BALGRAM SOS VILLAGE
When Shreyas shifted to the new campus on the hill in 1961, a deep urge was felt to provide equal opportunities to children from varied socio-economic backgrounds and to the lost, parentless and destitute children, in need of a family and the security of a home.
In November 1962, a scheme for Balgram was launched. Our first mother was Shantiben Shah. From 1964 to 1966 Shreyas Balgram began operation with self-sufficient cottages, each with a mother and nine to ten children.
SOS Children’s Village was founded by Hermann Gmeiner in 1949 in Imst, Austria. He was committed to helping children who had lost their homes, their security and their families as a result of the Second World War. He visited Shreyas in 1962 and helped set up our Balgram SOS village. Shreyas Balgram was the first SOS Balgram in India and the second in Asia.
In 1961, Leenaben felt a deep urge to provide for and educate parentless and disadvantaged children from varying socio-economic backgrounds.
Inspired by SOS Children’s Villages International founded by Hermann Gmeiner in Imst, Austria, the idea of a Balgram materialised at Shreyas in 1962.
From 1964 Balgram began operation with self-sufficient cottages, each with a ‘mother’ and nine to ten children. Our first mother was Shantiben Shah.
Shreyas Balgram was the first SOS Balgram in India and the second in Asia.
In 1968 the Foundation stone of Shreyas Balgram was laid by the then Prime Minister of India, Smt. Indira Gandhi
We celebrate 23rd June, as “SOS Day” every year on occasion of the birthday of Dr. Hermann Gmeiner.
Our mission is to provide a safe homely environment with peers as family, for parentless children and children in need, to help them shape their own futures and share in the development of their communities.
Today three Balgram Homes and one Tarun Ghar runs at Shreyas, with four ‘mothers’ and 38 children, the youngest being 5 years old and the eldest being 23 years.