Mumbai: Jain Welfare Group Ensures Poor Are Under Safe Roof

Mumbai: Jain Welfare Group Ensures Poor Are Under Safe Roof

The JAG carried out the repairing work of the couple’s house and even convinced their landlord not to increase the rent after the repairs.

Dhairya GajaraUpdated: Monday, May 27, 2024, 12:02 AM IST
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FPJ

An age-old adage goes that it's a daily struggle for some to arrange for food, clothing and shelter in Mumbai. The city of dreams becomes a nightmare for scores of people who live under constant fear of monsoon snatching away their roofs. In such a depressing scenario, Jain Alert Group (JAG) comes to the rescue of the community members, who have no option, but to live in derelict housing.

Under the guidance of revered monk Ratnasurishvarji Maharaj, the group has been carrying out various social works related to health, education and utility for the last 30 years. Today the group has around 40,000 members in its more than 400 branches spread across India as well as in the USA, UK, Canada and Australia.

Since 2022, the group has started a unique initiative to repair homes of those who aren't financially able to do so. Jinesh Doshi, president of Maharashtra JAG, said that the welfare work is a part of 'sadharmik bhakti'; meaning helping the people of one’s own community. “During our regular visits to people’s houses for social work, we noticed that many of them have been living in houses, with unpainted walls for 40 years. Tiles are uneven, water leaks from the ceiling and in some cases, the bathrooms don't have doors. We feel they should not face such difficulties only because of the lack of money,” said Doshi.

Bhavesh Mehta, president of Dombivli JAG, said, “We undertake surveys of the houses according to the requests received. Accordingly, we decide whether the plea is genuine and the repair is actually needed.” The JAG has, so far, completed repairs of 26 houses across Mumbai and is currently undertaking repair works of eight homes. The group has also received corporate social responsibility funds and plans to undertake 15 more repairs in the upcoming days.

To put things in perspective, Doshi gave the instance of elderly Jain woman living in Bhandup along with her paralysed husband. She used to observe her fasts even when water leaked from her house’s ceiling and the floor was filled with wastewater from the sewage line. The couple lives hand to mouth as the woman ekes out a meagre livelihood from selling fruits.

The JAG carried out the repairing work of the couple’s house and even convinced their landlord not to increase the rent after the repairs. “The renovation (of any house) does not include luxury additions like false ceiling or chandeliers, but only the necessary works like plumbing, electricity, furniture and masonry. Repairs of these houses, which are hardly 200-250 sq ft, do not cost much. An average cost of repairing a house costs only around Rs2 lakh,” Doshi added.

“We have completed repair works of four houses in Dombivli and are currently undertaking repairs of two other units. It is not possible to provide even a basic flat worth Rs20 lakh to everyone. We can facilitate the repairs of their houses, which will rid them of all worries for the next 15-20 years,” said Mehta.

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