ASK emerged out from an incident in my life and inspired me to serve people, changing my life and focus forever.
My wife Lata had worked for an NGO many years ago and she was passionate about the work she was doing. She had to stop her work due to some unavoidable circumstances, but it was difficult for us to turn a blind eye as we knew that there was a desperate need of service for the poor and helpless people and making a change in their aching and miserable lives and that with a little help and support we could make a change in their lives forever.
In the year 2016 we met an aaji who had severe hunch back posture and was in need of a cataract operation in her eye as the medications were not helping her condition. In spite of her diagnosis she runs a small shop outside her house and takes care of her husband and does all her household chores.
My wife Lata and some of her prayer group ladies got to know about this aaji’s condition and decided to contribute the required funds for her cataract surgery, “as they say charity begins at home” and this time that is exactly what happened.
After sometime, we came in touch with some aaji and after a brief conversation with them we came to know that they were working as house maids in a couple of houses they were about 65 – 70 years of age and no family to take care of them. This hit me very hard. God in his love and grace upon my life asked me a very simple question “If these women were your mother would you allow them to suffer like this”?
My heart melted and me and my wife decided that this could be our chance to start doing the thing we always wanted to, that was serve the poor and needy not only financial or medically but also with the love and care they need and deserve. We decided to put our hands to what we believed god was leading us to do, we shared this with our friend who had a similar desire. We gathered about 1 lakh rupees to hire a place from where we could help these aaji’s with food or shelter as per their needs.
In the comings days we saw there we was desperate need of a day care center, especially for single or divorced mothers or in cases where both the parents were working and their toddlers or infants were left with their relatives or in-laws at home, where the children were not cared for properly, causing severe deficiencies and malnourished children. So we started ASK with an initial vision to serve these children and aaji’s.
Some time later we knew some women in our contact who were married but were single mother with children (especially girl child) and their husbands were either dead or had left them we decide to help such girls and called them our daughters and protected them from getting into prostitution forcefully which their families were doing. We found a young lady who had two daughters and was forced to get into an illicit relationship by her sister and parents after her alcoholic husband died. We helped and protected her and got her lawful protection and helped her get a job which would provide for her and her girls.
In the year 2017 we hired a bigger place and today we have started an aaji Kendra and is working regularly to look after these aajis, children and women. Currently we have about 5 aajis who come to the aaji Kendra regularly for food, rest, and clothing and to share their worries and problems with us. One of these aajis is a recovering cancer patient. The other aajis who are ill and cannot be mobilized for them to reach the Kendra, we keep regular contact with them and reach out to them whenever required.
We also came across some kids who were born with birth defects like severe case of spasticity or cerebral palsy and autism and some infants who were born normal and have deformities due to trauma and have delayed milestones and also orphan kids. We did enquiry to find proper school, housing, and hostels for these kids where they will be safe and could receive proper education. We also had an opportunity to conduct a survey to find under privileged and orphan kids for a globally renounced NGO- World Vision.
We currently have 5 people working for ASK full time with complete dedication and serving with lots for love, care and sacrifice and selflessness and commitment with very little in return. We together manage to run the Kendra with the little we get from the day care center (the food, rent, electricity etc.).
We vision ASK to grow and work to its fullest capability and have absolute confidence that with more funds we could hire a bigger place and move forward as the god guides us, touching more lives and helping more people. We believe god has placed us here as his agents of love at such a time as this with a changed heart, to bring smile on sad, depressed, unhappy, sick, fearful, traumatized and lonely faces and lives.