A story of caring & helping
The excited squeals of the children at play in the Dundigal home and the joyous expressions on the faces of the aged at Lahari Orphanage and Old Age Home tell the story of 'V' Care. This is an NGO whereby underprivileged children, the aged, castaways, the seriously ill and unfortunate persons of society receive support and shelter and above all, a future to look forward to.
'V' Care works to help abolish child labour, support HIV-affected children, promote girl's education, and aid the specially-abled and needy orphans as well as the aged. Besides, they also regularly organise blood-donation camps and relief material for victims of natural disasters.
Childhood is a critical period in a person's life. Children who do not receive—for whatever reasons—the care and attention they deserve suffer malnutrition which has lifelong consequences and are condemned to a lack of education or worse, they are abandoned to the elements. Worst of all, they sometimes become tools in the hands of antisocial elements and turn into juvenile delinquents.
Hence 'V' Care is doing a noble job of helping children who are at a vital stage in life.
The children include orphans, street children, those with single parents, or those who are simply sent here by parents because they do not have the means to bring them up.
Being lonely and cast away from one's own family during old age or just not having the means to support oneself during the sunset of one's life is another terrible ordeal. 'V' Care understands and steps in to help these unfortunate people of society.
How did 'V' Care come into existence?
The Founder-President Sandeep Gudi was studying for his engineering degree in Chennai, when his friend and classmate, also named Sandeep, died suddenly in a road accident. As Sandeep Gudi reveals: "The incident shook me up. I was deeply disturbed as were his other friends. We began Annadanam (feeding poor persons), every year, on his birth and death anniversaries."
This brought the group of friends into contact with several underprivileged sections of society.
They were moved by their plight and decided to establish a more permanent support system.
Hence, they set up 'V' Care and the activities of the organisation formally commenced on March 22, 2009.
Today, 'V' Care has grown to 150 registered members and working for the welfare of the needy.
'V' Care is registered under the Andhra Pradesh Societies Act.
The members include Sandeep Gudi, Gautham Devulapally, Sindhu Gudi, Balakrishna Bandaru, and Srikanth Godesi to name a few.
'V' Care currently supports 250 children in the age group 6-20.
"Out of these we have 207 children in our Dundigal Campus (which is on the outskirts of Hyderabad) and the rest of the children are in various residential colleges in and around Hyderabad.
Our campus in Dundigal has separate blocks for girls and boys.
We have a common kitchen for children and we also have a library, which is well stocked with over 2,000 books, a computer lab, which is used by our older kids for browsing for their educational requirements.
In addition to our orphanage, we also support Lahari Orphanage and Old Age Home founded by Radhika Somojigari.
This shelters nine children and 21 destitute aged persons.
Our support is with regard to the food and health needs of the old age inmates, education of the children as well as the maintenance of the home," says Sindhu Gudi.
'V' Care organises blood-donation camps and helps needy people with medical issues.
It also swings into action when there are natural disasters or any tragic event requiring the mobilisation of support for the affected.
During the devastating Chennai floods of 2015, 'V' Care extended support by collecting and sending much-needed items like food, drinking water bottles, clothing, bed sheets, blankets, and even dog food for destitute dogs.
Around 30 tonnes of material benefitting 2,500 families was provided by V Care.
Even during the Kerala floods in 2018, this NGO collected all kinds of necessary relief material—over 100 tones for the flood-affected areas.
Successful attempts were made to reach the most affected areas.
Funding is always a challenge for any organisation working for the underprivileged especially if it is founded by youngsters.
Sindhu explains: "We raise donations from friends and family and like-minded people.
Once in a while, we do events to raise funds. 'Colors' is an annual fundraiser by 'V' Care.
We have organised five fundraising events until now. The previous edition of 'Colors' in June 2017 witnessed classical dance performance by actor-dancer Shobana and team.
Besides, there are individuals who offer donations in kind to V Care for the underprivileged persons they support.
These include rice, pulses, oil, bed linen, new clothes and sports-goods.
Sometimes, people come and distribute sweets, chocolates, and stationery on festivals or when there is a celebration in their own family.