Motivated by a desire to work for the children of socially and economically deprived members of backward communities suffering from abject poverty. Mrs Alice Garg entered social service in 1972 by bringing four destitute children into her home to provide complete emotional and psychological care. She founded the Bal Rashmi Society on 14 November 1972 with the motto “Save Children, Save Generation”.
This children’s home gradually increased in size from 4 to 183, destitute and orphaned children, without any discrimination of caste or creed. By her early twenties, she had expanded her activities into the field of women’s awareness, empowerment, literacy, counselling and legal aid, dowry abolition, stopping infanticides, population-education and family planning, shelters, vocational training etc. in the districts of Jaipur, Dausa, Bhilwara, Tonk and Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan.
Through the Bal Rashmi Society, Mrs Garg has been able to transform the lives of 3000 children and their families in 280 villages of Rajasthan including parts of Jaipur city. She established a foundling home “Kilkaari’ for abandoned children up to five years of age. The infants are given for foster care/adoption to childless Indian couples after following the due process of law.
Later, she established another home “Nirashrit Bal Grah” for taking care of children of deserted women and the so called “criminal tribes” like Saansis. Bal Rashmi Society has arranged, from its own sources through donations, to provide those living at the home with wholesome and nutritious food, sufficient clothing, good education and health services. The society also runs 5 schools and 3 balwadis for children from poor and downtrodden families.
The Bal Rashmi Society has rendered yeoman service in the field of restraining child marriages, spreading awareness and starting support programmes for women, vocational training for them and arranging for short-term and medium-term loans for poor and rural women and their self-help groups. Mrs Garg also organised mobile libraries for villages on rotation and an immunisation programme on a mass scale under the Rural Health Programme in 108 villages of Bassi Tehsil, the expanded health programme and the national pulse polio programme in the project areas.
Under the personal supervision of Mrs Garg, the society provides help and free legal aide to dowry victims, conducts population education programmes for adolescent girls, supports girl children from poor families by providing school uniforms, school bags, books, stationery articles and cash, supports widows and women in distress and organises Mahila Mandals for women. It also strives hard for the housing rights of slum dwellers of Jaipur.
Her work among the scavengers’ community for over two decades is also noteworthy. The observations of the eminent writer, thinker and social activist, Dr Mulk Raj Anand on Mrs Garg are worth quoting. The society has taken up the cause of the Saansis, scheduled castes of a semi-nomadic nature, with a view to bring them into the mainstream.
We salute Mrs Garg for her marvellous efforts towards the society.
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