Mission of Rescuing
SEAL is an NGO dedicated to the mission of rescuing destitute and missing children from the Railway Platforms and Streets of Mumbai and Suburbs.
Countless people arrive in this city of dreams to chase their aspirations. While we often hear of the great success stories, there have been the unfortunate many who’ve been left helpless and homeless, wandering in the streets of this unforgiving city.
SEAL rescues the young & old, men & women, the sick, lost and forsaken, and provides them another shot at life! Along with providing shelter, food, clothing, health-care, and education at our Ashram, we strive to trace their families back home and reunite the lost.
Presently in our shelter home, we have 276 underprivileged people mainly HIV & TB, patients, mentally challenged, handicapped, visually impaired, and fully orphaned, leading a meaningful life.
So far SEAL could reunite 403 people back to their long awaiting dear families to all over India; otherwise, they might have been thrown in oblivion forever. Most of them were vagabonds and missing from home for long periods.
Above and all SEAL is proud that we could provide a peaceful, mercy death bed and funeral/burial with dignity to 390 dear ones among the destitute we gathered from Mumbai City and elsewhere at terminal stages and with fatal diseases, those who were supposed to die like stray dogs.
Today, SEAL is a major referral point for nearly 20 NGOs, Mumbai and Navi Mumbai Police, Medical Colleges, Hospitals, and well-wishers.
SEAL has no Government aid or permanent supporters from India or Abroad, but working on 100% public individual donations.
Our mission and inspiration is well embodied in our guiding principle,
" Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,”
"Does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will, he not repay everyone according to what they have done?”
SEAL Ashram will rescue the destitute, the sick- physically and mentally, found in the railway platforms and streets of Mumbai, regardless of their ethnic background, gender, age and severity of ailments, and offer them a home of hope and holistic care for their ailments.
SEAL has great plans for expanding, wants to provide better facilities to the existing residents, i.e. move our ladies, boys and girls to our new building “Mercy Mines” so that we can rescue and rehabilitate another 250 destitute. Right now all the residents stay on the same premises although the rooms are segregated for men and women, the mentally challenged and those suffering from AIDS. Day by day the number of hapless victims at the ashram is increasing.
We also want to start our own hospital (ground floor of Mercy Mines Building) where the sick can be cared for. Currently, we are giving treatment to our residents at MGM Medical College & DY Patil Medical college which are very far from our facility.
Who we are
Way back in 1989 on a trip to Mizoram, Pastor Philip saw a man covered with mud, almost naked, fighting with stray dogs to find a piece of bread from the dustbin on the railway station. That sight was deeply moving, and he wished to be of some help to such people. A vision was birthed in his heart.
23 years down the road, on a short trip to Mumbai to meet his brother and friends, the sight of hordes of destitute scattered across the city, caught his attention. As he began to spend time with the street kids, beggars and vagabonds, a construction worker unable to look after his 8 children, approached him to take care of his 11-year-old son – Sagar. Pastor Philip explained he was on a short trip to the city, but the father of the kid insisted. He promised to return the following week. He kept his promise, but couldn’t find Sagar or his father. Philip learned that a bus had run over the kid, and he’d died. Tears rolled, and he remained disturbed for days. Only if, he’d given a helping hand to the kid. He was constantly reminded of the Bible verse,
“Rescue those being led away to death, Hold back those suffering towards slaughter, If you say “But we know nothing about this”, Does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will, he not repay each person according to what he has done?”
The incident changed his life forever. He took a course on social work from SNDT University soon after. While on his visit to the Sonapur Red Light Area, he found a 9 months old baby abandoned by his mother. He took him along with, thinking he can admit him in any one of the Orphanages in Mumbai. During this period the boy had fallen sick and from the medical report, it was revealed to him this boy is HIV + He had knocked many doors for admission of the child, but nobody has shown interest because he was HIV+. In these circumstances Pastor Philip had left with no other alternative except to rent a room On 15th November 1999 and started to live with the boy and this was the beginning of SEAL. Pastor Biju Samuel joined him in the work soon
RESCUE, REHABILITATE AND REUNITE
Our primary mission is to rescue the sick and the homeless, the lost and the forgotten, the countless destitute who wander the streets and railway stations of Mumbai and its suburbs. At our ashram, we provide them shelter, food, medical care, education, and most of all - love. However, we do not restrict ourselves to just providing them a good quality of life, but take great effort towards finding their loved ones and reuniting them with their family. The following steps outline the lifecycle of our Rescue & Reunite mission.
We rescue the destitute from the streets and railway stations and bring them to our Ashram. They include the young and old, men and women, boys and girls who wander helplessly. We get them through our visits to the railway stations and streets, and also through referrals from the police, hospitals, NGOs, and well-wishers.
At the Ashram, we provide shelter, food, love, and fellowship. Young children are given education in our God’s Valley Mission School, while healthy active adults help with daily chores at the ashram and help to look after other sick or aged residents. We all live together as one big family - coming together for prayer in the evenings, watching cricket matches together, children playing outside, and with every resident calling the founders (Ps. Philip & Ps. Biju) – PAPPA!
Sometimes, the destitute who are brought in with critical ailments pass despite our every attempt to recover their health. We ensure that these residents are well taken care of till their very last breath, and are given a respectable funeral.
This process of restoration is at the core of the SEAL’s mission and purpose – to rescue and reunite the helpless and the homeless, and to give them another shot at life!
At God’s Valley Mission School, we strive to provide good education to our children, to prepare them to face the world, and groom them into educated, responsible citizens of our country. Since many of our children suffer from different ailments, we are unable to enroll them in a regular school.
And, hence the need for an in-house school. In our earlier days, the school was operated in the ladies' wing of the Ashram, and we longed and prayed for a school building. By the grace of the Almighty, we opened our God’s Valley Mission School on 30th September 2008. The school currently has over 70 students, all of them being residents of our Ashram. We are currently following the Maharashtra State Board curriculum, and have classes from Nursery to the 4th Standard
We provide the following medical care in-house:
Follow-up medical care for patients discharged from hospital
Administering ART for HIV+ patients and AKT for TB patients regularly. These are provided free of cost by the government of India.
Fortnightly visits by a psychiatrist to see patients and prescribe medicines.
24 X 7 ambulance on standby to take patients with serious ailments to the hospital.