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Back in 2002, the findings of a survey related to adoption became the reason for the foundation of Catalysts for Social Action (CSA), that not only work towards helping people in adopting children but has also partnered with orphanages to provide holistic child-care facilities to them.
Having had humble beginnings back then, the organisation now has moved on to expand their horizon to five states collaborating with 41 rural agencies. While the journey has been a long one for them, according to Bharati Dasgupta, co-founder of CSA, it has been immensely fulfilling too.
"There was an adoption in our family and we saw what joy it brought into our home. This is why we wanted to start an organisation to promote adoption. When we researched the situation in Pune, we found that there were many parents wanting to adopt, but there were no children in the adoption agencies. When we went into the rural areas, we found the situation to be quite the opposite there," recalls Dasgupta. She adds that earlier parents in the urban areas were not open to the idea of adopting from rural areas. But that has changed now.
Working in Maharashtra, Goa, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh they are working on bridging the urban and rural divide in the area of adoption. Dasgupta mentions that their work primarily consists of helping families find the right homes for children awaiting adoption, enhancing the living standards and work conditions and cultivate an adoption friendly environment through networking with the government, judicial and other authorities that are a part of the adoption process.
However the catalyst for their work was a huge hoarding placed strategically on the Mumbai-Pune expressway. The hoarding displayed smiling faces of five children with a caption below it asking the question, 'Which one of them is adopted?' "The adoption processes picked up from that point. It made people realise that children are children and the only concern of the parents was the health of the child," says Dasgupta.