The Asharan Orphanage is a project of the Hope Foundation, an affiliate of Hope Worldwide, an international charity that changes lives by harnessing the compassion and commitment of dedicated staff and volunteers to deliver sustainable, high-impact, community-based services to the poor and needy.
The word “Asharan” was derived by putting together two words in the Hindi language: ‘Asha’, which means hope and ‘Sharan’ that means refuge. Therefore, Asharan was created to mean a Refuge of Hope – and this was the aim for the abandoned and orphaned children who find their way there. Currently, they have a license to house 25 children at the orphanage.
The home provides custody, care, protection, and rehabilitation including adoption of children. It is a great joy to see the children who had gone through a lot of trauma being healed both physically and emotionally at the home. Care for the children at the orphanage is relatively expensive. Most of the children arrive malnourished and in need of special care and medical attention. The orphanage spends heavily on items such as milk, cereals, eggs, and special dietary supplements: utensils, bottles and nipples; detergents, toilet soap and baby oil; clothing and linen; electricity, fuel, and transportation; antiseptic lotions, medicines, laboratory tests and hospitalization; and on-site professional staff such as nurses and paediatricians.
Asharan’s first effort is to restore children to their parents if this is possible. If not, the next effort is to place children in adoption with suitable families, and to give the children within Asharan a secure, loving environment while they stay here. In cases where the child cannot be adopted, the child is transferred to a ‘fit person’ Foster care Home where the child receives the same care and facilities offered by the orphanage. Children are brought by the police, left at the gate, or in cradles by unknown persons. Some are transferred from hospitals where the parent abandons the child. Often children are relinquished directly by their parents who are unable to take care of them because of one reason or another.
As at the end of December, 2008, Asharan had taken in a total of 403 children, reunited 207 of those with their biological parents and arranged 104 domestic and international adoptions.
By supporting Asharan, Kind Gestures ensures that children who are left on the street by their parents or guardians have a safe haven to turn to, a place where they can be cared for whilst a permanent home is found for them. This means they are not preyed upon by organised crime elements and made to turn to begging or other such activities.