Small Steps Towards an Inclusive Society – Support4 Enlightenment Foundation
By Atharva Mehendale
Individuals together create a society – societies together create a state – states together create a nation.
Keeping this very ideology in mind, Support Foundation was born out of the need felt by Mrs. Jacintha Reema Barua, Founder/Director of the organisation to bring about a sustainable change in the society. The purpose of this organisation is to promote interfaith co-operation – in order to end religiously motivated violence and to create a culture of justice and healing for the Earth. Since its inception, Support Foundation has diversified into a number of domains that require active social intervention. The ideology of the organisation does not allow it to stay confined and limited to one social problem. It has thus spread its wings into education, interfaith peace & harmony, woman and child empowerment and conservation of environment to name a few.
To say education is important is an understatement. It is probably the most important tool to change one’s life. The organisation believes that education enables the imbibement of tolerance, respect and compassion. It thus forms one of the most important arms of Support Foundation. Modest beginnings of the organisation saw a group of teachers giving free education to the underprivileged at the grassroots level. Through activities like yoga, meditation and by imparting teachings of Gautam Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi, Support Foundation tries to talk about larger problems associated with interfaith peace, harmony and brotherhood.
In addition to education, the organisation has been consistently working in spheres of woman empowerment, support program for widows, transgender rights, relief and rehabilitation, and child rights. The organisation regularly distributes saplings among communities in a number of areas to promote conservation of the environment. It regularly visits orphanages and old age homes; thereby spreading a sense of love, respect and companionship for children and the elderly. Vocational dance and karate classes for children are regularly conducted which enable children to move beyond classroom education. It has also been lending support to children with special needs. Regular interventions in family planning and female reproductive health campaigns is also something that Support Foundation is involved in. The organisation collectively donated to the Kerala relief fund in order to support relief efforts in the flood prone and flood affected areas in the south-Indian state. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the organisation has been conducting regular awareness campaigns that are aimed at spreading awareness about personal hygiene. Support Foundation also extended support in the form of distribution of dry ration in order to help stranded migrants during the lockdown period in India.
The organisation is a Cooperation Circle of URI – North India & Afghanistan. In order to promote social inclusion, it makes sure that all of its interventions reach every level and strata of the society. It tries to promote interfaith harmony and peace by regularly visiting temples, mosques, churches and gurudwaras in order to start a dialogue about brotherhood and harmony; and to help people in need. The organisation has collaborated with URI on a number of its interventions modelled around interfaith peace. Fighting through several considerations and limitations with respect to time and money, Support Foundation hopes to continue all of the above activities and more in order to create a more inclusive society that thrives on love, peace and harmony.