Since 1983, Habitat for Humanity India has supported millions of people in India to build or improve a place they can call home.
We are taking up the cause of building homes for bereaved families of soldiers of India’s Armed Forces through our ‘Habitat for Heroes’ program. This initiative seeks to engage citizens of the country, corporates, and volunteers to help India’s soldiers and families of fallen soldiers in their need for decent shelter, with the belief that we must serve those who have served us.
Recently, we have built homes for the families of Shaheed Shankar Shinde and Shaheed Shahaji Gorde in Maharashtra.
Our work with the district authorities and grass-root level partners has helped us identify many such families in Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Uttarakhand who are in need of decent shelter.
Comfort In A Time Of Sorrow
Martyred Shankar Shinde (34), part of the Maratha Light Infantry, laid down his life during crossfire, while killing five terrorists and protecting his infantry, in the Kupwara Operation
(Jammu and Kashmir) on 13th February 2016.
His heartbroken parents Suman and Chandrabhan, continued to struggle in Bhayale village, Nashik, living with no means to repair their dilapidated home, now that their only son is gone.
Shankar’s parents’ only source of income is from farming the small land they own. They were not in the situation to rebuild their home. Habitat for Humanity India helped this family build a home that provides a safe and secure shelter where they can live out the rest of their lives. On Independence Day 2018, the flag was hoisted outside the Shinde home in Nashik, and the statue of Shankar garlanded.
“We are aging and life was getting difficult in our old dilapidated house. Our house was dilapidated. There was no proper ventilation and the house lacked basic amenities, like even a proper toilet. With our son gone, we were finding it hard to cope in life. We did not have the means to build a home. In this situation, Habitat India wiped our tears and built a new home for us. We will be indebted to these angels of humanity. Thanks to Habitat for Humanity India, we will get to spend the rest of our lives in comfort and peace." says Suman Shinde.
Fulfilling A Promise Of A Decent Shelter
"Our son promised to build the house for us, but we lost him and lost all our hope. This is unbelievable - that Habitat India thought of us and helped us fulfil our son's dream of having a decent home,” said Janabai Ghorde.
Shaheed Shahaji Gopala Ghorde left his hometown Nashik in Maharashtra, to serve in the Indian armed forces. Prior to joining the army in 2002, he failed the exam twice. But he refused to give up and his persistence and love for the country eventually won him a place as a lance naik. For fourteen years, he served his country at the frontlines, getting married to Rekha in 2007 and having two children Om (6) and Siddhi (8) during his years in service.
In 2016, he was assigned to the Kopala-Bandapur post in Jammu and Kashmir. It was here that he lost his life in extreme conditions, on the 10th of September 2016
His family grieved deeply for him when they heard the news of his death three days later.
Rekha moved into her parents’ home with the children during their time of sorrow.
However, Shahaji’s parents Janabai Gopala Ghorde (65) and father Gopala Ghorde (70) were left to grieve their son alone in their home. They had always had the hope that Shahaji’s employment in the army meant that they would eventually move into a home of their own, one that was not made of mud walls, that leaked in the monsoon and had developed large cracks over the years. The roof was also made of tin which generated a lot of heat during the summers, making it difficult for the family to survive in that environment.
Gopala is a farmer by profession, growing and selling just enough of his crops to make ends meet. It was too little to repair or rebuild the home. Now, as they grieved Shahaji, they could not see a day when their situation would ever get better.
Habitat for Humanity India builds homes with vulnerable families like the family of Shahaji Ghorde.
Gopala and Janabai were able to move into their new home in September 2019.
There are many such families who need your help.
Help us build strength, stability and self-reliance for the families of India’s heroes.
Contact: Shweta Naik | firstname.lastname@example.org | 9004951359