Saturday, July 9, 2011

Community service by a college student

Desires to start Ashram for blind children

Most of today's youth spend their pocket money for their personal needs and their weekend free time for entertainment. But here is a young philanthropist named Sujay, a BBM student of Marimallappa's College, spending the savings accrued from his pocket money for the underprivileged members of the society while spending his leisure time in their company.

Accompanied with B Kendaraj, lecturer in SBRR Mahajana College, he formed 'Asthra Foundation'. On every Sunday, they visit one Ashram in the city and render service for inmates.

ASTHRA an acronym for Association for Social Transformation through Help Rehabilitation and Awareness, started in August 22, 2009 with just two members, has now grown into a 45 member team coming from various walks of life lending their helping hands. So far the team has visited about 98 various organizations.

Sujay maintains a database of 80 social welfare organizations in the city such as orphanage homes, old age homes, rehabilitation centers for physically and mentally challenged, home for the blind and others.

The main purpose of Asthra is to make the inmates at these places feel loved and inform them that today's society has not forsaken them. Members spend time with the inmates, share jokes and even encourage inmates to sing, dance or share whatever they feel, including their personal grievances and sorrows.

Speaking to Express, Sujay said `as the name implies, our main thrust, apart from serving the needy, is also to create awareness amongst students and youth, instilling in them the spirit of community service. Our organization is open to everyone who aspire to make this land a better place for the underprivileged who often find themselves alienated from society. Each member is encouraged to bring his friends and other members of his family to do service, so that the spirit of social service is instilled among all.'

`We carry biscuits, chocolates and toys while visiting orphanages, whereas for Old Age Home or an Ashram for the underprivileged we carry fruits and medicines. The responsibility of providing financial support for all our activities is borne by the members voluntarily. We have never attempted to 'collect donation' from non-member,' Sujay says.

`My desire is to start an Ashram meant exclusively for the aged and small children who are blind by birth. Instead of throwing away excess food or leftovers after a party or a function, just SMS me, I will inform you the location of a nearby orphanage so you can distribute that food,' he adds.

To know more about ASTHRA and their activities, email to or contact Sujay at 99869 87112.

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