ACHIEVEMENTS of a social welfare organization or NGO are normally measured in terms of free education, nutrition, medical assistance and social upliftment irrespective of caste and creed. At Gurmat Bhawan, we, including our great volunteers, have worked ceaselessly to achieve this objective. It is a matter of pride and great satisfaction that we had been able to not only maintain but also upgrade this goal during the last three decades.
Maana ke is jahan ko
na gulzaar kar sake
Kutch khaar kumm to kargaye
Guzre jidhar se hum
We started our journey by caring for young children and senior citizens. We established a small orphanage to provide shelter and loving care to abandoned or neglected kids so as to absorb them in the mainstream of the society, later in their life. We also provided a day care center and a library for the relaxation of senior citizens.
Our next step, after this small beginning, was to provide quality education and facilities for poor children. A school, named Phulwari, was established upto primary level and is running successfully. We pick up children from their homes and drop them back in our transport. We provide each child uniform, books, mid-day meal and quality education. Vocational training is also given in meaningful trades/skills like making candles, chalks, agarbattis, book binding, chair darning etc. This is considered one of the best primary school in the area. In fact this year our National Child Labour Projects 33 and 34 have been rated as the best in Ludhiana district. In appreciation, government has provided us with a library for these children.
We started tailoring/dress making, cooking and then computer classes for young girls from economically weaker section and young widows so that they become financially independent and are able to lead a stable life.
Our youth are provided with a modern gym where we also hold yoga classes. They are also enrolled as volunteers in our team. This gives them ample opportunities for social service and keep them away from drugs and other bad habits.
A dispensary with a doctor in attendance was started to medically assist the poor patients in the neighborhood.
The requirement to do something to save the youth of Punjab from alcohol and drug abuse became urgent day by day. Ultimately, in 1992, we established a Drug De-addiction and Rehabilitation Center called NAVIN SAVER. It is sponsored by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment of the Government of India.
We try to prevent substance abuse by Facilitator Mediated Approach and Field Team Approach and have achieved good results. The detoxification programme starts from our out patient dispensary and if required, we admit the patient to our fifteen bed De-addiction and Rehabilitation Center, Navin Saver for 4 to 6 weeks. We have achieved very good results. We feel great satisfaction as we have, so far, rehabilitated more than thirty four thousand addicts.
One of our most successful medical activities have been to hold two to three annual camps for performing eye operations and for assisting persons with physical disabilities.
The eye operation camps are held every year, during winter months, to provide free treatment for eye diseases and where required free operations are performed in a hospital for cataract and glaucoma. On an average 700 to 800 patients are examined and 200 surgeries are performed in each camp. Operated cases are given free boarding and lodging, medicines and after care.
In 1998, it was felt that persons with physical disabilities, in the surrounding villages can ill afford the treatment and physical aids required by them. We, therefore started regular free camps to assist people with physical disabilities. Orthopedic surgeon, doctors, and specialists are available at the camps to examine and assist each patient.
Patients are given tricycles, wheel-chairs, calipers, crutches, surgical shoes or walkers, as appropriate. Persons with amputated arms/legs are fitted with artificial limbs. Patients with hearing disabilities are examined and given Audiometry test. They are provided proper hearing aids, based on these tests. Senior citizens, who have lost their natural teeth, are provided artificial dentures.
We have been able to achieve this success, mainly, because of our active members, a big hard working volunteer force and of course, our willing and generous sponsors in India and abroad.
Our constant endeavor is to improve the standard of services provided by us. To this end, our immediate objective is to upgrade the computer training to the level of Govt. approved Certificate course. We are in the process of establishing the requisite computer library for this purpose.
We, at Gurmat Bhawan, believe in selfless service and will continue our sincere efforts to provide it wherever possible.
Our NGO (Guru Nanak Trust Charitable) has been regularly receiving grant from Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Govt. of India for assistance to Disabled Persons Project & Drug De-Addiction and Rehabilitation Centre Scheme.