The initial seeds of an idea that was to become what is today known as Maria Seva Sangha were first planted by Ms. Ethel Brito, a prominent social worker. Back in the 1970s, Ms. Brito was strongly concerned by the poor quality of life of the weaker sections of society in Bangalore. A dream of improving the plight of the underprivileged began to grow and later, in 1981, the Maria Seva Sangha was born to cater to their needs.
Some of the issues Ms. Brito felt strongly about included the following:-
- Poor deserving students not being able to pursue higher studies due to financial constraints.
- Hundreds of poverty stricken children attending school on empty stomachs.
- Shortage of housing for battered women, widows and low income group families.
- The large number of elderly people desperately wanting care and shelter.
Ms. Brito, along with a group of public-spirited people, decided to set up a voluntary organization called ´Maria Seva Sangha´ in 1981. They worked together to obtain registration, tax-exemption, FCRA sanction and the like, to establish the institution's credentials in the eyes of the public. Several projects were launched to support economically deprived children, widows, families and elders, through a strong financial base slowly built up by the generosity and good-will of donors.
However, following the prolonged eviction of tenants and settlement of claims relating to properties bequeathed to the Sangha (spanning over a decade and a half) the Sangha's resources were severely depleted. With good support from donors and the public, on closure of these issues, the Sangha has been able to embark whole-heartedly on two new projects, the Senior Citizens Home and the development of apartment buildings/residential layout sites at Krishnarajapuram for the underprivileged.
The dedicated voluntary service of the Sangha's elected Governing Body members, consisting of lady social workers and persons who are holding or who have retired from positions of authority, has been instrumental in turning the initial dream into reality. To the best of its knowledge, no other social service organization in India undertakes so many diverse projects benefiting the poorest of the poor in such large numbers. This is what makes MSS unique.
Over the past 33 years, the dream of one lady has become a reality, benefitting thousands of poor and needy persons and has given the members of the MSS great personal satisfaction for their selfless service.
"To Reach out to deserving underprivileged persons - irrespective of class, religion or community, so as to improve their self image and quality of life"
The 12 Governing body members elected by the General Body, all with considerable expertise, status and integrity, work selflessly to preserve the values of the MSS. Most of them are serving or have retired from positions of authority and responsibility. The lady members, all home-makers, contribute significantly to the efficient functioning of the organization and add to its stature. All serve on a voluntary basis without any financial remuneration.
The Governing Body members elected at the Annual General Body Meeting on 31.8.2014 for the year 2014-15 are as follows:
|President||Sri.Philip de Costa|
|President Emeritus||Air Cmde. Melville Rego, IAF(Retd)|
|Vice President||Sri.Brian Albuquerque|
|Secretary||Smt. Therese Rasquinha|
|Members:||Mrs. Ethel Brito - Founder Member|
|Smt. Blanche Alvares|
Sri Anand Veigas has been appointed as Executive Director by the Governing Body with effect from 1st August 2007 on a contractual basis.
As on 31st March 2015, there are 56 members. All have joined MSS with a common deep concern for the poor and the under-privileged of different age groups, to work for their upliftment. By Sparing their time, efforts and even money, the MSS has been able to run its projects through voluntary service. Members are drafted on to various subcommittees depending on their expertise.
Norms for Governance and Accountability
On admission to membership of the Credibility Alliance, the MSS has been recognized , as being committed to a set of norms that ensures accountability, good governance and transparency within the organization.
The Maria Seva Sangha does not have any political, religious or sectarian affiliation. MSS is a secular organization managed by the Governing Body, most of its members being Christians. Our beneficiaries are people from all religions and our services are provided to all, irrespective of caste or creed without discrimination.