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From Eradicating Leprosy To Empowering Women To Supporting Children’s Education – This ‘Amma’ Has Done It All

Meet Mrs. Lily Samuel who took up the cause of leprosy eradication in a small town on the outskirts of Bangalore 25 years ago, and has changed the entire outlook of the area by providing immense support to lepers, women, underprivileged children and all other rural folk. Let us now provide support to her and her organization by participating in a carnival they are having for the children this Sunday!

About Sandeep Seva Nilayam:

25 years ago, Mrs. Teresa Lily Samuel took up the cause of leprosy eradication in rural Bangalore, in collaboration with Franciscan Service Society. Her role was pivotal, in eradicating leprosy and providing a respectable living for all those cured of leprosy. The taboo and misbeliefs attached to lepers made her job tougher, but she stood tall and strong, till she had treated everyone and sent them back with dignity to their homes.

One activity led to another and Sandeep Seva Nilayam was born as a means to empower women. Rural women were often illiterate and lacked support and were forced to live a life of abuse and oppression. Mrs. Samuel took it upon her to rescue these women and provide them comfort and confidence to get back into the mainstream. She started women’s self-help groups that would give them financial independence. Mrs. Samuel nurtured talent among distressed women and over a period of time, she transformed small time vendors into business women. There are about 20,000 women who have benefitted through Womens’ Empowerment schemes in and around Nelamangala

Kids at SSN with Mrs. Lily Samuel
Kids at SSN with Mrs. Lily Samuel

Sandeep Seva Nilayam was officially established in 1993, with the sole intent of uplifting the poor in rural Nelamangala, a small town on the outskirts of Bangalore. Over time, Sandeep Seva Nilayam became the go-to support for women empowerment, health education, child rights movements, attempt to abolish child labor, education and rehabilitation of child laborers, supporting the disabled and a bureau for missing children. Also, it is active in running campaigns for Tuberculosis, HIV and other village development activities.

Started as a humble journey by Teresa Lily Samuel and Samuel Prabhakaran, SSN as it is popularly known has grown and spread its wings to shelter many a cause. People that have benefited – adults and children alike fondly remember the love and care they received from this couple. SSN has had its share of tough times. Lack of support and funding could never dampen the spirits of Mr and Mrs. Samuel. ‘What we do is just a drop in the ocean!’ is what Amma (Mrs. Lily Samuel) says with a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eyes.

SSN now runs a ‘back to school’ program, where children are given basic education and scaled up; so they could go back to school (according to their age). Children who are school drop outs – laborers, abandoned kids or children coming from very poor background. The work done here is intense. Starting from simple grooming skills, providing kids with clean food and clothes and inducting them into a classroom atmosphere takes at least a year. Post this, the children go through basic Math, English and other coaching, so they can be on par with children their age. SSN has a team of dedicated faculty that performs its duties, under the able guidance of Mrs. Samuel. SSN, has supported over 600 children in the last 5-6 years.

The children have many reasons to smile and laugh!
The children have many reasons to smile and laugh!

One thing anyone would notice at SSN, is that the children are very well mannered, well dressed and most importantly ‘happy’.

Sandeep Seva Nilayam has won several accolades for its commendable work in all field of human welfare. Noteworthy of them being the ‘Kittur Rani Chennamma Award’ conferred on Mrs. Lily Samuel in 2012, the Highest Civilian Award in the State for Women Achievers. Though the institution has done path breaking work over the last 25 years, they have always chosen to remain quiet about their activities. An attempt to spread awareness about children and bringing together like-minded individuals in a single sphere, is the next step for SSN

About Revive 2013:

Revive 2013 is the first of its kind carnival organized by friends and well-wishers of SSN to create a fun atmosphere where children can connect with the outside world in a friendly manner. Through Revive they do not intend to propagate the tough backgrounds of the children and gather sympathy. Instead they want people to visit the children and have a fun time with them. Games, food, music etc. will be an avenue for children at SSN to bond with other children, parents, students, grandparents etc. An attempt to instill a sense of acceptance, and making them ‘our children’ is the motto behind revive 2013. As a next step, they are inaugurating a virtual classroom, where children can learn online. They want people to participate by teaching the children or even by uploading relevant content towards the virtual classroom. The benefits of bringing technology to enable people to grow and thrive are immense.

SSN Revive 2013
SSN Revive 2013 – A day of fun and frolic with the children at the shelter!

They will have collection areas in the vicinity where people can drop off old clothes, books, shoes, sports equipment, e-waste, CD’s, dry ration etc. Food stalls will be open throughout, women’s self-help groups will sell articles and other curios, some stalls will feature popular games. They plan to revive some rustic games like spinning the top and cycle-tyre race etc.

The idea is to spend a fun-filled day with children that are less fortunate and give them a sense of acceptance and well-being. The Carnival is also a platform to recognize the relentless efforts put in by Mr. and Mrs. Samuel and their strong support team that manages all the daily activities, without a hitch. Revive 2013 is a confluence of people from different backgrounds that are keen to help children and other humanitarian causes. They want to popularize SSN as an extended family and not just as a shelter home that one would want to visit for special occasions

Join in the fun and ring in the holiday season with Revive 2013 at Sandeep Seva Nilayam

Carnival Date: 15th December 2013
Time: 10 AM to 7 PM
Carnival Location: Sandeep Seva Nilayam,
Obanayakanahalli Road, Off Tumkur Service Road, Near Benaka Layout,
Vishveshwarapura Hobli,
Nelamangala, Bangalore
Contact Details: Sangeetha – 98455-96390 or Joseph – 98807-20766

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