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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. The mother looked after upbringing, cooking, house maintenance, kitchen gardening, maintaining a cow, purchasing and keeping accounts.
Leenaben visited many centres in India and abroad to study about upbringing of children. In 1968 the Foundation stone of Shreyas Balgram was laid by the then Prime Minister of India, Smt. Indira Gandhi.
Dr. Hermann Gmeiner, President, SOS Kinderdorf International, Vienna, visited Shreyas Balgram, which was then affiliated to SOS. 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. Shreyas Balgram was the first SOS Balgram in India and the second in Asia.
Balgram started taking in babies, some even a few days old, since 1969.
Dr. Hansheinz Reinprecht and Mr. Helmut Kutin’s (Honorary President of SOS Children's Villages International) visits followed.
In 1976 SOS rings of recognition for services were bestowed upon five mothers by Helmut Kutin.
‘Sanjukta Yojana’ was launched, giving relief for both to the mothers and children in the existing social crises, which resulted in many broken homes and the breakdown of joint families.
Our children come from women’s homes, hospitals, and sometimes they are brought by individuals, orphanages, Reception and Observation homes too.