When I first became familiar with this cause
My first trip to Sayla, India was in 2009. That’s when I found out about the many humanitarian projects that the Ashram ran. The Ashirwad Centre was one of them and that’s the one I chose to fundraise for, by walking The Big Walk.
This article will tell you about my trip to Sayla
I used to be a Learning Assistant in a school for children with disabilities. It was satisfying, heartbreaking and nourishing at the same time. I went on to teach in schools that included children with disabilities. Knowing some of the challenges that they face, I would love to be able to raise enough money to cover the rehabilitation cost of all the children for one year.
The Ashirwad Centre
The Headquarters of the Ashirvad Centre is in the village of Sayla, which is in Gujarat, India. It operates from three core centres. There are some smaller centres through which they help with the rehabilitation of people with disabilities. It is a centre of excellence in rural rehabilitation and supports around two hundred children in its centres. The centre also supports thousands in terms of livelihood and mental health.
Those who need it are supported through physiotherapy, training, educational schemes and finding ways to sustain themselves independently. They are also gifted valuable aids, such as tricycles, wheelchairs, callipers and crutches.
The centre has doubled from being a 10,000-square-foot modern, purpose-built rehabilitation and training centre to 20,000 square feet. It’s the only one of its kind in the district of Surendranagar.
The site includes a world-class sensory park and a multi-level ramp to enable access for everyone.
What I am hoping to raise funds for
- An annual cost of £240 will cover the rehabilitation of one child
- A one-off payment of £50 sponsors a meal for all the children at the centre
- A one-off payment of £20 will fund the transport for all the children to get to the centre in one day. Transportation is essential because the children aren’t local, they can’t use public transportation and their parents cannot afford to take time off work to bring their child to the centre.
It’s not too late to donate
You can either donate by visiting Enthuse.com. It has a voluntary platform fee which is set to 15%. You can pay this or you can amend it by clicking on the dropdown arrow.
You can also donate by making a bank transfer to Shree Raj Saubhag Satsang Mandal. Here’s the account information:
Name: Shree Raj Saubhag Satsang Mandal UK
Account Type: Business
Account Number: 30952512
Sort Code: 23-05-80
For payments from outside the UK
IBAN: GB23MYMB 230580 30952512
Reference: BH23 followed by your name e.g. BH23HeenaModi
On my way to London Bridge
While we were on the tube, Suraj asked me a few questions. I answer those questions in the clip below. I talk about my goal, why I wanted to do it, why it’s not my ideal ‘way’ of walking and why it would be an achievement for me at this particular moment in time.
I’m at the start line
And I’m off…
The vibe was amazing! There were volunteers cheering us on. People who had come to support others were generous enough to encourage those whom they hadn’t met before. There were a few stands with speakers pumping fun music. You’ll see and hear a few people playing Dhols in the short clip below. In the two clips that follow, you’ll hear encouraging words of support and you’ll hear a bang followed by me being showered with a colourful celebration. It was a wonderful experience!
This was so much fun! 🙂
The finish line
I see the finish line and I’m jogging…
I am so so grateful!
- I’m grateful to, and humbled by, those who have sponsored me
- I’m grateful to those of you who have shared anything about this fundraiser
- I am touched by the support I received on the day
- I can’t describe how grateful I am to those of you who supported me by training with me, helping me prepare in other ways, creating images to help those who wanted to find me on the day and for those who cheered me on and walked with me during The Big Half
- Lastly, a huge thanks to Suraj for capturing so many of the precious moments shared in this article
In this final clip, I share a bit about my background which began with volunteering and led to me becoming a teacher.
More importantly, I talk about the amazing work that Raj Saubhag does and how it benefits those who need it. Their work is priceless and it’s not too late to make a donation.