference in the lives of hundreds of children as well as young boys and girls ever since it came into being 15 years back in 2000.
Suchitra Dighal is a bright student, pursuing her graduation from Ravenshaw University, dreaming of a career like any other girl of her age would. 7 years back though, she had no idea where her life was heading to. “My parents died during the super cyclone of 99’ leaving me with the responsibility of my younger siblings. I was helpless as financially and emotionally, I had none to bank on. And, then Jashoda Sadan happened to me and everything changed for the better.”
The orphanage is a like a home away from home for all its inmates. It isn’t just a place where they live. The children at the orphanage follow a disciplined life. They get time to study, play, pray and also hone their skills. From learning yoga to musical instruments like tabla and harmonium, the children are given ample opportunities for their creative development.
Superintendent of the organisation, Asima Mishra, who is like a mother to all the children at the orphanage told MCL that all the inmates at the orphanage are sent to nearby schools for education. Besides, they get 4 hours of tuition classes in the morning & evenings by teachers employed by the orphanage. We have been focusing on their education with a touch of culture, tradition and spirituality.
THE STORY BEHIND
In 1999, when the super cyclone devastated Odisha, during the rescue operation, a team of young volunteers found a group of homeless children, about 80 of them who had nowhere to go. Although it was a daunting task for the volunteers to take care and look after the children, they took up the cause. When Swami Pranaroopananda Saraswati, a saint at Ramakrishna Mission heard about the noble effort being taken up by the volunteers, he offered shelter to the children at his ashram in Bhubaneswar for a few months until a temporary accommodation was constructed for them in Cuttack under the leadership of Late (Major) Shyam Sunder Sahoo, who is also the founder trustee of Jashoda Sadan.
Jashoda Sadan Charitable Trust was born in 2000 and a few months into its existence, one of the reputed philanthropic organisations of Odisha, Utkal Bippana Sahayata Samiti, came forward with a proposal to shoulder all cash expenses of these children for a few years.
In 2003, the generous Gem and Jewellery National Relief Foundation, Mumbai, extended a helping hand to Jashoda Sadan and constructed a three-storied building equipped with all modern facilities for the orphan children. Gradually, Jashoda Sadan found its own footing and started raising funds for the children through various sources.
On being asked about the future of the children, Jagdish Pattnaik, joint secretary, Jashoda Sadan said, “As of now, most of them are studying and some of them will be completing their graduation this academic session. We are looking forward to impart some technical training to them as per their interest and ability so as to make them financially independent. We will also get the girls married after the consent of their guardians.”
Kudos to Jashoda Sadan for doing such a great task of improving the future of the homeless!