Anjina Rajgopal is an example of such a woman who , forty years ago , had started with a small attempt to help those children without any shelter or support . This attempt of Anjina has taken the shape of a mission and grown by the day . One can see children of all age groups studying , playing and eating together in the organization started by her named “ Sai Krupa “ .These children are among those who were not fortunate enough to rest in a mother’s lap or have a roof above their head. Every child has its own story. Anjani is the “Mummy “of all these kids. She chooses to remain unmarried to be able to bring a smile on their face. Today, there are about 55 children under her care and a lot of them are already settled and successful in their lives.
Let’s go further into her life, hear about experiences of the beautiful dream world she has created. The various instances representing glimpses of her life is being presented as an interview in a question and answer format.
Q : Anjani where do you stay and how did you reach Delhi?
A : I was born in a Kerala and spent my childhood in Bellary district of Karnataka. I am the youngest among six siblings. When I lost my mother and a brother, our relatives asked us to shift to Delhi. I came to Delhi in 1976 with my father and brothers and sisters.
Q : Where did you complete your education and tell us about your first job?
A : I studied till 10th std in Bellary’s well-known school – Saint Philomena’s Convent. Came to Delhi in 1976 and worked as a typist for an English newspaper.
Q : When did the need and feeling to work for unsheltered children arise?
A : When I was ten years old, it was heart-breaking to see such children go from door-to-door to beg. It was then that I had decided to do something different for such children so that they can have a bright future.
Q : When did your life take a turn and tell us about the first child you brought home?
A : It was my dream to work for these children and this is the reason why I had registered in 1988 for an organization for children. First two years, no children came. Then one fine day, while I was returning back home from office, I noticed that a few people were hitting a nine year old boy. I rescued him from the trap of those people with the help of police. His name is Rajat. He is physically handicapped but amazing skilled at making wooden furniture articles. He still stays with us. Now thirty years old, he imparts vocational training at our training centre. I share a completely different and a very special emotional bond with him.
Q : How did more children start coming into the organization?
A : When I had taken Rajat to the hospital for the operation of his leg, another social server noticed this and got a 10-year old girl. Today she is married and the mother of two children. Gradually, with the help of hospital staff and police and relatives, such children were brought in. Almost 150 children are out of Sai Krupa, well settled and successful. Currently, 55 children are under our care.
Q : How many girls and how many boys are there?
A : Out of 55 children, there are about 15 boys and the rest are girls. Children ranging from play group age to young girls and boys of 18 and plus are there. The older children are studying and working at the same time.
Q : How do you look after and take up the responsibility of so many children at a time?
A : The elder children help in taking care of the younger ones. Initially, I used to do all the work alone. But as the number kept increasing, it became necessary to procure help from outside. I now have two cooks, one washer man, three drivers and female security guards working at Sai Krupa.
Q : How do you manage the expenses and tell us about the financial help, if any?
A : When I started, I had a job. I had to quit the job as I wanted to give all my time to the children. So it became difficult to manage the expenses. I first contacted “CRY (Child relief and you) “organization. Seeing the kind of children being taken care of at Sai Krupa, CRY agreed to pay 50% of the expenses. The other portion was arranged through donations and funds from various sources. Since the year 2000, CRY has withdrawn its financial support. I did not approach the government also. Donations from national and international companies helped. The people of Noida extended great support too.
Apart from the organization, Anjani runs three schools and a vocational training centre. The fees paid by the students studying in the three schools are a great source of finance. The various fields in which vocational training is being imparted include banking, mobile repairing, beautician courses, computer classes, etc. The only sad scenario is that the schools are run on rented land.
Q : Would you like to share about the awards you have received?
A : I received the “REAL HUMAN AWARD “in 2009. It was presented by Mr.Ambani in Mumbai. The recent one was handed over by superstar Mr. Amitabh Bachan. I have also received the National Senior Citizen’s Award. There were 12 candidates chosen for this category who have made contribution in social service field. I give all the credit to my children who have made me worth these awards. I always work for such underprivileged and unsupported children.
Q : What are your future plans?
A : I wish to open an old age home for senior citizens in the near future. The only problem we face is that of space. If I receive help from the government and others interested, then it would be great. I love to work for the aged people of the society too.
The above interview is a simple one yet leaves a strong impact on the minds of the readers. It is the story of a woman who single handedly is to be appreciated for the bright and secure future of those abandoned lives. It is truly inspirational – her will and courage to be able to make a difference to hundreds of the so called “unfortunate children “.