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About the NGO
Baale Mane Trust
Take Pavithra. At nine she ran away from home after her father died of AIDS and was subject to regular beatings from her alcoholic mother. She worked as a domestic help before she returned home to find her mother too had succumbed to AIDS.
Neighbours finally took Pavithra to the local police station from where she was directed to Baale Mane. Now, 20, she has completed her B.Com course and works in accounts at a company in Bangalore.
Baale is full of touching stories like hers – young lives transformed through love, support and education.
Situated on the outskirts of Bangalore, Baale Mane, which means Girls’ Home, has grown from a one-room shelter to a permanent ‘family’ home for up to 43 girls, providing high quality care. A further 15 girls are supported as they transition to an independent adult life.
Manager and caretaker Mary Chinnappan, who has been with Baale since the beginning, gets a little emotional as she confesses: “I am the mother of more than 50 girls here… I have to teach them to be strong, I’ve dedicated my life to serve them.”
Baale Mane have always emphasized on a mix of work and play and believe formal education and creative expression go hand in hand. The girls are active in the performing arts and the home boasts of accolades and trophies won by them in dancing and drama competitions.
The term sustainability is central to Baale Mane – be it the vegetables they grow in their garden or the renewable solar energy they use. It also translates to the search for long-term volunteers and a focus on the kind of education that will allow Baale’s girls to develop into self-sustaining adults.
It costs about Rs 70,000 to care for one girl per year. This includes food, education, clothing and leisure activities.
Baale Mane are currently raising funds to expand the facilities on their campus to protect and shelter 20 more vulnerable girls, build age-appropriate dormitories and separate rooms for live-in staff. They also hope to add a library and new yoga and performance pavilion.
Baale Mane’s effort to save the girl child from a desperate fate is laudable – help them to nurture more young lives and create more happy stories such as Pavithra’s.