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Familia : A Family for Those Who Have None

November 03, 2012  by: Xavier  Points: 15   Category: People    Views: 1030

Familia, a social welfare organization, has been doing exceptional charitable work in the rural region near Calcutta. Here is a description about its mission, its various programs and its multiple social welfare activities.


Piu, whose father was killed by extremists in Assam and mother died of cancer; Ankit, whose mother was abandoned by his father because she has thalassemia; Surja, whose mother committed suicide and father was taken by the police; Rahul, whose mother had to run away from abusive in-laws in Uttar Pradesh; all have found a new caring family in Familia, a welfare organization located in a peaceful rural ambience in Kanchrapara, a place 50 km north of Calcutta. There are 65 children in the Children’s Home, each having a story behind them, a tragic story in most cases.
Kunapalli Chako Thomas, founder and director of Familia, who came to Calcutta during the Bangladesh Freedom War in 1971 as a volunteer to serve the refugees displaced by the war, decided to join the Missionaries of Charity of Mother Teresa, where he discovered his vocation within vocation, the call to provide loving families to the orphaned and abandoned. He believes that parental love is essential for the proper growth of a child. When a child loses one or both parents it loses the supportive environment necessary for it to grow as a balanced human being. It finds an emptiness which can only be filled to some extent by caring foster parents. He founded Familia on 11th August 1977 with a mission to provide caring families to those who have none.
“How far have you been successful?” When I asked him, Thomas answered, “At least 50 per cent.” A visitor cannot miss seeing that the children in Familia look happy. Thomas tells that almost all children go to school. Some attend colleges. Yet others are doing professional studies like hotel management, computer studies, motor mechanics etc. A girl has just completed her law studies .Thirty-five girls have been married and well settled. One of them lives with her family in Delhi. Another one has settled in Germany with her husband who is a teacher. Grown up boys have taken up jobs of different kind like driving, teaching, business etc.
In spite of financial problems, Familia has continually extended its welfare activities. From a five-children-foster family in a dilapidated classroom at Shikarpur, a village at the Indo- Bangladesh border, to the present site in Bhaluka village, in the district of North 24 Parganas, it has come a long way. Sixty-five children are divided in four foster families, each looked after by a married couple. Fifteen children live with their relatives and continue to receive support from Familia.
Since 1996, a home for senior citizens has been added to Familia's welfare activities. A school was built to cater to the people of the locality in 2006. A crèche to keep children of working mothers started functioning in May 2012, the newest extension of the Familia’s service to humanity. A women emancipation centre will come into being soon. The list of social welfare activities does not end there. Monetary support for studies is provided to the poor students of the surrounding villages. An ambulance service is available free of cost to the villagers of the neighborhood, a service most needed as the nearest government hospital is about 15 km away. When poor villagers need help to give their daughters in marriage, it is at Familia’s door they knock.
“Do you supervise all these welfare activities alone?” I asked Thomas.
“I am supported by a band of dedicated colleagues. Each of the four foster families is taken care of by a foster father and a foster mother. The foster parents also help me in supervising the activities.”Thomas tells.
Familia, a family for those who have none, has brought about a considerable progressive change in the condition of the local population. It has been holding a burning torch and spreading light where there is darkness of pain and suffering. It is a genuine reason to rejoice that the labor of love of so many generous of heart is bearing fruit.

Author: Paulose        
Posted Date: 11/15/2012    Points:1    

Very nice story with a lot of turning points. Interesting to read. Inspiring. thank you dear friend Xavier.

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