SUMATI GRAM HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION FORUM (SGHRPF) is a non- government organization (NGO) registered under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (Gov. of India) and whose primary objectives are:
- Protection of Human Rights in all senses
- To help people like Mentally Challenged, Orphans, Blind, Handicapped, Leprosy Patients, Deaf and dumb and other such socially neglected people to get proper justice, due rights and attention.
- To bridge the gap between mainstream society and the neglected, weaker sections of society and maintain social and cultural unity.
SUMATI GRAM Human Rights Protection Forum through its varied experience is set to launch a novel dream project – SUMATI GRAM (as the village will be known), a self-sufficient, self-motivated, self-dependent village of Differently Thinking people for the Differently Thinking People by the Differently Thinking People. – Not just a self-sufficient village of mentally retarded, but a veritable life revolution!
- There would be a conscience effort to understand the shortcomings of each Mentally Retarded Child associated and to treat the same, take good care of their health and well-being.
- To find out every Mentally Retarded Child’s qualities and aspirations, motivate them, understand their limitations and with that provide them with education of suitable profession, art, and sport activity and to make them stand on their own feet and become independent.
- To make a group of FOUR such children and give them a responsibility of taking care of each other as a family. With a clear understanding of their capabilities provide them with a small family business with which the family as a whole can become independent.
When a family has a mentally retarded child the family lives with some sort of guilt. This family deprives the retarded child of her fundamental right to live with dignity. Helplessly they coax themselves for their inability to support the child while their heart bleeds for the child. The number of mentally retarded children is rapidly growing all over the world. No doubt, we all are solely responsible for this situation.
We unfailingly curse the mother who abandons her mentally retarded child on the road. But we never think of the plight of this mother who carries her child in her womb for nine months. She abandons her child at the gate of a temple/church trusting the god inside the temple. She is well aware that the God in the temple/church is never going to leave his altar and come to help her son. But she has a fervent hope that the God inside the temple will inspire some noble man to come and help her child. What else this unfortunate mother can do other than believing in statue of God in the temple? If she takes the child home neither the child not the mother would get any shelter? There is no sanctuary for them. She abandons the child at the nearest public place and leaves.
And if that mentally retarded is a girl child then this thought itself is frightening. When the so-called cultured, educated people are the first to exploit such mentally retarded girl we see the savagery in man. It becomes fairly easy to play with the dignity of such mentally retarded girls who simply do not know what dignity of life is. This is the story of the mentally retarded. The plight of mentally retarded orphans is unthinkable. There is no one even to count their number. For our government children above 18 years are adults. But what of such an adult whose mental age is 10 years? How to live in this society? If their parents, the government all disown them where can they go? If in a developed country like America the proportion of handicap people is 17% then how come in our developing country it is just 3%? Everything here depends on who counts their number and with what intention. In this callous situation the number of mentally retarded and the retarded who are orphans in these handicap population becomes quite irrelevant here. But who will think of them? Who will create facilities for them?
We have therefore decided to create a village Sumati Gram exclusively for them. Sumati Gram will be the first such initiative where the differently able will set up a hamlet for themselves, of their own. This would be the state-of-the-art project in community-living in the world.
This will be the first of its kind project in the world. The prevailing scenario cannot be changed with a magic wand. People who have vested interests in continuing these pitiable situations will not allow any change in it. But be sure, this is a war. We have a band of young committed soldiers. This is the only way to save this society, this country and this world of ours. We shall overcome the hurdles and give a life to these mentally challenged children.
A new revolution will emerge in the form of Sumati gram – a village set up by mentally retarded for themselves. Most significantly, there will not be any monetary transactions. Money will have no place in this village. In fact, there will be nothing like a commercial transaction. A whole new holistic system centred around mother nature will govern this unique village.
Sumati Dham, AT Sai Baba Seva Dham, Kanhe Phata, near Lonavala since August 2009 with about 20 children and
A prototype village under the name Sumatidham was started in August 2009 at Sai Baba Seva Dham, Kanhe Phata, near Lonavala with about 20 children in a rented premise with the help of kind hearted Samaritans. The children are all from poor families who have no means to educate them. We gave vocational training to them through sister institutions and have conducted seminars every year with children from various states of the Union. These exercises have enriched their skills and knowledge over a period of time. For the past four years we have been giving them vocational training and the children have upgraded themselves in many fields.
Due to non-availability of permanent accommodation to house these children at Talegaon, we had to look out for our own place.
Recently we have acquired land admeasuring approx. 40 acres near Kudal- near to Goa and have constructed few houses to accommodate the children. The staff are qualified and well trained and manage the children well. We have also got a mobile health lab which will be stationed at the premises in the evening to take care of any emergency health needs of the children and the village in general.