History of St. Crispin's Home

Crispin was born in the town of Viterbo, Italy in the year 1668. He was a shoemaker and cobbler before he became a Capuchin Brother. As a Monk he worked as a cook, nurse, barber, a gardener and begged for the poor and from his early days till he died a martyr, he Was said to perform miracles. His works were recognised two centuries later and Pope Pius the VII beatified him in the year 1806 and he became St. Crispin.

The village of Erandawane, was a small insignificant cobblers village, infested with plague and malaria for which no treatment was available or humanitarian help rendered.


It seemed to have derived its name 'Erandawane' meaning 'forest of Castor Oil trees' which grew and over ran the area. Thus the Home was named after St. Crispin, the Patron Saint of Cobblers and 'St. Crispin's Home' was born


The work in Erandawane began before 1900 when it seems the Society of St. John the Evangelist Fathers (SSJE) and Convent of St. Mary the Virgin (CSMV) Sisters visited the village by bullock cart or bicycle and render medical aid to the people in the village.


At around this time the SSJE Fathers started an orphanage for boys along with a Primary School, the first in the area and built the St. Crispin's Home Church with a bungalow which was used as the Primary School and Fathers residence.

A severe epidemic of malaria, constant lack of workers and funds, resulted in the closure of this orphanage around the year 1929.

The Home was reopened in the year 1940 by a keen supporter of the Nationalist Movement, who along with the CSMV Sisters started a Rescue Home for girls and women.

The first girl, a young dwarf unmarried mother a victim of rape was admitted to the Home along with a few of other young girls and women and some how or the other the work went on for about 11 years after which it simply disintegrated due to acute financial shortages, lack of staff and administrative exigencies.

In 1951 it was reopened for a short while as a Diocesan Moral Welfare Home for Women. The then Dioceses of Bombay soon realised that they could not financially support and run the Home and so they withdrew and the Home was closed.

 


ST. CRISPIN'S


FROM A HUMBLE BEGINNING

THE ORPHAN BOY'S

THE CHURCH & BUNGALOW (PRIMARY SCHOOL)

BHASKAR THE FIRST INMATE

 


THE HOME AS IT GREW


THE CHURCH NOW A HERITAGE BUILDING


THE NEW BUILDING COMPLEX


THE NEW FACE OF ST.CRISPIN'S HOME


THE NEW CLASS ROOMS


THE CONVENTION CENTRE

 

Thereafter in 1951 as a last resort, the CSMV Sisters who were already working here were handed over this entire property to continue and conduct their social welfare activities independently with no financial or administrative support from anywhere or anyone.

So with some:
- empty building with no electricity...
- a table, chair and stool...
- with two cats sitting on the table as if in charge...
- and the Sisters sitting on the ground, sipping hot cocoa made in powder milk from badly chipped enamel mugs decided to continue the work of the Home with about 7 girls and women.

The Home was thus reborn... and with vision, deep commitment and very hard work of the Sisters by 1954 there were 53 girls in the Home!

The shortage of Sisters, staff and finance did not deter them and the work grew inspite of all the problems that continued to dog their work they simply pressed ahead with the work in Faith.

Since then St. Crispin’s has always looked ahead….. and grew into a Home with 300 children who were cared for in six dormitories, a infirmary, kitchen, small hall, the primary and secondary schools and tailoring class and office right up to the year 2002.

In the year 1985 this property was put on the market for sale/development which started a twelve year legal battle in various courts.

After a spirited fight it was decided to put our minds to it and finally settle this matter as :

(a) we were not owners of the land which posed some sort of constant threat to our rights,
(b) we were defendants, or appellants in the court cases.
(c) the maintenance of the existing 100 year old buildings was very heavy
(d) the Authorities were not granting any permission for renovation or construction of new buildings because of the litigation and
(e) the litigation was eating into scarce finances which would have eventually had an adverse impact on the work or even survival of the Home.

And so with much heartache, prayers, opposition, sacrifice and marathon meetings an agreement was reached with all concerned.

The new complex is three times the size of the old (seen above) and is part of the settlement received by us free of cost with the Church, adjacent bungalow and staff quarters on 3 acres of land as our own along with exclusive rights, title and interests. Now the work of St. Crispin's Home can continue uninterrupted by such legal issues...

The new building complex as you see it consists of:
(a) The Residential Child Care Facility (RCCF)
(b) The Primary School (Std I-VII).
(c) The Secondary School (Std VIII-X).
(d) A Vocational Training Centre (presently only tailoring & computer).
(e) A Personality Development Centre which will include both formal and informal training programmes & conferences with a counselling facility.
(f) A Multi-purpose utility hall for hosting various functions and programmes of the Home and for indoor games such as badminton, table tennis etc.

This new complex, as shown below was inaugurated on 25th October 2002, the Birthday of St. Crispin's. It is a modern well ventilated spacious building with basic amenities and provides a conducive atmosphere for child development, is user friendly, low on maintenance costs, and to a good extent self-sufficient.

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