What would happen to those lives if I closed the shelter down? Sharda Nirmal and Karen Doff from the Sharanam Centre
Deval Sanghavi speaks to Sharda Nirmal, the founder of the Sharanam Center, a home for girls in Dharavi, Mumbai, and Karen Doff, the founder of the Aasha Foundation and a longtime collaborator of the centre. The Sharanam Center is not an institution - it is a home. Sharda talks about how she established the Sharanam Center as a young woman and with her husband over twenty years ago. Karen first encountered Sharanam as a visitor, but soon became a close collaborator, working with Sharda, and finding ways for many people - from her mom’s hairdresser, to her colleagues at work - to support the centre. Listen in as Karen talks about what giving, scale and sustainability really mean when dealing with the lives of individuals, and how to inspire everyday givers to contribute to the long, hard work of working with children in the development sector.
Sharda Nirmal is the force behind the Sharanam Center, a shelter home for girls in Dharavi, Mumbai that is a part of the Community Outreach Programme (CORP India). Sharda and her husband set up Sharanam twenty years ago, when Sharda was twenty-two years old. Karen Doff is the founder of the Aasha Foundation.
(18:20 ) "At least for me, what the Sharanam Center has exemplified is that realization to begin with - you can't measure love on a results framework... but you can see love and clearly everything that the Sharanam Center stands for is about love. And I think the second is really about doing what we can as we would do for our own children. That is not just a statement clearly and we can hear it in your voice, but it is a way of life for you. And I think many times when we look at the development sector, those that want to give back at times look at [...] what is the bare minimum that we can provide, and really it's about survival, I guess, versus thriving communities. And I think what you and the Sharanam Center have exemplified is really about survival is the bare minimum. And that's not what we stand for. It is about thriving in society. It is about giving the same opportunities that we have been given, if not better."