Our residential child care program for orphaned and abandoned children completed 10 years this year. At Vatsalya Udayan, while our efforts are to provide children with a safe, healthy and enabling atmosphere, we also focus on their all-round personality development. At the time we find and pick up children from the streets, they have a very hostile and negative attitude towards society. They also tend to believe that they are victims of an evil destiny and have no future in the adult world that has been abusive towards them. We invest in changing this mindset, as having a positive attitude is an essential prerequisite to moving towards a successful and happy future. We use various methods to help them transform themselves into positive-thinking, forward-looking, happy young individuals. Our intensive focus is on Yoga, Art Therapy, Animal Assisted Psycho-therapy, Sports, exposure to Literature and Science, the development of different livelihood and life skills. In Yoga, we focus on self-restraint, life-regulating moral rules and observances, fixing the mind on the Supreme and absorption of self. In Art Therapy, we use Music, Dance, Creative Art-work and Story-telling. In Animal-Assisted Psycho-therapy, we have used horses, dogs, cows and rabbits. Massage Therapy is a combination of Acupressure and Reiki. Counselling is primarily based on listening and is absolutely devoid of preaching and arguing. Sports are played and promoted generously while the development of skills helps children discover their true talents. The international volunteer program is one of the most important aspects of our residential care program wherein volunteers from all over the world come and contribute in many extraordinary ways to the transformation that happens in the lives of children we serve. They bring not only a great positive energy but also add a multicultural richness to raising our children. At Vatsalya Udayan, our basic focus is on making children happy, as once they are in that state, what is desirable becomes inevitable. Through interventions based on emotional, spiritual, intellectual, and professional development, Vatsalya staff work to create a safe, nurturing environment for children in need who would not otherwise have access to opportunities that would better their lives.
Vatsalya Udayan is our first and major intervention that is running in its 11th year now. Our residential campus has seen a large number of children who were lost, runaway or abandoned by their families and a good number of them now have been reunited with their families and are reintegrated back in to society and are living a normal healthy life. Through Vatsalya Udayan, we have rehabilitated, repatriated and supported in different ways 565 children so far. This year, we had 21 new children sent to us by various child welfare agencies, 17 out of whom were reclaimed by their families. Many of these children were captured under the anti begging law of the state and their parents reclaimed them back with a promise to not send them for begging again. Remaining 4 are AIDS orphans and would continue to live under the care and protection of Vatsalya till they are 18. Currently 48 children are living at Vatsalya Udayan. In the following page, you can see some of the images of from life at Vatsalya Udayan.