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Guest Post: A Trip to Anandwan and Hemalkasa (Part 2)

SubscribeFiled Under: Guest Post,by Chitra

This is a guest post by Chitra and the Final Part of the series. Click for Part One.  All pictures are owned by Chitra.

It was midnight when our bus reached the gates of Hemalkasa. A group of people were visible in the shed located in a corner. It seemed like they had made a temporary shelter of this place.

As it was very late we were taken to the guest house. It was a simple and clean building with basic amenities for few human beings to stay peacefully. After a delicious free dinner we were taken to the auditorium where a short film on how “Hemalkasa – Lokbiradri Prakalp” came into existence was shown. A quick bath and our group of 20 tired people were in deep sleep that night peacefully absorbing the silence of the forest surrounding the place. A silence that is unknown to the city life.

I was wide awake at 5 am only to realize that there were people wider awake than me in the premises of Hemalkasa that morning.

The small group of people, we first saw on reaching Hemalkasa, had now moved to the free clinic of Baba Amte’s younger son, Dr. Prakash, a surgeon who initiated the facilities of a hospital and a school, with the support from his wife, Dr. Mandakini, for the Madia Gond tribes from the surrounding area. They were poor people of all ages and with all kinds of diseases waiting for their doctor.

Dr Prakash Amte spent some time with us after his morning schedules answering the queries and sharing his experiences with us. He was a simple man with a pleasant smile and displayed the energy of someone who was brave enough to sacrifice the luxury of a comfortable rich life for the welfare of fellow human beings. He introduced us to the various animals in his unique animal orphanage. Porcupines, large owls, tigers, snakes and many more that I saw for the first time in my life were happily dancing around Dr Prakash as if he was one of them and they understood his love and care.

We met Dr Prakash’s family including his sons, daughters-in-law and grandchildren – real pillars of his support. His grand children studied in the same school where hundreds of tribal children got their free education and his sons were involved in helping their father run the hospital and school. Like father like children.

Yes, finally we had to bid farewell and return to our daily lives of survival and chaos. But, my magical journey did not end here as the magic continues in my memory inspiring me every time I am reminded of meeting the Amte family at Anandvan and Hemalkasa.

About the Author

Chitra loves her job of testing softwares in HSBC Global Technology.  She also enjoys reading, writing, travelling and spending time with small kids.

See other posts by Chitra.


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Posted by:Chitraon December 23, 2011

11 Comments to: “Guest Post: A Trip to Anandwan and Hemalkasa (Part 2)”


  1. Mithila Markandey says:

    Hey, excellent blog. I am also planning to visit Anandwan and Hemalkasa. Your blog has inspired me more. Great work by Amte family!
    Thanks!

    1
  2. Ameya Bhate says:

    I read ur blog and it was quite informative. I am planning to go this April. I will be visiting Tadoba, and after the morning safari(around 11 am), I shall leave for Anadvan.

    Mr. Sitakant Prabhu from Anandvan told me that Tadoba to Anandvan was a 2 hr drive by car, and that the activities are closed by 5.30 pm every day.

    However, I have some additional questions and dont want to disturb Mr Prabhu, hence if you could answer them it would be great.

    1. Is half a day enough to see Adandvan and the work that goes on there?
    2. How far is Hemalkasa from Anandvan (km as well as time reqd). Is there any accomodation fcility there. Do we need to inform at Hemalkasa as we do at Anandvan about our intention of visiting them?
    (We are a family betn 35-40 yrs and shall be visiting along with my son aged 10)

    Please reply.

    Regards

    2
    • Hi Ameya,

      Half a day at Anandwan will give you a pretty good idea of the scale Anandwan operates at. It’s huge. You will make a mental promise to yourself to come back with more time in your hands 🙂 Do visit even for half a day.

      Hemalkasa is around 250km from Anandwan and will take 6-8 hours. Yes, they do have accommodation at Hemalkasa just like at Anandwan. Yes, you should inform them in advance of your plans to visit just so they can make necessary arrangements for you.

      If there is not enough time for both, Anandwan and Hemalkasa, then I suggest you spend more time at Anandwan as there is plenty to see and learn. It’s an amazing place – no doubt.

      3
  3. Amazing!!

    4
  4. hi!
    such an inspiring place and a great write up! it increased our enthusiasm to visit the place and so follow my queries. we are three college students planning to visit and need your help.
    1. how many days will it take to travel from hyderabad and stay at hemalkasa and anandwan and be back without missing the whole hearted visiting experience?
    2. can we go on our own or is it better to go with tour company?
    3. how much does it cost per head ( since we are students we are concerned 🙂 )
    4. how many days prior should we inform them of our visit?

    we await your reply.thank you 🙂

    5
    • Hi Sindhu,

      Sorry for the late reply. Answers to your questions:

      1) Plan for at least 1 full day at Hemalkasa and 2 full days at Anandwan (not including travel days). You’ll need 6-8 hours to go from Hemalkasa to Anandwan. I’m not sure how long it takes to go from Hyderabad to Hemalkasa/Anandwan (probably 1-1.5 days).

      2) Go on your own for maximum flexibility.

      3) If you go on your own then it’s very cheap. The cost of food and accommodation at Hemalkasa and Anandwan is nominal even for college students. Use state transport buses for travel to keep costs low.

      4) Inform them as soon as possible so that they can plan for food and accommodation for you.

      Hope this helps!

      6
  5. Hii,
    We are total 12 peoples planning to go Hemalkasa in March first week.
    We want to know there is accomodation available. If available then please provide me the no.
    And what to see in Hemalkasa..We planned 4 to 5 hrs to spend in Hemalkasa. Is this hours is sufficient.
    Please reply me on my mail id.
    My mail id is sagar6896@yahoo.co.in

    8
    • Hi Sagar,

      Sorry for the late reply. There is accommodation available at Hemalkasa (more than enough for 12 people). You should contact them in advance and indicate the dates and number of people that are coming (visit http://lokbiradariprakalp.org/ for contact info).

      4-5 hours is too little time to spend at Hemalkasa. Plan to spend a full day to get the most out of your visit. If you reach Hemalkasa by noon on Day 1, then plan to stay at least until the same time next day. Besides the hospital, plan to see Amte’s Animal Ark (orphanage), boarding school, nearby triveni sangam and a tribal village if possible.

      For more information, see this article:
      http://www.bharari.net/report-on-lbp-hemalkasa/

      Thanks,
      Neeraj

      9
  6. Mohini Vinchurkar says:

    Hi,
    Can you pls suggest , what should we take with us while visiting Hemalkassa? Specifically for children over there?
    Pls reply as I m planning to go there by dept.

    Thanks
    Mohini

    10
  7. lokesh sangolkar says:

    Hi,
    I am from Nagpur, Maharashtra, near Wardha. I want to visit Anandwan and Hemalkasa. Is there any restriction that when to go or not? or any other Causes.
    Or there any process have to do or can we directly.

    Thanks

    11

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