Located at : Bhaje Village, near Lonavala, India.
Pictures of HELP-sponsored children at Balgram Samparc.
The following is a report filed by Air Commodore K V Rao, a well wisher and liaison for HELP Foundation in Pune, after visiting the Ashram/Orphanage in the Spring of 2001. It provides an excellent insight on the functioning of the orphanage -
The Orphanage is organized differently than those what I had seen elsewhere, which were centralized. The Balgram is organized as a number of Houses, each house looked after by a Mother who lives all the time in the house. A house has 10 children, of all ages. There are 10 houses. The house is like a normal home with a kitchen, bedroom, store room, living room and a bath room. Each house cooks its own food. The house has its own pets, a cat and a dog. I met the children who are in the kindergarten. The elder children go to local schools like any other child in the village. Those who complete school join college. I met two who were waiting to join an agriculture polytechnic.
The Ashram provides a free environment like a normal home, the Mother of each House, looking after all aspects of that house. There are play grounds community halls, hobby centers and a Vocational Training Center for training in basic trades. Each house is well equipped with all gadgets, even their own sewing machine. Each house has a guest room for the guests to stay when they come there to visit. Often there are students visiting them from Universities.
I found the children active and cheerful. They belonged to all creeds Marathi, Kannada, Telugu and Hindi speaking, at this stage. They are also of Hindu/Christian and Muslim religions as their names suggested (there is no common religion in the Ashram; some of the Mothers having a small niche each, of their own for worship). Most of them are supposed to have been abandoned by the sex workers.