Venue: NGO “Samarthanam”, Bangalore, India
Samarthanam’s mission: Samarthanam’s mission is to empower the visually impaired, disabled and underprivileged people through developmental initiatives focusing on educational, social, economic, cultural and technological aspects.
Samarthanam’s vision: An inclusive society, free of discrimination against the disabled, where people with disabilities, especially the visually impaired, enjoy equal opportunities and an enhanced quality of life.
Me, Sudipto, Sananda, Sayoni, Nandini and Devleena planned to visit an NGO “Samarthanam” in the HSR layout, Bangalore, India. Samarthanam is quite popular in raising the disabled children. We were supposed to meet at the HSR layout bus stop around 4.30pm on 25th October 2014. Me and Sananda were the most punctual among all and reached first at the meeting point. Sananda’s sister, Sayoni joined us soon. On reaching the meeting point, it started to rain heavily. Somehow, we managed to get a shelter nearby. Devleena finally met us after a Merry Go Round with her car as the location was completely unknown to her. Nandini got puzzled in the rain and confused with the location too and managed to reach till BDA complex. Last but not the least, Sudipto who organized the entire event met us quite late at 5.30pm. Sudipto coordinated with Nandini and picked her up in his car while coming. We boarded his cab too and finally reached our destination “Samarthanam”.
It was still raining heavily. We all got inside and coordinated with the supervisors and planned to distribute some of the goodies which we were carrying for the kids. Sudipto managed to get 150 “Samosas” and 10kgs of apple along with 150 packets of potato chips for around 100 kids. The NGO supervisor asked us to distribute samosas and apples. Chips will be given by them the next day. Accepting their proposal, all of us started to share samosas among the children. Sayoni and Sananda took responsibility of distributing apples. All the kids seemed very happy after a bite in samosas. After distributing all the foods, Devleena had to leave as she had to travel quite a distance till Yelahanka. Then we all started to interact with the kids. Sananda became maths teacher for them, teaching mathematics. Sudipto became their drawing teacher, scribbled all over notebooks with houses, mountains, trees, etc. Nandini had a great time in discussing their lifestyles. I became photographer for them. Clicked photos of every possible moods. They found themselves happy in giving pose for the photos. Practiced some funny moments with them. I never knew a disabled kid can be so self-dependent at this age. What we came to know, they get assistance in home-works till class six. From class seven, all home-works need to be solved on their own. They were really good in painting too. Also came to know, they have a T20 cricket team and won a Shield in an event. My idea of being self-dependent completely changed after this visit. We all got so engrossed in spending time with the kids, never knew how we have spent couple of hours in a matter of minutes. Our motive was to bring smile for those unfortunates. When we saw they were all happy to see us, happy to eat the little we could manage to offer, the little time we could spend with them, I was overwhelmed and consider the day as fruitful. Finally, we came out of the trust saying adieu to those little children and also promised will come back again definitely with something bigger next time. And we have already decided in this time, we will be back again on the day of “Children’s day” which is celebrated all over on 14th November.
Later, with all the cherishable and satisfactory memories in mind, we drove to a nearby shop and had samosas. We actually wanted to taste the food that we have just offered and found the samosas were really good. We also had sweets there. Then we drove to another shop for tea. Later, Sudipto drove us till Silk board crossing, from where all started their journey back to their home. I got down at Marathahalli though and took a bus from there to reach home. A day always to remember. I still can see them smiling and so happy when we have answered their unheard call. Definitely a day to remember and request all whoever is reading this post, should manage time for these sweet little kids, at least once a year. We spend so much of money in unnecessary thing. But, if a little contribution (Kind/cash) can bring joy to someone’s life, nothing could be better. Signing off with happy and accomplished memories…Little kids, we will be back soon…