CARING FRIENDS (CF) is a group of philanthropic individuals, primarily based in India & abroad as well, who have joined hands to extend financial assistance to grassroots NGOs. It’s a platform which mobilizes support through individual & corporate donors and distributes it amongst NGOs to achieve psycho-socio-economic upliftment of disadvantaged sections of the society. The unique feature of CF is that it operates without any overheads.
The association of MSS with CF began dates back to 1981 when it was not known as CF but was just a ‘One Man Army’ headed by ‘Mr. Ramesh Kacholia’, a compassionate human being from Mumbai. He came across an article published on Baba Amte in a weekly magazine ‘India Today’ and got inspired by Baba’s work to become an integral part of MSS family. At that time, MSS’ work was not very well known in Mumbai. Rameshbhai took it upon himself to spread the word. He not only started supporting MSS’ activities substantially in his individual capacity but also initiated mobilization of funds for MSS through his friends. He started representing activities of MSS at various business houses & trusts in Mumbai to gather support for developmental initiatives. The efforts of Rameshbhai shortly took form of a group of like-minded philanthropists, informally known as Mumbai Group of Friends.
Swaranandwan is a unique musical orchestra of the select group of leprosy afflicted, visually challenged, orthopedically challenged and hearing and speech impaired people of Anandwan.
The biggest initiative of Rameshbhai and ultimately the Mumbai Group of Friends was successful organization of Swaranandwan in Mumbai on 21 January 2004, which raised a huge sum of Rs.1.70 Crores for the construction of a dormitory at Anandwan to accommodate 400 leprosy afflicted women. As put into words by Rameshbhai – “The biggest achievement of my life, through organization of Swaranandwan, was my introduction with Mr. Nimesh Shah who had come to witness the performance.” Nimeshbhai too is a kind-hearted person, who supports social causes meant for empowerment of the unprivileged. Since then, both of them have become companions pursuing a common cause.
In early 90s, Baba Amte had urged Rameshbhai to expand his philanthropic activities, and introduced him to several deserving NGOs. Motivated with Baba’s encouragement, Rameshbhai started supporting these NGOs. And in 2003, he went fulltime into supporting social causes. After Nimeshbhai’s association, the network of Mumbai Group of Friends grew to more than 200 Friends mostly based in Mumbai, some from other parts of India & abroad too, to become today’s CARING FRIENDS. With the concept – “One person can make a difference; but a group of Friends can make a very big difference”, today, CF supports more than 30 NGOs in different states of India.’
“It is very difficult to comprehend what CF is for MSS. Is it a ‘Pillar’ of MSS? Is it a ‘Foundation Stone’ of MSS? Is it a ‘Motivating Force’ for MSS? Really, these words are not enough to describe the role of CF in MSS’ journey from Sympathy to Empathy. CF-MSS association is altogether on a different plane where Humanity is Worshipped.”
We continue to receive substantial financial assistance for our on-going developmental & welfare programs through the goodwill & pioneering efforts of CARING FRIENDS, inspired & guided by Rameshbhai & Nimeshbhai. They continue to contribute in their individual capacity as well. We are always indebted to them.
Rameshbhai’s Mumbai office works as a local office for MSS as well as for other NGOs associated with CF, for spreading awareness about the work, also for raising financial & other resources.
People who wish to contribute to MSS may contact Rameshbhai & Nimeshbhai, Coordinators of CF at:
C/o. M/s Glorimex Pvt. Ltd.,
1/12, Dhiraj Pen Compound, Near IndusInd Bank,
58-59, Andheri-Kurla Road,
Andheri (E), Mumbai - 400059
Tel.: +91 - 22 - 2821 6366 / 9947 / 9951 (Off.)
Mr. Anand Karia & Mr. Parag Karia based in USA, founded ‘ARPAN FOUNDATION’, a charitable organization, with a mission to serve humanity by supporting institutions that work at the grassroots level. It distributes 100% of the collected funds. Arpan ensures that every dollar that it collects reaches the institution without any deduction for overheads.
Arpan is an integral part of ‘Caring Friends’ in India, a group of philanthropic individuals, primarily based in India & abroad as well, who have joined hands to extend financial assistance to grassroots NGOs.
MSS receives substantial funding from US residents through Arpan. Karia brothers also contribute to MSS in individual capacity. MSS shall always be thankful to them for their benevolence.
By sending the contribution through Arpan Foundation, US Nationals can enjoy tax benefits and also do not need to incur any expenses towards transfer of money. People based in US who wish to contribute to MSS may contact Arpan Foundation at:
19401 S. Vermont Av., Ste K-105,
Torrance, CA 90502, USA
Phone: +1 310.707.1151
Fax: +1 310.515.8546
(Arpan Foundation is registered charity under section 501(C)3 of US Tax laws with Federal Tax ID# 20-5593243)