Aashayein - home away from home...

went with the Aashayein Foundation after missing some Sunday Breakfast activities in the past. Either I was not in town or was busy cycling or with parents. Today's venue was SIDUR - Society for the Integrated Development in Urban and Rural areas. It is home to about 30 young boys, aged 6 -14. The place is actually a juvenile house for children of people serving sentences in the jail. But there are some orphans and semi-orphans as well in the facility. The kids were active...very active! Once their games started, there seemed no end to it. The small cement courtyard was getting too small to contain their enthusiasm. And yes, no dances this time :) One good thing about this place was that many of the kids understood Hindi, so I could actually converse with them, rather than just standing at a corner and taking pictures. I showed them their pictures, which they liked. I also showed them pictures from my cycling trip, family, Hampi motorcycle ride - they all very quite excited to see the side of the life that they generally dont get to see. There were questions - most of them around unnecessary details but the answers did bring smiles to their faces. At the end of it, when they asked - "will you come back tomorrow?", we were glad to know that a few hours of our Sunday did bring cheer to them :)

The facility lacks organization. It badly needs a grown-up who can take care of things. Right now, the eldest of the kids, who's going to college, tries his best to ensure that things are in control. There's a group from another IT company in the city who has taken the initiative of taking care that the basic needs of these kids are met. They come and visit these kids every Sunday, spend some time with them and see to it that the children are growing, both - physically and psychologically. One of the regular volunteers told us that some of the kids tend to get a little hyper at times. Some tend to get gloomy, some have really short temper and others have their own set of problems. That probably happens when one is forced to see a lot at such a young age. Hope it moulds these kids into strong individuals as they grow up.

another friend from work and a fellow volunteer from the Aashayein Foundation has started blipping.

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