Anupama Silas Dongardive is the founder and director of Vanitashray Home for abandoned or abused girls in India. She, herself, was placed in an orphanage at birth and grew up together with 800 other abandoned girls. In Indian society, orphans are seen as a curse, an object of shame, and to be a female orphan, even more so. But, at 8 years of age, Anu felt God speak to her about caring for orphaned and abandoned girls and she quickly took on the role of caring for the younger girls and was later given unofficial charge of them.
A few years on, as a newly married woman, Anu and her husband started ‘Vanitashray’, made up of the two Hindi words vanita (woman) and ashray (shelter). They began taking in baby girls left on their doorstep anonymously, girls terribly abused, girls who would otherwise have been sold into prostitution as infants.
Tragically Anu’s husband died at a very young age, but she continued with her work and began helping other widows in her area: women no one else would associate with. Anu asked them to help her in caring for the 12 girls at Vanitashray, providing them with employment and a family environment, and providing her girls with surrogate mothers.
Today , Vanitashray ministry is catering to the many orphans, single parent children, destitute widows and women in the city of Pune. Maharashtra. The primary focus is on preserving families. We do everything it takes to sustain the families to help that one individual child. The emphasis is on Adopt a child and foster care. Though it’s still foreign in our Indian society.
Our slogan is:
Let Her Live
We stand against sex detection practices and termination of female foetuses. We advocate for every girl child and her right to live.
Speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves.
We run day care centres and preschools, providing midday meals for children, adopt families and provide them with monthly groceries, clothes and other supplies. Also job placements for the women who are illiterate in the communities. We rescue minors from the brothels. We provide medical assistance in the community in partnership with H.V Desai Eye Hospital and Jahangir Hopspital Pune. Free cataract surgeries and medical assistance for women under Dr. Chhyo Sada who is a honourable joint signatory and Board Member of Vanitashary.
Working in Partnership with local schools, NGO’s, IT Companies and many individual partners who are in the circle of ‘ Friends Of Vanitashray’ in Pune, India and Internationally.
We are committed to seeing transformation of every individual child and women, one family at a time and a community at large.
Read more of Anu’s story here.
- India’s Flesh Trade Industry - December 14, 2015
- Together Change Is Possible - December 1, 2015
- Living With HIV - November 30, 2015
- Born Without A Name - November 25, 2015
- Lust In The Name Of God: Temple Prostitution In India - November 1, 2015
- Nikita’s Success Story - December 17, 2013
- Send A Child To School - November 26, 2013
- Why We Want To Help Women And Girls? - October 4, 2013
- History Of Vanitashray - September 12, 2013
- Vanitashray: Shelter – Love – Care - August 27, 2013