Yesterday was a big day for me and kids. Not because its some special day but because we visited an orphanage, which actually brought a gush of emotions and compelled us to think and view a different side of life. We (TEAM HAPPY FEET) can happily say that this outing proved to be a milestone to us and kids as a tool for learning and fomenting thought development. Not only that, we are also certain that we will be learning a lot from them as well, including experiences about life such as being grateful and being genuinely happy with what we have.
Before we even got to meet the kids, we were offered a tour around the property. Walking around, it was a pleasant surprise to see how my expectations of a dusty and sad place were replaced by the reality of a heartwarming, and welcoming environment and the children smiled with sparkling and curious eyes as we walked by them. We were pleasantly surprised to encounter such happy and lively kids who we could get along with easily. And we were even more surprised to see how they warmed up to us.
Once we finished our tour around the property, we gathered the kids for some interactive session with them to help us get to know them and encourage their trust. We got to know a lot about them: their favorite colors, what they like to do, what is their favorite sport and also their favorite subjects. It was good to know that all the kids were attending school.
The experience was, without shadow of a doubt, one of the most rewarding and fulfilling we have had. It was an afternoon spent with fun and getting to know the children a little better. By the end of the visit, we had learned most of their names and they had learned ours. It is an understatement to say time passed quickly, when we realized we had to go, it was well after the time we had intended to leave.
Now, for my reflection of the experience I had, it’s very heart-warming. Looking at the happiness and potential of those kids, I asked myself, isn’t it unfair for them to be here? But there’s a reason for everything. The lives of these children can mean a lot of success stories. They can change the world if they would want to, and their lives can be an example to the fatherless, for those who have fathers and mothers, for those who grew up in their families. This visit brought the raw emotions ring loud and clear. It’s so hard to come to grips with the realities of the world.
I was almost numb when the kids gave us two special numbers. They sang to us their two prayers. One which they recite before meals and the other is the evening prayer. The lines that struck me were the words that go something like this:
“We were unfortunate–barefooted, no shelter, no life. But God sent you here to let us know that we are loved, nurtured, and… Thank You, God for we are precious in Your eyes, a precious heritage, Your child!” ( it was in Marathi ). I couldn’t remember the exact words.The other one was “tumhi ho mata pita tumhi ho…..” ( in Hindi ).
This experience gave me deeper love and understanding for the children, particularly those who are abandoned, neglected, and orphaned. And I hope, through sharing this experience, you would also love them too. It has made me realize how fortunate I am to be living where we can easily take things for granted. We complain about the smallest things and crib about useless stuff and yet seeing the children from the orphanage made me realize that they live a very simple life and yet they are very happy.
This visit was actually a part of project given by the school. After the visit the kids realized how important it is to have parents, what all they provide them without even thinking twice. The girls accompanied us were all class five students of St.Mary’s School, Pune. While coming back from there,on the way, we had a deep discussion about the kids and their daily routine. Throughout the discussion I realized that the girls have been really moved by their gesture, though the kids there were orphans.
Through this visit our kids learned the little things in life can also make you happy and content. The unprivileged lot were without accusation, criticism and grievance. Our kids were educated about humanity and mankind. Also the parents of the girls, who visited the orphanage with me observed changes in their behavior. They were more thankful and respected the parents.
Many of us have already visited the place and tried our best to help them through donations which are used for their education and well being.They do not accept outside food except biscuits and other packet snacks. Anyone who would like to visit the place, below are the contact details.
After visiting the place, I, Myself have decided to visit the ashram once a year, and to keep myself reminded about the date, I chose the day of the death anniversary of my husband. Each one of us should try and do something to help the needy. There are various such organizations which are helping the poor, needy and the orphans. Try and locate one in your community.
Life can be unfair at times but trust like this, people like Sindhutai Sapkal known by all as “MAI” makes me believe in goodness of life. Last but not least, we would like to give a special thanks to Mrs.Madhvi for allowing us to visit Sanmati Bal Niketan at Manjari,Pune and for guiding us the entire way. Also thanks to the staff of that wonderful place, for motivating us to interact with the children.
for contacting them here is the link http://sindhutai.apneareamein.com/
originally written for mycity4kids.com