We are a secular, non-profit organization based in Thane, Maharashtra reaching out to underprivileged communities in Thane and beyond by providing education, nutrition and basic healthcare.
Born out of a dream, Jeevan Asha Charitable Society was founded in April 1999 by Basil D’Souza. Its vision, inspired by a desire to ‘bring hope to many lives by serving the community through various projects’.
Jeevan Asha reaches out to about 13 underserved communities in Thane and one rural belt in Odisha. Our work is in the areas of Healthcare and Education.
The issues of migrant workers and their families living in slum pockets often go unnoticed. Even though they may have lived in the same place for many years, they have no social security, compensation for injuries, access to drinking water and health care. They live in small crammed up spaces with little access to basic sanitation facilities and drinking water. Often during the monsoon, their houses are flooded with water.
Plagued with conditions like these, education is not their primary or even secondary concern. Many of the younger siblings are taken care of by the older siblings as parents work. Often children are left to fend for themselves. So, although the government offers free education, many children are unschooled and illiterate, living in conditions unsuitable to their holistic development.
In today’s competitive and fast advancing India, these children stand little chance of an enhanced life and future. Therefore amongst the various projects Jeevan Asha envisioned, child and adult literacy was foremost. Because we understand that Education is what is needed to break this cycle of poverty and make way for a better living.
Thus ‘Jeevan Asha Day Care Centre’ (now renamed ‘Hope Learning Center’) was born and first commenced in August 2000 in Thane, Mumbai. Its aim - to bring about the holistic development of a child
In 2001 we commenced a Jeevan Asha Day Care Center (DCC) at a village named Gumpadar in Orissa. The word Gumpadar means ‘lost field’ and true to its name has a people lost in the jungle - A people without clean drinking water, electricity and living 4kms from civilization, bereft of basic necessities. No doctor or medicine is available for miles. Their sustenance is based on what the forest offers. A locked primary school on the periphery of the village stands proof to the lack of education. However 4 years of the DCC presence brought life and joy with the implements of literacy and education to a village which had remained ‘forgotten’ in their words, for generations. Many children studying at the DCC have been granted scholarships by the government i.e. free education and government hostel accommodation. As the village headman remarked, the parents are illiterate and exploited, but the children and the village have a bright future. His hope is that someday the children will use their education to fight injustice, oppression and exploitation, and see the face of Gumpadar changed.
We have since phased out and worked in 3 other villages. We are now running the Jeevan Asha Day Care Center (now renamed Bridge Learning Center) at Patteri village, Odisha.
Soon after, we launched the Adult Literacy Project with an aim to promote basic literacy skills for adults. We believe it is imperative to educate and empower adults who live in these areas so as to motivate them; give them a sense of dignity, identity, value and worth; better their living standards and improve their livelihood options.
Apart from these projects, based on the need in the community, we started other educational projects like NIOS, Skill development, Anand Ghars etc.
The Day Care Centre Project generated a lot of good will in the community, creating a platform for the initiation of the Healthcare Program.
Health care is an essential component of a life of dignity. People languishing under diseases and illnesses can rarely hope for a high quality of life, and lakhs still suffer from largely preventable conditions.
Our Health Program began in 2011 with project Maternal and Child Care. We focused on health and nutritional needs of expectant mothers, infants and little children including our DCC children. As we earned the trust of the community and understood their felt needs, we further diversified into different projects revolving around primary care, treatment and preventative measures.
Today, 20 years later, Jeevan Asha is still creating a life-changing difference in the communities we work in, transforming and empowering them, as we serve with great passion to see the people of these communities share our vision for a better tomorrow.