"When I was hungry you gave me to eat,when I was thirsty you gave me to drink, when I was naked you clothed me..."
Shantighar was opened in the year 1994 at Mumbai. In the initial stage sisters worked under another NGO called Mahrashtra Kalyan Seva Mandal (MKSM), which had its office at Andheri (W), Mumbai. Sr. Shalini, who was the pioneer of this centre stayed in a single room provided by MKSM and started to work for the battered women. The women who came with problems were accommodated in the same house at Achanak Colony Chawl, Mahakali Caves Road Andheri East, Mumbai - 93. They were rehabilitated after three months. Meanwhile Sr. Marlene, a Lawyer joined her in order to intensify the work with women and children. Later in 2000, a new building was constructed at Andheri (E), near Maruthi School, 11th D.P. Road, M.I.D.C., Mumbai 400 093 and in this spacious house many women were accommodated. Sisters began to involve more in the social activities. In 2007 Shantighar became an independent organization under Shanti Mandal Trust.
In today’s world of technological competence and conveniences, of high rises and lucrative incomes, what is startling is the alarming increase of families in crisis. The deepening conflict in marriages often leading to violence against women, more often than not ending in separation with the children as victims, is striking at the very heart of human society. The grave injustice meted out to such hapless victims is an assault on their dignity as valuable members of society. By responding to this challenging need of the time ‘Chaitanya Shantighar’ was formed to provide legal assistance and counseling.
- To render social, spiritual and legal help to individuals and families
- To reach out to all who are in distress irrespective of their social and financial background as well as religion.
- To promote legal education through camps and seminars.
- To provide counseling to youth, teenagers, couples and senior citizens.
- To expand the social activities by more networking with NGOs, individuals and parishes.
- To conduct research and maintain library for public.
- To provide mediation before and after the court.
- To train persons in par-counseling and consultancy.
- To render assistance to prisoners, arranging programs in prison.
Over the past 10 years, Shanti Ghar has provided counseling and legal assistance to women in crisis. Occasionally, the media reports about how women are badly treated in the family, in the workplace and when they travel.
Shantighar is one such place that helps women to gather themselves together and to move on in life.
On this occasion of Decinnial Celebration on December 10, 2011, I thank the Director, Trustees, and members for this humanitarian service to society. God Bless You All.
On a personal note, it is very true when they say that everything in life has a purpose. I had the privilege and opportunity of meeting Adv. Sr. Marlene Parakkadan of Shanti Ghar – the sister-in-charge and a practicing lawyer - when I was going through one of the most testing times of my life five years ago. Over the years I’ve witnessed the tremendous efforts that Adv. Sr. Marlene along with her colleagues have made to restore the dignity of so many women. I was so blessed to have her by my side. Over time, she has become not just my lawyer, but my counsellor,sister, mentor and most of all one of my best friends. I am very proud to bea member of the newly formed NGO, ‘’Chaitanya’’an NGO with a broader vision which reaches out to individual and families irrespective of their social, religious and financial background. May the Almighty continue to guide and guard these sisters as they continue His work here on earth with dedication and love.