Pune: Veteran Soldier Sells Jewellery Bought For Daughter’s Wedding, Spends Savings On Building Home For Orphan Girls And Paralysed Women

ghar pune - old age home and orphanage
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Mubarak Ansari

Pune, 6th September 2021: Colonel Mickie Uberoi (Retd) sold jewellery bought for daughter’s marriage and spent his savings for orphan girls and paralysed women. He has built a home for them and named it ‘Ghar’.

‘Ghar’ is a home for orphan girls, paralysed women and the elderly. Located opposite Gurudwara Dashmesh Darbar on the road between Kendriya Vidyalaya BEG and Deccan College, it is a replica of a home with three generations of residents residing under one roof much like children, parents and grandparents residing in a home. The ground plus six storied building will accommodate 40 girls, 10 paralysed women and 19 senior citizens when it is fully functional.

“Orphan/marginalized girls between the age group of 6-12 years will be provided opportunities to realise their full potential, paralysed women to become productive members of society and the elderly to lead a healthy, fulfilling and content life. The facilities for orphan/marginalized girls and paralysed women will be free of cost, while for the elderly it will be self-sustaining”, said Colonel Mickie Uberoi (Retd), president of Sant Ishwar Foundation, a registered public charitable trust incorporated in 2018 by a team of four retired Army officer veterans (now seven veterans) along with other members to serve humanity.


He added, “We intend to support orphan/marginalised girls till they become financially independent and settle down in life. We do hope they will carry the message of humanity, empathy and love which they will be recipients of to their respective worlds and give back to society in times to come. Ghar will provide good amenities, healthy nutrition, healthcare, education, recreational facilities and good hygiene and sanitation. Ghar will provide counseling to the residents and do what it takes to make them grow into well informed and responsible adults, empower them and mainstream them in society as law-abiding citizens.”

He further informed, “We have requested the state government to give preference to children orphaned by Covid pandemic. Children’s upbringing will be done in an Army environment.”

Orphan/marginalised girls will be sent to Ghar by Govt agencies. The trust will approach Govt hospitals and agencies to identify paralysed women who wish to become beneficiaries of the facility. Awareness, visibility and word of mouth will help in spreading the word for the elderly to seek admission in the old age facility.

The opening of Ghar was delayed due to the pandemic. The home for the elderly is now opening on 2 October followed by the home for paralysed women. The childcare home will open in the second phase.

How It All Began

Colonel Mickie Uberoi (Retd), the founder trustee had dreamt of starting an orphanage/child care home at a very young age when he was still a cadet in the National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakwasla. In 2007, he took premature retirement from the Army, an organisation that he loves, to give wings to his urge to help the underprivileged and to serve humanity. Over the years, he has educated children from poor families, has treated and rehabilitated a paralysed person and has helped to uplift the poor in various ways.

Over the years as the calling within him to give wings to his dream grew, so also the conflict brewing within intensified. Where was the money for creating the infrastructure and the operational expenditure going to come from? After all, he was just a pensioner with only a modest source of income. The urge, however, prevailed and he finally set forth to construct a seven-storey building with his life’s savings and borrowed funds to create Ghar.

An encounter with young paralysed women in a rehabilitation centre for paraplegics in Mumbai and getting to hear their stories germinated the idea of a home for paraplegics wherein paralysed women from the underprivileged sections of society would lead a life of dignity and get mainstreamed in society. The home for the elderly was conceptualised for both the elderly residents and the children to partake from each other’s company and the natural bonding and affection that would come about amongst them in due course. Thus was born Ghar – an abode for orphan/marginalized children, paralysed women and the elderly.

Need For Intervention

India is home to a large number of orphans and children in need of care and protection. Such children are often among the high risk, insecure and deprived groups who are denied not only their rights as children but also their childhood.

The ongoing COVID pandemic has taken a heavy toll on children. As per the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), 30,071 children were orphaned, lost a parent or abandoned mostly due to the COVID crisis up to 5 June 2021. Out of these, 7084 children are from Maharashtra.

“Children/orphans in need of care and protection face immense challenges – lack of belongingness, psychological issues, malnutrition, lack of education and access to healthcare, insecurity and a bleak future. There is thus a need to augment the efforts of the Govt and NGOs in taking care of marginalised children/orphans and providing them with a sense of belongingness, security, education, access to healthcare, care and support for their overall development”, Col Uberoi.

Disabled people constitute a significant 2.21% (26.8 million) of India’s 2011 Census population of 1.21 billion. 8.3% (20.78 million) of the total households in the country have disabled members. Maharashtra is home to 11.05% of the total disabled population in the country and 2.64% of its population.

Paralysed women face immense challenges, at times even in acceptance by their family members, a feeling of helplessness, lifelong medical issues that require regular medical treatment, insecurity, a lack of opportunities in terms of jobs and the inability to contribute as productive members of society. There is a need to rehabilitate them, to strive to give them their due place in society and to make them productive members of society.

As per the 2011 Census Report, India was home to 104 million elderly people. This number is growing by the year. Many elderly people are forced to stay alone due to the migratory work requirements of their children or for other reasons. Elderly/old age people often face problems of loneliness, insecurity and a lack of a healthy and congenial environment that takes care of their special needs, particularly in cases where the children are away or neglect them.

Lt Gen Sanjeev Kanal (Retd), a member of the trust, said that in order to address the problems of orphan/marginalized children, paralysed women and the elderly Sant Ishwar Foundation has created Ghar in a seven-storey building specially designed and constructed to house children, disabled women and the elderly all under one roof; to empower them through quality education, mainstream them and make them productive members of society while enhancing the quality of life of the elderly.”

“Ghar will take care of the boarding, nutritional, education, health and personal needs of orphan/ marginalised girls. They will be provided with quality education in English medium schools and all other facilities that are needed to make them realise their full potential and to become capable to participate and compete in all activities much as we do in respect of our children. This will help them in pursuing their dreams and leading a life of dignity and respect in society”, Col Uberoi informed.

Lt Gen Kanal added, “Paralysed women who are wheelchair mobile will be admitted from all sections of society. They will be provided numerous facilities in an environment of a home. Our aim is to make them confident, independent and productive members of society and to empower them. The elderly will be provided with a healthy and congenial environment with group activities, entertainment and medical support to make their lives secure and fulfilling. The home for the elderly will be self-sustaining.”

The trust will also endeavour to strengthen community participation in creating sustainable development opportunities for vulnerable children and paralysed women.

“The operational costs of the childcare home and the home for paralysed women will be funded with the help of donations from the public and corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds. We appeal to all members of the public to come forth and become a part of the journey of Ghar”, Col Uberoi said.

Trustees of Sant Ishwar Foundation:
Lt Gen Sanjeev Kanal, PVSM, AVSM
Col Harcharan Singh
Col Bharat Haladi
Col Mickie Uberoi-President
Col Ashun Bahl-Vice President
Col Shailendra Negi-Secretary
Col Ravi Bhushan Gupta
Sukhminder Uberoi
Sudhir Soni- Treasurer
Gansham Vaswani
Saiba Uberoi

Contact Details

Mobile: 9372468457, 8605948093

Email: [email protected]

Website: ghar-home.in

Bank Details For Donations

Beneficiary Name : Sant Ishwar Foundation

Name of the Bank : HDFC Bank

Branch Address : 9/2 Kalpataru Gardens, Boat Club Road, Pune-411001 Maharashtra, India

Branch Code : 000039

IFSC Code : HDFC0000039

Account No. : 50100290200233

MICR Code : 411240004

(Donations are exempt from income tax under section 80G of the Income Tax Act)