Cheshire Homes India

Group Captain  Lord Leonard Cheshire  was very fond of India and made various visits  during his lifetime. He  encourged the  local philanthrophists and social welfare activists to set up   Homes   in their cities to provide  care and support to people with disabilities from the weaker section of the society. In 1961, the Bangalore Cheshire Home started in a small rented cottage on Rustam Bagh Estate, (located directly opposite Manipal Hospital on HAL  Airport Road, Bangalore) with one resident, a young girl named Ivy Paul, who was completely bedridden with arthritis. From this small beginning the Home has expanded over a period of 50 years to the present stage.

Infrastructure

We manage two Homes - one at Old Airport Road and the other at Whitefield. 

The Airport Road Home is situated on one acre of land donated by Dr. & Mrs. Z.R. Kothavala. consists of a residential home for 50  physically handicapped women and girls in the age group 4 to 25 years.

 The Rehabilitation Centre started in 1985 which aims to train physically handicapped men and women from the surrounding area to become earning members of the family and thus take a normal place in Society.

As part of occupational therapy, the residents are taught stitching, embroidery, assembly of parts, and repackaging of bulk toilet products, etc.  Outlets for the these  products  are provided in front of the Home.

The Whitefield Home caters to elderly ladies from the weaker section of the society.  They  live  a dignified life  in a cottage donated by James Macguckin, a Scottish planter, and 2 new blocks built with support from The Rotary Club, Indiranagar.  Additional facilities for housing is under construction and with this, the residential capacity for elderly persons will go up from 17 to 25. 

A new building is under the final stages of construction.  This will provide facilities for crafts and vocational training for senior citizens and physically challenged persons. Plans are also in the pipeline to provide day care facilities for the elderly persons.

As part of the outreach programme to provide assistance to persons with disabilities who are not residents in the Home, a pilot project in association with Leonard Cheshire Disability-UK and M/s Accenture-UK has been intiated. The project has successfully trained  over 250 disabled men and women and placed them in various companies in the IT, BPO, Hospitality and Retail sectors. More details are available in the link  "Cheshire Livelihood Resource Centre".

Residents

Residents are  primarily  physically challenged girls and ladies from the economically weaker section of the society. The home situated on the HAL Airport Road presently accommodates about fifty residents while the home in Whitefield for elderly  women has a capacity of about twenty. All residents are given proper medical attention and treatment. The children are provided formal education and are prepared for a profession/career and for independent living. For those with greater limitations, opportunity is provided in the home for a meaningful life and economic productivity through the learning of crafts and by other means.

Achievements

A  majority of  the residents  have been successful in their studies and training and have secured employment.  The Residents are encouraged to pursue education and go beyond basic Degrees based on their abilities.  This has enable the Residents to command jobs where their remuneration is on par with able-bodied professionals.  As a result they are not only able to lead an independent life financially, but also support their families.  They  are working in the IT industry, hotels, hospitals and other occupations.

The Managing Committee

The Cheshire Home units in India are independent societies registered in the respective States in which they are located. They are affiliated to the parent body which is 'Cheshire Homes India' having  its headquarters now at  Bangalore. Each unit is managed by a committee which is its governing body. The members of the managing committee are experienced persons from the defence, other government services, business, industry and academic background. All are volunteers.

While all the Units follow the same values, ethics and principles enunciated by the Leonard Cheshire Disability Trust, the U.K.; each Unit is responsible for managing its affairs as well as it finances. 

Past Chairmen

Mr BV Narayana Reddy was the first Chairman in 1961. Since his retirement, the Bangalore Cheshire Home has had its managing committee headed by officers who have retired after distinguishing themselves in the Indian Air Force. The position of Chairman has been held by Air Cmde AW Chacko, Air Vice Marshal SN Roy Chaudhary, Air Marshal SJ Dastur, Air Marshal Alburquerque, Air Marshal P K Dey and Air Marshal T J Master. Presently, Mr Rana M Philip is the Chairman of the Managing Committee.

The Hon. Secretary

The position of the Hon. Secretary in the Bangalore Cheshire Home is an important one since this position has responsibility for all executive functions, including  overseeing of all activities and functions performed by the Staff. Mrs Veronica Das, wife of the Late Group Captain Suranjan Das, erstwhile Chief Test Pilot of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited  held this position for thirty six years, a period covering its early development. Mrs.Rani Murthy has taken over from Mrs.Das and  is the present incumbent.

Heads of Home

The incumbent is responsible for the daily operations at each Home, co-ordinating the activities of the matrons, the care staff and other employees.

A Typical Day at the Home

The day begins with a session of physical exercises/Yoga followed by getting ready. Then there is an assembly of all the residents. A period of silent prayer is followed by a group song and reading of headlines from day’s newspapers.

Old Airport Road Home:

After breakfast, the children go to their school or colleges. General cleaning of the Home is carried out in the mornings. Children studying in nearby schools are sent food for their lunch prepared in the Home’s kitchen. On return from school in the late afternoon,, the children wash up and have tea with other residents. After a little period of relaxation and arranging for their personal and other requirements as necessary from the office, they get busy with their homework and studies. The other residents get back from their a