Living in the Ghat: Manorma's Family

Manorma Devi and her two sons, Ayush and Shibham Choudary live in the neighborhood adjacent to the ashram, the Harishchandra Ghat neighborhood.

Harish Chandra Ghat

Manorma's husband is a Dom with the local crematorium business in Harishchandra Ghat. This crematorium supports many of the families in this neighborhood. Doms are the caretakers of the cremation grounds and the main keepers of the fire that lights the cremation pyres

Doms and their families belong to the lowest ranks of the “Dalit” caste, which is the bottom of the Hindu caste system. In other words, they are the lowest of the lowest caste.

When Manorma and her family visit the ashram, she stays at the back of the ashram. Her husband forbids her to travel to or be seen in public areas. Women in the Ghat are strictly controlled by husbands and fathers, and if they step out of line, they are punished, for instance, being slapped.

When we offer a bhandara, Manora’s children are always present. They love coming and receiving a hot, nutritious meal. They will often take food back to family members that couldn’t come or weren’t allowed to come to the public bhandara (girls and women).

Bhandaras at Shaktidhaam

One tremendous benefit of our bhandaras to the poverty-stricken Ghat community is the quality of the food we serve. We buy excellent quality rice, dal, vegetables, paneer, flour, etc. We prepare the food so that it is dense and packed with nutrition and sustenance. We use fresh new vegetable oil and high quality flour for the puri bread. We spice everything well so that all the food we serve is delicious and nutritious. Finally, we serve very generous portions to everyone (even seconds and thirds!).

Everyone who eats with us at bhandaras is well fed with good quality nutritious food. 

Typical Meals in the Ghat

In comparison, the average household that makes similar items use inferior, low quality ingredients. The preparation of the rice and dal is like watery soup or broth. They use local public water, which is unfit for drinking. They cook the puri bread in cheap, low quality vegetable oil that is reused countless times (rendering it rancid or worse).

This is typical of the food situation for families living in Harishchandra Ghat.  

We Can Make a Difference

With your help, together we can make a difference for so many more who live in this Ghat. We can change their lives, one child, one meal at a time.

Tuesday, November 29 is Giving Tuesday. 

GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of radical generosity. GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Since then, it has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.

Light Legacy and Shaktidhaam Foundation have received a match commitment from several individuals and business owners in our Sai Maa Community. In other words, your donation will be matched dollar for dollar.

Our deepest and heartfelt gratitude to our match donors: Miranda Esmonde-White, Mary and Jack Sise, and Hank Unger.

On Giving Tuesday (or anytime between now and then), please help support families living in Harishchandra Ghat who struggle to feed their children at all, much less healthy, nourishing meals. Because of generous people like you, we can make a difference in their lives.

“Feed one person, just one person. And if you can afford to feed more than one, please do so. Start to realize there is somebody that you know on a soul level who needs to be fed.”
~ Sai Maa

Monthly Donation

By making your donation a monthly gift to Shaktidhaam Foundation’s Just One hunger program, we can provide crucial support for families who live with constant food insecurity.