Anjina Rajagopal sacrificed her entire life in taking care of orphansed and underpriviledge children. Now she has a 400 member family in Noida...
I was standing in a prayer meeting with 60 children around me. Their eyes are glowing in the limited but bright light of diya. All of them are singing the aarti. I am sharing time and space with the biggest family in the Noida. This family has 400 members. It’s a family with single parent, mother Anjina Rajagopal. This is not a traditional family with parents and their wards. This family includes all those kids who are orphan, deprived, and had no name and address. All of them call Anjina, mummy. Anjina is not only their mother but their father too as she takes care of all the kids and their needs too.
Rajat the first boy This family started 26 years back. Anjina was returning home from her office, when she saw some fruit vendors thrashing a boy. She inquired and found that the child was a homeless kid. Anjina brought him home. That was the day Anjina became a mother of a boy, Rajat. He is the reason behind her shelter home, Baal kutir. Rajat can’t hear neither can he speak, but with his gleaming face he will express all his emotions to you. When I met him, first thing he did was to point his finger towards Anjina, and bowed to her. He didn’t speak but it felt as if he wanted to say, she is my mom, this is my house and I am the elder brother of all the kids here. When Rajat meet Anjina, he was just 9, now he is 37 years. He is working as a team leader with an organisation making jewellery boxes. His face was glowing with the glory of success, when he was explaining me his work through his gestures.
Extended family Anjina sacrificed her life for the betterment of these needy kids. She picked a few kids from road; a few are from slums even police got few kids to her house. Likewise the family gets extended. It was the first time she got a girl in her house. Girls always mean extra care and responsibility. This is the reason behind gender imbalance in India. When, even parents don’t want a girl child. Anjina welcomed Meera with open arms and heart. Meera is now married and mother of two children. She is staying in sector 41, Noida with her husband and kids. She says now, when I am mother of two children I understand how mummy would have managed so many of us. Now I respect and love her more than before”. Other than Meera six more girls got married and are now settled in their life. Right now Anjina has total 60 kids in her house. Including 40 girls and 20 boys, among them Anshika is the youngest; she is just 5 years old.
The roller coaster of journey Its life and it’s not meant to be smooth. Anjina do had to face a lot of trouble while meeting the needs of ‘Bal Kutir’. After all she always ran a big family. She says, “Initially money was a big issue. Baal Kutir was getting new members regularly. I was the only source of income. So, sometimes I use to have only 500 hundred in my account but still I ran this family. It was my kids who gave me the strength to fight for our survival.” In even her toughest time she never asked for money to anyone. She just accepted whatever came voluntarily. Now few of my kids are earning their livelihood their own,” says the proud mother. Many children reared here are now working. All of them help their mummy financially.
Second most Important is Education After livelihood comes the number for proper education. Educating her children was another big issue for Anjina. She knew, finding school for the children of shelter home won’t be an easy task. So, she decided to have a school of her own. With a mission to give her kids a bright future, she Kept foundation of her school ‘Sai Sikhsa Sansthan’ in Wazipur, Noida. The school, which was started with just 80 children, has more than 400 children now. So far fifteen batches have completed their 10th standard from the school. Even the parents who can’t afford to send their kids to any other private School send their kids here. They get subsidy on everything like books, copy, pen, pencil, etc.
Education is the key to the success Rajender came to Sai Kripa at the age of six. He completed his 10th class from Sai Sikhsa Sansthan, did his 12th from National Institute of open schooling. Then he pursued his graduation in Hotel management. At present, he is working with an Italian restaurant in Gurugram. Whereas Puja is a doctor, she says: “I have seen doctors who demand a lot of money from their patients for treatment. There are poor people in our country who need low cost medication. So, I aspired to be doctor. Now I can treat my family my own.
These contributions are not least If you visit this place you can feel the essence of home here. Even the workers are working here from past 20 years. They feel as if they are working for their own family. Here we meet Ram Prakash, he says this “place is my home, the kids played in my lap are now grownups. Now, I cook for them. I love cooking for them. This is my only passion.” Before this, Ram Prakash use to drive an auto. Anjina meet her near choura mod (NOIDA) in the year 2007. She reserved Ram Prakash and his auto for one week. “That week never ended and it will last only with my death,” says Ram Prakash. Ram Prakash says “I left all my ill habits while staying here like drinking. I turned in to a pure Vaisnov”. Now he is old and can’t drive so, cooks for children staying in the kutir. Sevak lal is another worker, he washes every one’s cloth. Apart from this he does some small work like getting stuff from shop and helping in other house hold work. He says, “I love washing cloth, it clean my heart too.” People working here are happy and satisfied.
Few more steps further Anjina is very happy with her work and she has started vocational courses for growing Kids. She runs a bridge course too for the kids who never stepped in to any school. “As it is not a regular course so, no norm for eligibility, no age bar nothing is needed to join ‘Bal Sansar’. Children come to fill the gap; they learn and then join the main stream. We feel proud when we see them working independenly” says Mrs. Padmaja teacher in Bal Sansar. Apart from ‘Bal Sansar’ there is ‘Vatsalya vatika’ too, here children learn art, craft, theater and dance. This is for special kids, suffering from any kind of disability mental or physical. These courses are for marginalized section of society. Any poor kid interested in these things can join and learn here. ‘Sai vocational training’ is for the kid who can’t afford to go for professional courses. Those kids come here and learn skills like spoken English, tailoring, computer courses, beauty culture cooking and all. Anjina is happy with work performance. She has more plans in her mind. “My mission is to benefit more and more poor and helpless kids, so that they can have a better life. I want to keep nurturing life with difference”, she says.
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