BELGAUM: Slum-dwellers of Kanbargi get free medicines, medical treatment and education, thanks to a group of social workers working under the banner of Mahesh Foundation.
Mahesh Foundation’s Aadhar village programme involves identification of communities struggling with healthcare and socio-economic difficulties, and mobilizing their efforts and resources in the uplift of such communities.
Moved by the plight of the 350 families living in the slum, industrialist and foundation trustee Suresh Hundre, president Mahesh Jadhav and his team comprising Rajeev Sharma, Nagaratna Ramgonda and Dr Ahmed Faraaz wanted to improve their lot.
“During our survey on child labour and child beggary, we found that most children are from slums who are forced to beg and work because of parental pressure. So we decided to focus on slums. To start with, people were not interested in attending our health camp. Later, we started providing free bags, books and groceries. Gradually, they realized what we were doing. Among 600 children, almost all would either beg or work for a living,” said Mahesh.
Now, nearly 400 children go to school, he said proudly.
The Sagar Nagar slum gets free medicines, medical treatment, education and employment guidance, even free rice. A medical store has been started inside the slum and a team of doctors visits twice a week. Information is provided by the doctors and volunteers on topics like anaemia, common respiratory and diarrhoeal diseases, importance of immunization and antenatal care for pregnant women, said Mahesh.
Mahesh Foundation also runs Asha Kiran orphanage for HIV positive children in the city.