World No Tobacco Day, May 31, 2011:
World No  Tobacco DayHelp Social Organization (HSO) on May 31, 2011, celebrated the World No Tobacco Day touching both the present and the future needs of the society. The organization observed the day at the Baaluganj public school in Shimla.
World No  Tobacco Day The member of the organization, Devendra Justa, informed the school children about ill effects of tobacco consumption and ways to avoid addiction. Among other members of the NGO who were present at the occasion were Leela Sharma and Himanshu Sharma. HSO also sensitize teachers about evil and more than that, the radical change they can bring in our society.

Helping patients through patients:
Helping patients through patientsHSO has found a novel idea to help poor patients during their treatment at hospitals. The cost of medicines accounts for a major part of expenses during hospitalization. But everyone cannot bear these expense. Though the government is providing cheap medicines to poor patients through its various schemes, still there are many who do not get necessary medicines due to high cost. In spite of limited resources, HSO has started an initiative to help patients who cannot afford costly medicines. The organization is providing free medicines to poor patients.

The organization has stalled small boxes in the Indira Gandhi Medical College Shimla in which patients are requested to drop their unused medicines. These medicines are then

distributed among poor patients, thus helping patients through patients.

While distributing medicines following points are taken into consideration:
1. Medicines are given after a physician’s prescription
2. The expiry date of the medicine is always checked
3. Only the sealed medicines are re-distributed to patients

The initiative has drawn a great success at IGMC Shimla and other nearby hospitals and hundreds of poor patients have taken the help of HSO’s counter.

Education Programme for women:
Taking forward our objective of working for the welfare of women, the Organization started an education programme for women in rural areas. Under the two-year programme, women would be educated to complete the matriculation examination conducted by the Himachal Pradesh School Education Board. The NGO has appointed lady teachers who are teaching women at their places, besides making them aware of various issues relating to their health and family welfare. The programme will run until 2011.

Awareness Programmes:
Help Social Organization (HSO) organized awareness programmes throughout the year 2008-09 to sensitise the society about issues affecting their health, social relationships and environment. The major campaigns among others were:
1. Social Awareness Campaign
2. Environment Campaign
3. Breastfeeding week
4. Health Awareness Week

Social awareness campaign:
HSO organized a 12-day social awareness campaign for women in Ghanahatti. The objective of the initiative was to aware women about their rights. In addition, issues pertaining to women health, education and family welfare were also discussed. In the campaign women from about 20 adjoining villages were included. HSO invited experts to educate women about their democratic rights, health, family welfare and environmental protection.

During the interaction with Help Social Organization found that women, who are an important constituent of a family, in rural areas lack awareness about very basic issues such as health and nutritious food. The Organization touched upon these subjects effectively. In future, HSO decided to run parallel programmes for generating awareness.

Environment Awareness Campaign:

Help Social Organization organized a campaign to make people aware of the environment. In times when the world is worried about global warming and pushing for measures to sustain the environment, the Organization took forward the issue of pollution, especially through vehicles. In one of the initiatives, the Organization celebrated World Environment Day on June 5, 2008. On the day free pollution check-up of vehicles was carried out at many places in Shimla.

It was found that out of 100 vehicles, 10 vehicles were not complying with the emission standards, a threat to Shimla which is a favourite tourist place. So it was recommended that strict vigilance is needed to make Shimla pollution free.

In another initiative, the Organization carried out a survey of natural water resources in the rural areas of Shimla district. People in the district are using natural water sources for drinking and other purposes as there is a scarcity of tap water.

In a shocking revelation, it was found that about 60 per cent of the natural resources were not fit for drinking water due to pollution and people were using that water. The organization is pursuing the issue in the rural areas to aware people about how to save natural water resources from pollution.

World Breastfeeding Week:
WBW is celebrated from 1- 7 August every year. The organization observed the ‘World Breastfeeding Week’ campaign aimed at increasing awareness about the benefits of breastfeeding. About 40 villages were included in the campaign. During the campaign. It was found that breastfeeding mothers need support from all directions- family, workplace, environment and their own confidence level to exclusively breastfeed the child during the initial 6 months. Women were made aware of the benefits of breastfeeding which prevents newborn infections diarrhoea and pneumonia that claim the lives of more than 1.4 million infants each year.

The organization conducted a health survey in the rural areas of Shimla to get a picture of the general health status of the people. About 2-3 per cent of the surveyed were found to have a deficiency of haemoglobin. Following the survey, the organization started a health campaign in the area to suggest measures to improve their health.

HSO adopted orphan kids:
Help Social Organisation (HSO) started counselling of orphan children in Shimla to ensure their all-round development of the young citizens, who were deprived of necessary parental guidance. HSO decided to carry out this noble work on a weekly basis in which orphan children are briefed on various issues like health, education, career opportunities among others. Though various orphanage homes are taking care of the physical development of the children, the mental development of a young and inquisitive mind is as important. HSO decided to take care of the mental development of these children, who unfortunately have very few strangers to guide to get over their confusion, difficulties and fears.

How the project was started:
During a visit to the Tutikandi Bal Ashram in Shimla, founder of HSO, Hamender Salariya found that the children of the Ashram needed proper guidance. Though the Bal Ashram was taking care of there basic needs successfully, it was not able to address the issue of parental guidance due to personnel and financial constraints. The children need personal care for their mental development, which if ignored, can make them mentally ill and destroy personal as well as societal harmony. Moreover, such kind children are more prone to fall prey to bad habits due to lack of personal attention. So, proper care and counselling can channelise their enormous energy positively to make them successful, in terms of personal as well as in society.

HSO, which is involved in counselling regarding various issues, including addiction, has decided to take the responsibility of 80 children of Tutikandi Bal Ashram in the area of personality development by providing necessary help to children to come over their doubts, fears and apprehension. We believe that a healthy mind leads to a healthy individual which in turn makes a positive society. Our organisation decided to every possible help to these orphan children so that they can also develop themselves as like other children and realise their dreams.

What are we doing:
There were 80 orphan children mostly in the age group 10-18 years in the Bal Ashram. These teenagers are of dire need of a positive direction at such a crucial age because it is this time only when a person decides the course of his life. A positive direction at this age can change the lives of these helpless children. HSO is conducting weekly counselling sessions of these children by giving individual attention. Children are being educated on various social issues like the impact of addiction, health and sanitation, and social and environmental awareness. Children are being helped in their studies by giving tips that how they can improve in study. They are also educated on various career opportunities so that they can focus well and realise their sweet dreams.

Future action:
The founder of HSO, We will hold weekly counselling sessions of these children and would provide every possible help to make them successful individuals.

Our Achievement:
It was a major boost for our endeavours as 30 children out of these helpless children left smoking and other kinds of addiction after our counselling.

Note: It is worthwhile to mention that the programme was funded by the NGO only and we had not received any financial aid from any public or private organisation and individual. Due to the paucity of funds and other engagements, we could not continue the orphan programme. However, we welcome any entity who wish to help implement this programme financially or any other means.

HSO inspires youth to take responsibility of elders:

Taking forward our campaign for the welfare of elderly people, Help Social Organisation celebrated the Elder Day.
HSO organized a rare interaction of young and old with a view to aware our young generation about the hardships that elder people, especially who are living alone or whose children are away, are facing in today’s fast-moving world and how their little help can make the lives of these elder people a bit easy. Around 20 young individuals and a similar number of elders were present on the occasion. Elders put forth their problems and called for support from a generation that is more or less busy in shaping its future.
And these young enthusiasts responded to that call. Around 15 individuals in the age group 20-25 vowed to help these elders in their activities like payment of bills, telephone electricity etc, medical check-ups among others.
 The NGO is always ready to lend a helping hand to elders who will come forward. The founder of the NGO, Hemender Salariya, who is an expert coach, and other members of the organisation are always there for them as we believe in building the essence of humanity and we think small-2 changes today will bring a big change tomorrow and fulfill our dream of building a healthy society.