The social work trainees started for orientation visit to gandhi bhavan , pathanapuram on 3/8/13 at 9.00 am .Gandhi bhavan is a home for the abandoned and the destitute. It’s a trust formed by the Sri Punalur Somarajan, who is the secretary of the agency. His dream to find a shelter for those who are mentally retarded, lonely, depressed and isolated and to help the poor and needy in the nook and corner of this state is the reason for the formation of the agency. It is spread in 1 acre and 8cent. There are different building is known by different names they are sneha gramam, sneha rajyam, sneha dwep, santhitheeram, sneha sayanya bhavan, sneha sagaram, sneha lokam, sneha asramam, sneha vandhanam, manodhyana bhavan, annapoornalayam, snehageetham (an auditorium).
There are about 850 people living in the agency. Out of them 100 have relatives. People from outside kerala is also there. There are many staffs including nurses, social workers, counsellers, psycho therapist, other volunteers etc. Many outsiders came there to celebrate their birthdays, anniversaries, etc with the inmates and give them sweets and share theeir happiness with them. The inmates include oldage people, mentally retarded, bed redden people, distituted women, orphans, childrens, etc. The inmates who are able to work are given training in jewel making, umbrella making, soap making and agarbathy making. A weekly magazine is issued from their name sneha rajyam.
The income to carryout the daily needs is from the sponsership from the government. The only grand is the MLA Fund. The children they are stuied outside. There are students upto MCA. The need about rupees 50,000 to buy medicines for the people and need a large amount of money to give food for the inmates. And they give food to all visiters there.
There are some fund raising units like chappathy making unit, the shops that sells the materials make by the inmates and etc. Out of that, chappathy making unit is the largest fund raising unit. They sell chappathy and curry outside at a rate of rupees 5 per chappathy. A special school approved by the state government is working there. The village office named grama sabha is working there, where the inmates are elected for different parts like health, cleaning, food control, discipline, prayer and agriculture. The meeting is conducted for all the inmates every month.
The agency is giving care and love to many people who hardly get it from their relatives or family. When any guest reach the agencythey will be welcomed by giving “ nature coffee”. Even though the agency giving shelter and care to large number of people. Each day more and more people coming to the agency for shelter and all of them are accomated. They will be taken to the agency by police,panchayath officials, social workers, or by the relatives. It’s a good experience for us to see and understand the life of many people who are mentally and physically retarded.