Covering 25 acres, Snehalaya (Gwalior – India) is an unique place combining community living with a Care Home (orphanage) for disabled and destitute children, homeless women and the aged. Mostly they live together as a family in cottages. “Snehalaya” (in hindi it means “Home with Love”) also includes a school for special needs, a mainstream school, a regional rural hospital, a multi-sensory room, vocational training, facilities for yoga and meditation, farm, gaushala (cow shed) for our own cows — all set amid gardens, farms and sports & play areas.
Also on site, the new integrated school has facilities for 250 ‘special needs’ children plus a further 500 places for children from surrounding villages, especially girls who would otherwise remain uneducated and undergo oppression. A special focus is vocational training for these girls to make them more independent and provide them with confidence to start a career.
A little goes a very long way in India – and there are many ways an individual or an organisation can make a real difference. Sometimes, when we look at the need, the prospect seems daunting. But we carry on, remembering the simple adage that “because you can’t do everything, it doesn’t mean you should do nothing”.