“Do for one, what you wish you could do for millions,” believes Sangita Gala, who is inspiring millions to help abandoned kids. Hailing from Mumbai, Sangita and Rajesh are transforming the lives of many kids by fostering them. The couple fosters newborn babies and keeps them for a few months until they get the right family who adopts them. Looking after so many babies is not an easy task, but this couple took charge of them as if they are their own children.
But how did the idea of fostering come to the couple’s mind? The couple were spending a well-settled life in the USA but the duo decided to do something for their own country. And that’s when they came back to India and started the journey of fostering.
Let’s hear the story of Sangita Gala in her own words.
First of all, tell us how this idea of fostering came to your mind. Was there any incidence?
The plan to adopt a child was always there in our minds. We had three babies of our own and we decided to adopt one more child. But as we started our adoption planning, my in-laws got sick and we got busy taking care of them. As the years went by we had to drop our adoption plan because then the gap between our own children and adopted children would be too much.
because I saw this concept in the USA. So I explored foster care options in India. I really wanted to do this. Unfortunately, India does not really have a lot of fostering systems. After searching really hard, I came across one foster care centre in Mumbai. The foster home contacted me to take care of a baby girl. I was very happy at that time. It was a wonderful experience when I brought and raised the girl in my home. The environment of my home was so positive and joyful at that time and all my family members were extremely happy.
One fine day, I received a call from a foster home and they said that the Government had found suitable parents for the child to adopt so I had to give back the baby. That was a heart-shattering moment for me. I didn’t anticipate the pain very well at first. I cried a lot for several days, but then I finally understood that to provide a better life for this beautiful baby girl, I had to hand over the baby. I told myself that I couldn’t be selfish.
While fostering the babies, it’s quite obvious to get emotionally attached to them. I miss them a lot when I have to give them back but the fact that they have found their parents and will receive care from them makes me feel contended.
Does the centre receive only abandoned infants or do some parents leave them owing to different reasons? How does this whole process work?
No, foster centres don’t only receive abandoned children but also kids who are surrendered by their parents. When someone finds an abandoned baby, they hand it over to CWC (Child Welfare Centre). Then, CWC decides which baby will go to which centre for fostering till adopted.
I remember an incident when the Police found a nine-month-old baby at a railway station in a very bad condition. The police contacted CWC and they contacted the Family Services Centre (FSC). The centre asked me if I was willing to take care of him, which I agreed to. When I saw the baby for the very first time, I was shocked as he was in a bad state with several injury marks all over his body. He was very scared and was crying a lot. After several hours he got comfortable with me.
After minor surgery and treatments together by FSC and myself, he soon bounced back. All he needed was love and care. After nurturing him with care and love he started to laugh, eat and play with all of us.
How difficult is it for you to get emotionally detached from the children you foster?
The only language a child understands is the language of love. They receive so much care and love from the new homes that they eventually adjust to the new environment.
The parents are guided several days before handing over the baby so the transition for the baby is smooth. I also guide couples for adoption. I have guided over 390+ couples.
How can we spread awareness about fostering and encouraging more families about this?
I always believe that “If every family fosters just one child in their entire lifetime, there will be no children in orphanages.” Adopting just one child can adorn their life. If everyone joins hands, we can make this world a better place for all children.