Gokulam: A Family of Loving Strangers

Indian society is an amalgamation of differences. These differences prevail in every nick and corner of society. At certain levels, these differences become diversity and this diversity is the real defining factor of this great country named India, that is Bharat.

India has always been a soft target for foreign invaders, including Mughals, Turks, Arabs, Dutch, English, and Portuguese. Society has developed a sense of resilience and fight for existential necessities. India, as a nation-state, fought and bounced back every time. Due to the continual struggle in this civilizational warfare, Indian society came in close contact with some of the evils. the purpose may be to stay safe but these evils harm the society in long run.

India has always been a country that followed the basic principles of respecting women. Due to the existential clash with foreign invaders, we tend to forget our cultural values and become more, unlike our identity. The families and people started forgetting the respect. Women, from an important member of the family, got a not-so-important role to play in the family. People started abandoning old age women and women of young age too.

From celebrating the birth of a girl child to abandoning a tiny toddler became a new normal for people. In this case, to resolve the social issues of such high priority, Saints have been flagbearers and undoubtedly, Sadhvi Ritambhara is one such name who is working for the welfare of abandoned women and children.

Offering shelter, food, and other basic amenities are one thing. People are doing it for ages by opening old-age homes, NariNiketans, and Orphanages, where the needy get the basic amenities for free and lead a normal life once again but the void created can not be filled. The importance of being in a family can never be sought from such places. The emotional pain of such people can never get healed from any offering, until and unless the need of love and respect is given to them.

Param Pujya Didi Maa Sadhvi Ritambhara came in with a beautiful idea of ‘creating families among strangers’. She knows the importance of having a family and the power of it. Hence, she decided to offer the same love of the family to all these destitute women and children.

Didi Maa Ji made separate families out of these abandoned people. In one family, there is one mother, one grandmother with one maasi, and 5-7 children. Here, the mother is taking care of all the children and the grandmother, with the help of maasi. Gokulam is the place where these women and the children are kept. One family is having one separate apartment with a study room, bedroom and drawing room, kitchen, and toilets.

These families live together and love each other. None of the residents are in blood relation. They all are strangers to each other but building the bonds of love among all these is what Didi Maa Ji is doing for last so many years. Gokulam is the abode of love and self-respect. Gokulam also has a lawn, a playground, and a provision-store from where the head of each family gets their rations and other necessities essential for their respective families.

The families have access to all the facilities on the VatsalyaGram campus including education, healthcare, and other necessities to lead their lives in peace and happiness. Currently, there are 16 families consisting of 167 children and 24 women living as mothers, grandmothers, and aunts at VatsalyaGram.

More than 7 daughters have got married from Gokulam. One of them has become a medical practitioner and one another has become an advocate. Others are getting their education completed.

So Gokulam is serving society in its best capacity. This can be a small thing but the impact is so huge. Gokulam is impacting lives, turning them around, filling the void with love, affection, and care.

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