Originally posted in USIEF - Fulbright Blogblog.usief.org.in/Posts.aspx?PostID=1992?
In Jaipur, the sansthan (literally ‘institute) plays a key role in raising and educating orphaned children. From my limited experience, I’ve been able to gather that the sansthan is part of an interesting combination of government, private individual patronage and donations, and volunteers who work to make sure these kids get as many opportunities to succeed as they can. Each one is unique in its goals, methods, and perhaps most importantly, sources of funding. Some receive government funding, some do not, while others rely on international funds, which can be difficult given central government restrictions on NGO funding (https://tinyurl.com/hlruacu). Many are patronized by important local figures (for example, the sansthan where I have been volunteering, Surman Sansthan, was established by Manan Chaturvedi (http://www.mananchaturvedi.in), a former fashion designer and artist who has moved into Jaipur politics (she is now chairperson of Rajasthan State Commission for Protection of Child Rights). Most likely receive some combination of these funds. This may seem strange and confusing to someone outside of India, but the ad-hoc nature, adaptability, and resourcefulness of these organizations is entirely representative of the country overall.
Regardless of their patron, each is constantly searching for new sources of reliable funding. Despite this, Surman Sansthan, and I imagine many of the others, still manages to provide a warm comforting environment for the kids that really feels like a family. Much of this is thanks to the dedication of the volunteers there, both Indian and foreign, but the core is created by the kids themselves, who support and care for each other as siblings. They know better than any outsider what they need. This atmosphere always leaves me confident in their situation after every visit. There is never enough room and resources for every child, but there is always each other - there is always a family for them.