Innocence of childhood is the most beautiful thing in the world. One of the Saints of Maharashtra Saint Tukaram said “O Lord! give the childhood .” It has got its own quality of selflessness. That innocence is barred from any expectations and societal norms that we face as we grow old. This childhood innocence needs to be nourished and moulded in such a form that the youth that comes out of it has some purpose in life. Therefore parenting is one of the most challenging things in the world. But the darker face of the world shows us that there are also those who are without parents; and are left alone. Tragedies are part of the world that we live in and worst amongst these is not having parents.
So what is the first thing that strikes you, when you hear the word orphans? Does it make you feel speechless; is there a twinge of pain in your heart! Yes would definitely be the answer. To understand, to realise this feeling we visited the orphanage which enriched our life.
The orphanages ironically try to generate as much happiness as they can. These places have a very different world from ours; mind you a happy one. Entering the orphanage we came across innocent smiles, twinkling eyes and brains that work beyond ours. It was a great experience to live with. It was sheer joy and happiness. Wonder about these little messengers, they convey beautiful messages about life with such an ease; each and every thought of them conveyed through their actions touches soul, without giving prior intimation to it.
These experiences move your heart. Sometimes it takes few hours to realize that there is a world beyond your normal routine; that there exist people who are living very differently than you and yet are very similar to you. Life teaches us many lessons, but observing other’s life is also a valuable experience. It takes us out of our naïve minds and expands our horizon. These visits change the perspective of looking towards life.
Ours visit was merely for 2 hours but it felt Invaluable time spent. Starting with the small introduction about the institute and the orphanage; then moving on to the introduction of children; it took us no time to mix with them and for them with us. We played different games with them throwing the balls into the glass from certain distance; hitting a target with a stick with band on eyes, while a team member gives the direction. They sang songs, they danced, and we danced with them. Doing these activities they surprised us with their thought. The attitude of doing things, whether achievable or not but standing confidently is something of a lesson for every one of us. Each one of them had unique talent, someone was good at drawing, someone at painting, someone in singing, someone played cricket very well and so on. Some of the paintings and sketches shown to us were mesmerizing.
A small session about the goals in your life was initiated; Every one of them confidently spelt what they want to be in their life. Doctor, Architect, Painter, Professor one of the girls said Optometrist!; wow if I could even spell that at her age. This made us realize that how strongly and confidently they are facing life and have set the purpose for it. There is a constant effort to achieve goals, may what come. But they stay strong not because world is full of constraints but only because they have a dream.
In the end while leaving it made us feel that ‘being there’ was most important thing for the orphanage and the children. They need encouragement, they need recognition. Surely we would continue to give it up to them. It felt not a visit to Orphanage but a meeting with ‘Beautiful Souls.’
The Orphanage we visited is ‘Balgram, Panchdeep Sankul’ it has been established in 1974 in Maharashtra and has many branches all over it. We visited the Khandeshwar branch, near Panvel active from 2002. The orphanage seems to be doing very fine work; all the children were enrolled in schools and had proper facilities. The orphanage is run by trust and has successfully carved the children into men and women of society. Many of which have become successful in professional careers.
SPREADING the SMILE an initiative started by Small Steps Adventures is a welcome commitment to do social work, ‘a visit to orphanage.’ Yes it was a visit and not some material distribution program; although we did distribute few daily necessities.
Please see: The blog has been written with contribution from few of my friends for the content description.