Our ashram provides a stable and loving home to abandoned or neglected children. We accept both infants and older children, and we place equal value on girls and boys. We currently house 125 orphaned and/or physically-challenged children aged 3- 22 years. Children at the ashram have all chosen to live here and have made a conscious decision to give up their lives on the streets to pursue educational or vocational training. Here they are given free full boarding, including personal lockers, mattresses, blankets, and washing and storing of clothes. For their security, 24-hour supervision is provided. Here at the ashram, children are given all the love and care they deserve, and personal freedom is their right. Daily life at the ashram is a full and well-balanced routine, teaching both responsibility and discipline. Older children are encouraged to help the younger ones, and all the children are taught to treat one another as siblings. The orphanage focuses on a well-rounded upbringing including nutrition, healthcare, education and emotional development. Our capable kitchen staff produces three nutritious meals daily. The small ashram farm grows fresh organic vegetables that support a healthy diet for the children, and the cows at our cowshed provide fresh milk and butter for the children and staff.
Most villages in India lack sound educational facilities for orphaned and physically-challenged children, and general access to schooling ral is often extremely limited – especially for girls. ASSA aims to provide primary and secondary education not only to the ashram children, but also to children living in surrounding villages. Our school’s ethos is inspired by the great visionary, Swami Dayanand Saraswati, the founder of the Arya Samaj, who believed that “true education consists in promoting knowledge, civilized manners, virtuous character, self-control and other moral qualities and in dispelling ignorance.” ASSA’s school, Maharishi Dayanand Viklang Inter-College, is dedicated to the highest caliber education for the children of ASSA and surrounding rural areas. The school was built from scratch with missionary zeal, brick by brick. School is free for ASSA children and a nominal means-tested concessionary fee is charged to village children. We are now proud to say that we have reached 20 villages and the potential for educating local village children, especially girls, is enormous.
As part of our mission to empower children, we operate a handicrafts training center that offers a variety of vocational courses. These courses are designed to enable and equip the children to support themselves as productive members of society, rather than just providing them with care and shelter. The handicrafts produced here by our talented children are beautiful, high-quality goods. Unfortunately, the materials used in their production are expensive and we have not yet found a steady market. We are currently in the process of finding a regular buyer or appropriate outlets where these goods can be sold to generate income for the children who produce them. Learning a trade gives a child the self-confidence to get on with life in a constructive way. With this in mind, we provide training in trades such as tailoring, cutting, stitching, embroidery, weaving and gardening, for both boys and girls. We also currently offer a typing course
Durrie/door mat weaving
Different types of printing
Sewing & hand embroidery
Arts and crafts such as greeting cards, artificial flowers, clay modeling, decorative items and paper bag making.
Carpentry job training
Chemist’s shop assistant job training
Many other items, please visit our Handicrafts Page
Since there were no medical facilities available in the region, ASSA decided to open a charitable hospital. Since its opening in 2007, it has been treating poor local villagers as well as our resident children and our senior citizens. The hospital, known as the Smt Padma Rani Aarogya Mandir, provides charitable healthcare and health education to people in surrounding rural villages. It operates free out-patient care and dispenses basic medicines either for free or at a nominal cost. Its team of dedicated medical staff makes a conscious effort to blend Western and local Ayurvedic medicine with other complementary systems of healing.
Our Goshala, or cow shed, gives us milk for children while providing shelter to over thirty abandoned cows. We believe that cows are a special gift to humanity. In addition to supplying abundant quantities of nutritious milk, which can in turn be made into yogurt, cheese, butter, and ghee, cows also provide useful dung, which when dried can be used as fuel for cooking. The fact is that the whole of humanity can live a very peaceful and prosperous life simply by taking advantage of the special gift of cows. It is no wonder our ancient scriptures declare that cows should be respected on the same level as our own mothers! Located on one acre of land next to ASSA, the Goshala has been protecting cows and bulls since 1996. These cows and bulls live peacefully for the full duration of their lives. The bulls are trained to work at an early age and assist in agricultural production by plowing fields and pulling carts.
Our ashram also provides a loving home for senior citizens who are unable to stay with their families or Who want to stay with ASSA family. While living in Tapovan, our senior citizens can use the skills they have acquired over their lifetimes to help out with the running of the ashram while acting as much-loved grandparents to our resident children. Though we currently have just a few senior citizens living here at ASSA, we sincerely hope to find residents for all of our 18 self-contained apartments. Tapovan Senior Citizen’s Home offers accommodation that includes a bedroom, kitchen and attached bathroom at a nominal cost. Monthly service charges are charged at a non-profit rate.