They say you can choose your friends but not your family, Gunjan Ladies Club chose their family by embracing their whole community. This club's multidimensional programmes focus on education, health, computer literacy, sports, nutrition and general welfare of the dexterous support staff that keeps the wheel of their homes going round.
If the colossal degradation of life around you does not bother you then you are either too busy or you are in denial or worse, you are stricken yourself. There is misery all around us and the authorities have too much on their hands to address the issues of all 1.4 billion people of India. All around you is a blanket of unemployment, ignorance, malnourishment, illiteracy, ill clad or simply sick people. There is a lot that needs to be done, a lot that can be done, and what gives you hope is that quite a bit is being done, even if in pockets, by the unspoken heroes amongst us, one such team is that of Gunjan Ladies Club in Vasant Kunj, Delhi
Club- not an exclusive space for the elite
This team here of ladies from all walks of life and in all stages of time did not choose any one particular cause, and they did not limit themselves to any one cause, if it were food that one wanted, they served it in a platter, or education that they saw a dearth of, they created classrooms and took to the chalk and board. They adopted the entire community around them as theirs and they did not limit themselves to occasional mercies but have ensured sustained facilitation for the last 2 decades. During this period their club has grown, their circle of beneficiaries have grown and so has their realm of goodness – whether it is distributing food to the street dwellers outside AIIMs or Safdarjung hospitals that most of us pass by every single day, or shielding them against the harsh cold of the Delhi winters while we are snug in the comfort of our homes.
They have gone a long way in making goodness a way of life and their patrons and beneficiaries don't feel like outsiders in any way, whether it is Kalavati Mishra who is a home help and has received every aid in the bringing up her children or projecting a better future for them and also arranging for their weddings. Under their umbrella of project help, it works as efficiently as any corporate machinery with subdivisions by projects like Food for Hungry, A Meal a Day, education, physical well-bring, compensated with the highly motivating perks and benefits of love and satisfaction. Gunjan Ladies club focuses on the holistic development of the children and does not limit them to skills for employability ensuring that their childhood is just as much fun as it should be for any child and motivating them for overall development in fields of sports and arts.
Not just a lifeline but quality of life
Project help was a brain child of Dr. Neeraj who oozes warmth and friendliness, and goodness of course is infectious, as the club has today attracted about 80 ladies who are seamlessly running the multiple projects of societal care. Dr. Neeraj started on this road of transformation in 1982 when she came across a destitute who was subjected to domestic violence daily and that affected her gravely and jerked Dr. Neeraj into action. The team has been very effective in counseling the residents of Rangpuri Pahadi in Vasant Kunj to keep their environs and homes clean and focus on getting skilled to change their way of life. The funds for all the 37 projects under Gunjan Ladies Club are self funded, every member sincerely contributes to the initiative in cash and kind, cooking themselves and going out to feed the hungry, offering sponsorship for higher education, personality development. Ms. Preeti Goel helps with grooming the children with basic practical skills like sewing which could afford them alternative income options at any point in life. Ms. Jyoti Verma finds immense satisfaction in cooking herself whether it is for a handful of people or for a battalion. The club also trains the children with technical classes of information technology to ensure they face no technical impediments tomorrow.
The veterans of the club like Ms. Rosy Chawla, Ms. Asha Gupta, Ms. Shashi Batra, Ms. Mukta Jindal and countless other express their vision of empowering these less-privileged extended family and believe that even if they can change a few people's lives for the better it will be a huge achievement and they take great pride when their pupils score higher grades despite their limited means. It gives them immense pleasure to be able to contribute to fortify the country with better skills and better humans. One theme that echoed as we spoke to the various members of the club was that celebration of life is in sharing with all others irrespective of and beyond any prejudices. This unrecognized labour force, such as maids, guards, launderers do not have the social security that most of us do and they have nowhere to go. As such can we shun them or should we care for them to create that endless ripple called goodness.
If you know someone like them tell us at #SpreadingGoodness