Manan Chaturvedi is the proud mother of 98 adopted children. And from now on, she will also be recognised as the chairperson of Rajasthan State Commission for Protection of Child Rights.
Manan’s immense love for children made her leave behind a career in fashion designing to become a child rights activist.
Today, she is the founder of Surman Sansthan – home to orphan and destitute children coming from varied challenging backgrounds. There are some who lost their parents and were handed over to Manan by the hospitals, others who were abandoned, and many whose guardians are not in a condition to look after them.
After adopting for the first time 17 years ago, Manan went on to bring home 98 children in the age group of one to 19. And all of this started when she first saw an 8-year-old girl collecting garbage at Sindhi Camp in Jaipur. The child was not wearing many clothes and the sight just shocked Manan. What was the point of designing garments for a few people when so many others barely have any clothes, she thought. And since that day, she has been working for orphans.
All these children live with her three biological kids in a home called Surman Sansthan. It could be considered to be one of the biggest families in Jaipur and Manan ensures that they celebrate all the festivals together, irrespective of the different religions that the children belong to. She does not allow the adoption of any of these children.
“The kids are my children once they come here. Until I manage to find their original parents or guardians who are willing to take them back, they stay with ‘Surman’. I am not biased, but I believe they get all the love they need at Surman,” she had once said in an interview.
She takes care of their education, health and all other needs. To cope with the financial requirements to run such a large organization, Manan organizes many fund raising events where she sells cards made by the children, conducts painting competitions, organizes marathons and more. Currently, she is working on a plan to build a home for 2,500 homeless children in Sikar Road, Rajasthan.
“This has strengthened me to work with more energy for the cause. I assure the people of Rajasthan that I will make honest efforts to bring a sea change in the lives of children. This constitutional post has given wings to make my dream turn into reality,” she told The Times of India about her new position.