Karunalaya is a Home for the dying, destitute, poor and abandoned of the city of Belgaum and its surrounding areas. It is run and managed by members of the LEOMEL Society for care of the dying and destitute who provide selfless service to the residents of the Home. It was founded by Mrs. Anita Rodricks, retired teacher of St. Paul’s High School, Belgaum. By establishing this Home, she and the society members hope to reach out in love and service to the poorest of the poor to care, support and assist the dying, destitute and abandoned who have no one to look after them.
Most of the residents of the Home are suffering. Some residents are partially paralyzed, some are deaf & dumb, some get epileptic fits, some suffer from diabetes and high blood pressure and a few are mentally ill. Karunalaya is not an old age home. It is specifically meant for the dying, destitute and poor who are abandoned and have no one to look after them. It caters to everyone regardless of race, creed, religion or sex, subject to the availability and admission criteria of the Home. Mrs. Anita Rodricks, the founder of Karunalaya, resides in the Home and is responsible for the day-to-day running of the Home. The Home solely depends on the generosity and kindness of the general public.
Karunalaya welcomes with open arms those who are poor, dying, destitute or abandoned and have no friends or family to look after them.
Karunalaya is a home that provides the residents, who are poor, destitute and abandoned, a roof over their heads to sleep, simple food for daily nourishment and medical assistance for their illnesses.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Mrs. Anita Rodricks, husband passed away early and that left Mrs.Anita devastated. Her brothers and sister were always with her but she still something was missing in her life. In an effort to fill the heart-broken emptiness she tried to search opportunities. At this time she was also a mother of three and raising them and educating them she still had an urge to work for the poor.
Teacher Anita as she was called in St. Pauls High School, took and eary retirement for the cause of the poor. She was very impressed with Sneha Sadan, Hubli, run by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity. She got a chance to work for the dying, destitute, terminally ill and poor. The selflessness and generosity of the Sisters of Mother Teresa inspired her to do something similar for our city of Belgaum.
By establishing Karunalaya, which means a Home of Compassion and Love, She envisioned a Home providing physical nourishment, emotional support, medical assistance, and care to the dying, destitute, abandoned and poor. Mrs.Anita could not do this all alone, hence she sought help of her best friends especially Fr. Victor D’Cruz and Ms. Mariamma Nygam who supported her on every step and to setup The LEOMEL Society for Care of the Dying and the Destitute.
The Society is a group of my closest friends and relatives who extend their dedicated and selfless service to the residents of the Home, without whose help and support Karunalaya would not be where it is today.
Karunalaya has come across many deserving cases. Paralytics lying on the roadside and starved destitute dying on the foot path. Some residents were poor and had no one to look after them who were in urgent need of medical attention. Some residents who came to us were mentally challenged incapable of looking after themselves and had no one to look after them. Some residents who suffer from medical conditions, including epilepsy. Some are very tragic cases where residents were abandoned by their very own children and asked to leave the house. The one inmate who was admitted which is in our minds is who could not speak, read or write, Karunalaya had no choice but to give him a name.
Karunalaya is built on a piece of land measuring about 2 acres (approx. 8100 sq. meters) in the village of Navage on the outskirts of the city of Belgaum. Construction began in September 2004 and was completed in January 2005. It was designed and fully supervised by one of Belgaum’s leading Structural Engineers and Architect, Mr. Vijay Moogi, a society member.
The first phase of Karunalaya was officially inaugurated on 4th January 2005 and included a large Dormitory, Kitchen & Dining Hall, Toilets, Bathing rooms and Staff accommodation. There was no electricity and getting water was a major problem. Despite many hardships and difficulties, on 19th February 2005, the birth anniversary of her late husband, Melwin Rodricks, she decided to go and live in the Home with her first two residents – Maruti Uchukar and Arjun Ramling. Since there was no electric supply in the Home, she bought a diesel Generator on an installment basis at the cost of Rs. 58,000/- Due to the high cost of operation, the generator was sparingly used for only one hour a day. For drinking water Mrs.Anita used to get it from her home in camp.
The second expansion phase of Karunalaya was inaugurated on 21st January 2007 and added a new block that included another large Dormitory with attached Toilets and Bathing rooms, increasing the residential capacity of the Home. The new Dormitory was named Conrad House and assigned to the male residents. The existing Dormitory was named Melani House and assigned to the female residents. The Kitchen & Dining Hall was named Natasha Refectory.
A second bore-well was dug which now provides sufficient water for the Home and residents. However, the water supply is not sufficient for landscaping the property and water for a vegetable garden that is being planned, to help keep the residents of the Home occupied.
How can one help
Karunalaya solely depends on the support and generosity of people like you. Below is a list of our current needs that will help residents tremendously.
Ambulance, Hospital Fowler Beds, Water Beds, Paved Walkways & Landscaping, Additional Bore-well.
The Home solely depends on the generosity and kindness of the general public. The LEOMEL Society encourages people to reach out to us so that we may be able to reach out to the dying, destitute, poor and abandoned residents in our Home. There are many ways you can contribute to Karunalaya –it does not have to be monetary.
- You can DONATE:
- FRUITS & VEGETABLES for the residents of the Home
- FOOD rations that can be cooked for the residents**
- HOUSEHOLD GOODS & FURNITURE that can be useful for the Home
- CLOTHING for the residents
- MEDICINES & MEDICAL SUPPLIES that can be used for the residents
- Your PROFESSIONAL SERVICES for the use of the Home
- Your TIME to volunteer at the Home
If you have any questions please call Mrs. Anitat+91-94489-41633. [email protected]
CHEQUE or DEMAND DRAFT (INDIAN RUPEE ONLY)can be sent to:
3, Independence Road, Camp
Belgaum, Karnataka 590 001.
Belgaum, Karnataka 590 001
Mrs.Anita Says ”I feel blessed and would like to acknowledge with gratitude the tremendous help and support of all those generous people who have come forward to enable us achieve the aims and objectives of our Society. I pray that God give us all the strength and willingness to continue what we are doing and take our Home to even greater heights.”