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|27th July 2013, 18:14||#1|
Sondekuppa Grama - Travelouge for a reason
This is not a travelouge out of pleasure. This was more for a reason
One of my friends called up to ask for a Washing machine for an oldage home. It was more like a cursory "if you have an old one you like to dispose or know of anyone who wants to dispose, then give it over to this place".
For once i wanted to know more about this place/person etc. Spoke to the concerned person. He is one Mr.Ramesh of "Sri Sai Jyothi Old Age Home" in Sondekuppa grama, about 8 Kms from Nelamangala on Taverekere-Nelamangala main road.
In the meantime i put a facebook notification and got an overwhelming response from my friends, far and near, volunteering to help out in cash and kind. To not put down my friends' trust, i decided to visit this place to understand what they are actually going through. called up Mr. Ramesh and told him that i would visit the place on 28th July, Sunday.
Early morning on 27th July, Saturday, Change of plans - decided to visit this place. We had breakfast and started over to Sondekuppa. It took about 1hr and 30 mins from Indiranagar to this place. The roads are very good and the landscape after the Nelamangala on the bypass road to Sondekuppa is awesome. There is KPTCL sub station, BIESSE etc. on this road. Seems like an important bypass road. Not a single speed breaker on this stretch of road. Infact we were surprised to see excellent gradient over curves.
On reaching Sondekuppa grama, we found it to be a very small space. It starts from a "Chenna-kesava" temple and runs for about 600mts on the road, the whole village. That's all.
The Ashram was basically a shack of concrete blocks, thatched on one side and had asbestos sheet roofing.
It houses ~50 senior citizens, both men and women. The oldest if one Mr.Narasimha Swamy 103 years. There are various folks with different background, blind, having medical conditions, someones leg got severed in a train accident, few of them were unmarried folks etc.
The place has a small kitchen, pooja room, three lines of dormitories with attached bath and toilet. There is a small office room as well. They have 2 cows which they milch, couple of ducks to keep the garden clean. They have a dilapidated autorickshaw they use to rush people to hospitals when they fall sick. There are 8 helpers who have put themselves to service. There is a small garden with tomato plants and few other vegetables. water is sources using a borewell and apparently the water table is good.
They were in Taverekere, but due to increasing rent and other expenses, they moved to this place.It looks like they are trying to get into a setup and self-sustainable mode.
From my assessment, they defintely need a washing machine as the helpers are unable to wash the bedsheets,pillow covers,rugs,nighties etc. They need to thatch up the whole place. They need something like an Omni van to transport folks in time of need. There is one person who needs to do dialysis on a daily basis and that costs approx 750/- per day i was told. They have a small computer, but no internet. i was telling them the power of social networks and knowing contacts through internet. They would need a strong PC or a laptop and maybe a dongle (as i don't think there are cable broadband providers in that area at all!)
We have definitely decided on sponsoring the washing machine with an additional sum for thatching up the place. Would be good to see some like minded folks going for a drive to this place and checking on what they want. i have promised them that Anand's friends would show up and few of my guys have already planned a quick drive to this place on Sunday. I personally feel they need to see more people than get funds into their account.
Am attaching some pictures taken while i was there and of-course, being a true BHPian, the road conditions and landscapes
contacts of the Ashram:
Mr Ramesh :9342907702. They speak only Kannada but can understand Hindi and English.
God Speed and Good Luck
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