Happy Feet Home in Mumbai is the first hospice exclusively for children and one of its kind in India. A place that gives good memories and fulfills the wishes of those children who are terminally ill.
There are many children that are diagnosed with several incurable diseases, who may have little or no hope of getting cured. There aren't many centers for them to support or help them in India.
A constant reminder of the disease with regular medication and check-ups, and not much to look forward to in their life, they do not find enough reason to take good care of themselves or to live a carefree childhood with happiness and joy. This gave Mansi a purpose to start the Happy Feet Home. It was set up in Sion in Mumbai and started with an intake of 35 children in August 2014. Today, they have supported 350+ children.
They encouraged them to dream, set goals in life, and remain happy. Having worked closely with terminally ill children and identifying the restricted time and opportunities that these children had, Happy Feet Home was formed to take up the mission to provide the children with a normal life.
These children are diagnosed with HIV, Thalassemia Major, Cancer.
The children that come here are mostly from low-income backgrounds. Most of the children with HIV don’t have parents because they have died due to AIDS and are being taken care of by relatives, some being abandoned on the streets as the family sees no hope in the child who's going to die.
The moment he entered, there was a different kind of excitement on his face and his mother said she would bring him here more often. Why? Because she hadn’t seen Vaibhav smile like this in a long long time. He spent three hours doing various things – solving puzzles, colouring, watching cartoon films, listening to music and singing. When it was time to leave, I asked all the children how they felt. When it was Vaibhav’s turn, he said, “I feel happy feet right now!”- Mansi.
Happy Feet Home has tied up with various experts and hospitals to provide quality psycho-social help to these children.
What does it have to offer?
It is a Daycare Hospice that revolves around providing a safe haven of happiness and healing for absolutely free:
- Activities – Recreational and engaging activities are planned by trained professionals.
- Therapies - based on art, music, play, and dance is a major part of the daily activities at Happy Feet Home.
- Counseling - One-on-One, group and family counseling is offered at Happy Feet Home.
- Respite Care - Allowing a parent to take some time off and relax knowing that their child is in safe hands and is well taken care of.
- Bereavement Support - This is extended to the grieving families after the child leaves the world. This helps them to cope up with the loss and move on in life.
They also help conduct routine health checks to prevent other illnesses as their immunity is low. They also sponsor treatments, tests, surgeries and medicines for those who cannot afford them and also have a full-time nurse as one of the staff members, to ensure immediate medical attention to any child, if needed.
The Sion Hospital in Mumbai has partnered with the Happy Feet Home, where they do these activities for those children, mostly cancer patients who can’t leave the hospital.
Your contributions will ensure organizations like this restore our faith in humanity and give us an assurance that nothing, not even death, can take away the happiness every child deserves.