Activity in Deepashram (India)
Deepashram, our Home for the disabled
3 July 1994, on the solemnity of St. Thomas, Apostle and first Missionary of India, the Missionaries of Charity Contemplative opened their third mission house in India, Gurgaon, Haryana, in the Archdiocese of Delhi, which was temporarily given by the Patrician Brothers for free of use.
18 November 1995 – Blessing and inauguration of the first building of “Deepashram” built on the piece of land acquired on 8 December 1994: his Excellency Rt. Rev. Vincent Concessao, the then auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Delhi, in the presence of Bl. Mother Teresa of Kolkata blessed the house. Bl. Teresa thanked God and the people of Gurgaon for welcoming the Brothers.
On 22nd November 1998 – Blessing of our Holy Family Chapel by Bishop Vincent Concessao.
On 18th November 1999 – Blessing of the entire “Deepashram” premises by his Excellency Rt. Rev. Alan De Lastic (R.I.P.) , the then Archbishop of Delhi.
Apostolate. “Deepashram”, which means “House of Light”, is a home for about 50 mentally and physically disabled, orphaned and homeless boys and men, who are really the poorest of the poor.
According to our Constitutions, our communities are meant to be schools of prayer, adoration and whole-hearted free assistance and service to the poorest of the poor. Right from the beginning the Brothers have tried to keep the spirit and the aim of the Society.
The centre, with God’s help, meets the legitimate needs of the less fortunate disabled boys and men with tender love and care, proper food and clothing.
The Brothers devote themselves to the material needs and spiritual assistance of retarded and mentally or physically disabled boys, orphan and abandoned, from 8 to 35 years of age. The boys are assisted, as far as possible, by physiotherapists, special educators, speech therapists, some paid workers and above all by the loving care of the Brothers who help them to mature and become real children of God. The various therapy programmes help the children to become more and more self-sufficient.
The name chosen for the project was “Deepashram”, an oasis of light, and it has indeed become so, not only for Catholics but also for Hindus and for all men irrespective of caste or religion.
Besides, each boy is adopted from afar through the Distant Adoption Programme.
What is meant by distant adoption?
Since our disabled children are all orphans and homeless, we want them to have a rather comfortable home, with many adoptive parents, brothers and sisters, as well as friends. In a word, any person of good will and generosity can be part of the programme. As we know, none of us can grow in isolation, and none of us is meant to be alone in this world. We all have to have a home to live in and people to live with. More so for the homeless and orphaned handicapped who are really the poorest of the poor in every sense of the word.
- A new blessed person, i.e. Jesus in the form of the handicapped child, enters into the life of the one who adopts, and who in some mysterious way begins to experience a deeper bond with the child and the whole family of the Missionaries of Charity.
It is evident that to run a house for them is rather demanding and difficult. By distant adoption there is a joint effort to help the boys to improve, reintegrate or recuperate as far as it can be done in the light of their various physical or psychic problems. More than offering material help, the persons who adopt them remain in very close contact with the Brothers of the Missionaries of Charity-Contemplative, who are their immediate guardians and servants. Together we make earnest efforts to make our home another “Nazareth”, where the children can feel loved, wanted and cared for.