Name: Mohan Rao Dasari
Address: P.O. Box 247, Arundelpet HPO, Guntur-522 002, A.P.
Telephone: 0091 863 326609
I come from a total poverty line
background and when my father died I was enrolled in a children's
home in my town with my older brother.
It was both 'good and bad' luck that I developed patches confirmed
as leprosy. It did mean changing to another children's home
at New Hope, Vizianagaram. I had to shift because the Home manager
feared having a child with leprosy in the Home in those days.
At New Hope I received multidrug treatment and am cured totally
without deformity. I now advocate more use of the medical definition
of 'Hansen's Disease' as against the still stigmatised word
It also meant that I had the opportunity after 10th standard
to work for the organisation. I was an under study for various
jobs to the director.
In staying at the Home I had my
first experience in meeting and learning about children that
came to live and beg on railway station platforms. New Hope
run programmes for these children. Many of the children from
the platform became my closest friends. It gave me insight to
Out of the 10 odd years that I spent with NEW HOPE I gained
not just training to be a capable project implementor and manager,
but a number of direct project responsibilities and experiences:
· 3 year's preparing and presenting the monthly reports
of the NEWHOPE Children's Home programmes-in Andhra -Pradesh.
This involved monitoring both the financial cost and the 'care
level' of children being looked after.
· Following the Orissa Cyclone in 1999 I was involved
in setting up the post cyclone 'Stayput' programmes on railway
· Preparation and translation of the Home manuals and
development of the `Child to Child` concept into-the programmes.
· Monitoring and Reporting for the HIV/AIDS project that
covered the Gunupur Sub-Division of Rayagada District, Orissa--
including all schools. The monitoring position was for 2 years.
· Management of the Govt. of Andhra Pradesh state AIDS
Cell programmes in Vizianagaram District for 1 year. This --included
planning, implementation and reporting of the work carried out.
Seminars and Training:
· I am a promoter of the concept of changing the name
of 'leprosy' to H.D (Hansen's Disease) to bring about a lower
stigmatisation problem. I have attended a number of workshops
(All India Leprosy Workers Congress, IDEA --International) on
this and presented papers at same.
· A fund-raising workshop run by the South Asia Fund-raising
Group for 6 days in Hyderabad.
· Project Planning and Management training, at Cenderet,
Bhubaneswar for 7 days.
It would be fair to say that I have managed office administration
including staff of up to 5 persons over the last 5 years. I
basically know all needed computer programmes. I am also familiar
with report formats as used by the UK Community Fund.
In January 2000 I decided to take all of this background and
experience and branch out on my own. I have founded an organisation,
HEARTS (Health, Education, Awareness, Rehabilitation and Treatment
Society) and have established a home for Street Children in
Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India.
In June 2001 I had the opportunity
to work part time as a co-ordinator for a UK based NGO, The
Railway Children. This involves visiting, reporting of the funded
NGO partners and supervising childcare.
HEARTS - ACTIVITIES REPORT -
As we look back over the past year, we feel a great sense of
achievement. A little cash/kind contributed by our donors and
benefactors, a few words of wisdom/advice from our experienced
elders and well wishers. A little time spent by the Management
Committee members with assistance of our dedicated staff has
brought light and life to the burdensome existence of our children
who subsist from day to day.
You would be happy to note for
example, that donations from the UK have made it possible for
a number of Street Children to live in our Night Shelter rather
than on Streets or Platforms.
To us the issue of children's rights
lies at the heart of the Indian dream. For the child is TODAY
- and it is a society built on the promise of Today rather than
the ever-repetitive cycles of the past that can truly be free.
By freeing the child, we are in effect freeing our present to
create the golden dreams of tomorrow.
We believe that India's most powerful
and potent resource is YOU - the people who support our work.
All the children, whose lives you have touched, have affirmed
our faith in YOU. With your support we can and will see this
freedom for children. We can assure you that any contribution
in cash/kind will go a long way to build the self-reliance of
these less fortunate children.
NIGHT SHELTER FOR STREET CHILDREN
The target groups are socially disabled and the majority have
economically poor family backgrounds. These children are runaways
from home for social and economical reasons.
They live in dangerous conditions on the platforms. They sweep
compartments, beg and steal to survive, are abused by gangsters
through drugs or sexually (which can lead to HIV/AIDS).
Our area of operation is the Guntur
Railway station, Andhra Pradesh. The target population are the
street children found begging and living on the railway station
platforms, who are runaway, abandoned and/or abused. On an average
35 - 40 children can be seen every day on the platforms.
The children coming to the Guntur
Railway can be orphaned, abandoned or runaway. They live and
sleep on the streets or at the stations. For them, violence
and abuse are a way of life. Some, as little as six, survive
through begging, street trading and petty crime. Many are at
the mercy of perverts, drug dealers and abusers. Railway stations
are magnets for these `forgotten children'. They arrive on trains
or go there in search of food, shelter and companionship.
HEARTS is a point of contact for children coming on to the platforms
and we provide them with help and advice and seek to reunite
them with their families, or offer them shelter and care. Our
Night Shelter gets them off the streets and offers a steppingstone
to a better life. In the Night Shelter the children are offered
nutrition, health & hygiene, care, education, vocational
training, advocacy and protection from abuse. The children that
we target are between 6 and 18 years.
a) To meet children found begging and living on the Guntur railway
station and offer them emergency services i.e. snacks, first
aid and counselling and , where possible, reunite them with
b) To identify these children and
accommodate them in a Night Shelter where they can get nutritional,
medical and recreational needs.
c) To offer them Vocational Training,
Formal and Non-Formal Education.
d) To counsel the children considered
capable of going to school where they can be integrated into
the formal system ---through special arrangements with local
e) To use this elementary stage
as a means to get older children into apprenticeships that will
ensure they are able to ---become employed and self-reliant.
f) To offer them Health Education
classes on various diseases and also awareness on STDs - HIV/AIDS.