New Projects

PANCHAVADI- A Holistic Community Development Programme.


To give concrete shape and form to the dreams of the founder, the Managing Committee of Mahila Mandiram has bought 8 acres of land at Vaaliyara, in Vellanadu Panchayath, (17 kms from Trivandrum) for a mega project. It is called PANCHAVADI – named after the five trees alluded in the great epic ‘Ramayana’ – giving shelter and solace to the needy. It consists five components, VATSALYA, (Mother’s Love), SANTHWANA,(Solace), SUSIKSHA,(Education), PARIRAKSHA,(Healthcare), and PRASANTHI,(Peace). This is a multi-million rupee project, the first phase of which itself comes to Rs. 20,000,000/- ($400,000).

The foundation stone of the project was laid on 5th January 2003 by Hon. Minister Sri.O.Rajagopal at Panchavadi. In 2003 a tailoring course was conducted at Panchavadi with the help of Janashikshan Sansthan. Income generating activities and medicinal plant cultivation were initiated for the local women.

Vatsalya is the name given to a group of 5 homes for the needy children. In reality, institutional care, however well meaning, is largely impersonal. It often fails to fill the emotional needs of growing children. Vatsalya is the answer to this deficiency. It comprises 5 cottages (1800 sq.ft each) in ancient Kerala Architectural style. Each cottage will have a comfortable living standard for a family of 10 –15 children from infants to adolescents, under the care of a ‘Mother’ who is a trained social worker. A psychologist will give guidance and counseling to the mothers as well as residents. This is conceived to give the much-needed familial atmosphere to the deprived child. Here, the child will be able to identify herself as belonging to a particular home. The goal of such an up-bringing of the child is to give her a secure and nurturing environment and make her confident and self-reliant, who may become a support to the family, especially to the mother, in her graying years. The natural bond of the child with her relatives is not severed. They visit her once a month and take her home during special occasions.

The first cottage of Vatsalya was started in the existing building in Panchavadi with 6 girls and their ‘mother’. The House of TATA TEA partly sponsored the construction of the first cottage at Vatsalya. It was handed over to its first occupants (10 girls with their ‘Mother’) in late January 2009.

Today the cost of a cottage is estimated as  Rs. 2,500,000/-.($. 500,000). As we are fund raising for the second cottage, the Life Insurance Corporation of India has given a 50% grant for the construction of the next cottage.

Santhwana is the Home for the Aged. It will provide accommodation for elderly women for an “assisted living”, facility with emotional support. Each resident will be provided with a studio apartment with basic amenities. The other units of Panchavadi will together give the essential emotional support, sense of belonging, and care to the residents here. The most important factor will be the presence of children which is sure to bring joy and hope to the elderly.11 independent homes are planned, the cost of each home is estimated at Rs. 700,000/- ($14,000).

Pariraksha is the Health Care Centre which will have resident nurses and visiting doctors. This facility will also be available to the local people. The first developmental phase of this needs Rs.700,000/- ($14000). All three forms of medicine, Allopathy, Ayurveda and Homeopathy will be practiced in the centre.

However we plan to start the health centre in the existing builing with a visiting doctor and a resident nurse.

Susiksha will meet the basic educational needs of the residents as well as the local people, both in the general educational and skill developmental spheres. A 3-storied building is to house this part of Panchavadi.

Prasanthi, the fifth one, is meant to give spiritual boost to the residents. This is a Prayer-cum-Community Hall to seat 200 people. Here, one can pray, meditate, or listen to discourses as one chooses. The cost of this is estimated to be Rs. 600,000/- ($.12000).

In addition to the above, there are central services as well as infrastructural facilities which are to be developed simultaneously. For example, a well laid out drinking watter system, harnessing of solar power for most of the needs of the project, waste recycling and water management in the property are some of the needs in support of the project.

This venture is no longer a mere dream. In addition to the first home of Vatsalya we are improving and maintaining the existing Agricultural crops, Rubber and Coconut. The income from this brings in the revenue to meet the general requirements and salaries of the staff of Panchavadi. A resident Manager looks after the day to day activities.

We invite all our friends to join hands to give this Mega venture the shape we have visualized. Your suggestions and ideas will give momentum to our work. Together let us make a difference in the lives of some members of our society.

OLD-AGE HOME


With a house and land donated by a generous lady, we now have a care center for the aged, 35 kilometres from Trivandrum at Azhoor. in Chirayinkizhu Taluk. At present there are 14 residents.

They are all destitute women who do not have any one to care for them. Some of them are childless widows some others are rendered destitute due to neglect of their near relatives. The center is looked after by a group of ladies of the locality, who have come forward as voluntary workers. There are two care givers and a cook who look after their daily needs. We also support four other elderly poor women who live in their homes independently by supplying a packet containing grains and some necessary items . Medical care is given by the local government hospital as and when needed. A doctor and a paramedic visit the center and monitor the general health status of the residents once a month. The center is mainly funded by public donations. The government also gives a small grant for recurring expenses.

In the next phase of this project we plan to build a two-storied building as a Multi care Center for The Aged, which will include day-care activities as well as outreach programs. The present facilities have to be improved in order to provide a more comfortable atmosphere for the residents and to admit at least ten more residents.

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