Mrs. Alice Garg
Recipient of the Award for Development and Welfare of Women & Children
Born : 14th January, 1941
Education: B.A., Diploma in Swedish Language
Motivated by a desire to work for the children of socially and economically deprived members of backward communities suffering from abject poverty, Mrs Alice Garg entered social service in 1972 by bringing four destitute children into her home to provide complete emotional and psychological care.
She founded the Bal Rashmi Society on 14 November 1972 with the motto “Save Children, Save Generation”.
This children’s home gradually increased in size from four to 183 poor, destitute and orphaned children without any discrimination of caste or creed.
By her early twenties, she had expanded her activities into the fields of women’s awareness, empowerment, literacy, counselling and legal aid, dowry abolition, stopping infanticides, population education and family planning, shelters, vocational training etc. in the districts of Jaipur, Dausa, Bhilwara, Tonk and Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan.
Through the Bal Rashmi Society, she has been able to transform the lives of 3000 children and their families in 280 villages of Rajasthan including parts of Jaipur city.
Mrs Garg established a foundling home “Kilkari” for abandoned children up to five years of age. The infants are given for foster care/adoption to childless Indian couples after following the due process of law.
She established another home “Nirashrit Bal Grah” for taking care of children of deserted women and the so called “criminal tribes” like Saansis. Bal Rashmi Society has arranged, from its own sources through donations, to provide those living at the home with wholesome and nutritious food, sufficient clothing, good education and health services.
It also runs five schools and 3 balwadies for children from poor and downtrodden families.
Mrs Garg also organised mobile libraries for villages on rotation and an immunisation programme on a mass scale under the Rural Health Programme in 108 villages of Bassi Tehsil, the expanded health programme and the national pulse polio programme in the project areas. The Bal Rashmi Society has rendered yeoman service in the field of restraining child marriages, spreading awareness and starting support programmes for women, vocational training for them and arranging for short-term and medium-term loans for poor and rural women and their self-help groups.
The Bal Rashmi Society has rendered yeoman service in the field of restraining child marriages, spreading awareness and starting support programmes for women, vocational training for them and arranging for short-term and medium-term loans for poor and rural women and their self-help groups.
Under the personal supervision of Mrs Garg, the society provides help and free legal aid to dowry victims, conducts population education programmes for adolescent girls, supports girl children from poor families by providing school uniforms, school bags, books, stationery articles and cash, supports widows and women in distress and organises Mahila Mandals for women. It also advocates and struggles for the housing rights of slum dwellers of Jaipur.
The Society has taken up the cause of the Saansis, scheduled castes of a semi-nomadic nature, with a view to bringing them into the mainstream of society.
Her work among the scavengers’ community for over two decades is also noteworthy. The observations of the eminent writer, thinker and social activist, Dr Mulk Raj Anand on Mrs Garg are worth quoting:
“I had sensed your human concerns from the very day I met you when I visited the school in a village, where you had adopted “learning by doing” as the way to enable the young to grow.
“I also found you to be one of the few women of India, who raised her voice against the tragic Sati in Deorala village.
Now you have gone into an area of development, which needs courage of the mind and heart to inquire into the lot of the scavengers, in our village, town and city.
“I for one welcome all other pioneer efforts such as yours, which will doubtless help to draw attention to the voluntary need for emancipation of those condemned to exist as outcasts, in spite of recent political movements which have adopted liberation of untouchables as part of the manifestos of our new humanism”.
In the year 2003, Mrs Alice Garg, was honoured with Jamnalal Bajaj Award for Development and Welfare of Women & Children
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