Gurgaon: Captain Navin Gulia is keeping the hopes of street children Sunny and Geeta afloat through Apni Duniya Apna Aashiyana or ADAA, a centre for street children in Gurgaon. Captain Gulia is an inspiration, a teacher and a friend who is just like them.
A nasty injury cut short Captain Gulia's army career. After spending two years in the hospital, he was left paralysed from waist below and confined to a wheelchair.
"I always wanted to join the Army and serve my country. I always wanted to become a soldier but I met with this accident and I was not able to achieve that goal of mine but I am now a soldier in the society and there is a bigger battle to be fought in the society," said Captain Gulia.
So in 2005 he set up ADAA that stands for Apni duniya Apna Aashiyana - a centre to help street children build a better future.
"It's a kind of a help centre where they can come anytime of the day or night. There are food, blanket, medicine, toys, everything is there for the kids," said Captain Gulia.
In the conservative village of Barhana, Captain Gulia's efforts have given Geeta a new shot at life. Polio left her confined to a wheelchair. While she studied till class 10th, her parents refused to fund her higher education. Captain Gulia got Geeta enrolled in class 12th and now sponsors her college education. Today she wants to become a teacher.
Through the AADA foundation, Captain Gulia invites sponsorships for the children's education, medical needs and living expenses.
Captain Gulia may not have realised his dream of becoming a Major in the Army, but today he's getting close to achieving another milestone - a permanent shelter for the street children.