'Take Heart focuses on training handicapped and blind students in India with vocational employment skills. We support practical education projects as a means to give people the skills needs to gain employment or start a company. All Directors and Committee members of Take heart are volunteers, which means that 100% of proceeds are directed out to our education projects in India. We believe ‘Work builds, charity destroys’. Rather than giving money we aim to empower people through practical education and skills.
Anandwan, the first project site is now a bustling community of over 2,000 people including people with leprosy, blind, deaf, and orphan children, senior disabled citizens, and rural youth from nearby villages. Anandwan is the nucleus and headquarters of the MSS. The major activities here are medical treatment, training and rehabilitation of leprosy-afflicted people, blind, deaf, mobility-challenged, orphans and a home for senior citizens. It has schools, colleges, technical institutions, and offers community living to disabled and leprosy-affected people and their families. There is a bank, a post office and store selling products made by the community.
Arthur Tarnowski started Take Heart after becoming paralyzed himself in 1958 from Polio. He felt that a person’s dignity and self worth was so closely tied to their ability to work and contribute. He knew that so many disabled people around the world resorted to begging or living off their families due to a lack of opportunity for the handicapped. He felt that just because people were disabled it should not mean they are less able to contribute and find their purpose in life.