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Enigmatic India

This blog captures the life experiences of the Enigmatic India team in the beautiful and enigmatic country of India.We capture our experiences through our writings, photos and products that depict the very essence and fabric of India.Through this platform, we invite you to join us in our journey as we explore.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Child Haven International - Caring for Children

As I sat in the verandah(sit-out area) watching the children play in a hot summer afternoon, a small boy approached me and was looking at me intently, not sure what to do next(I thought so). He seemed to be around 6-7 years, short and had a very pleasing smile on him.

Suddenly he says" Is your name Sandip Mishra?". Well, I was shocked as to how did this child who I have never met know my name(probably I was becoming famous). Yes, was my answer and I asked him "how do you know my name". There was a mystic smile on his face and he replied pointing at my ID card dangling "I read it from this card". I never did realize that I had my ID card and this smart boy used the information.

I decided to continue with the conversation and he said he was Srinivas, studying in Class2 of Little Flower high School at Rajendranagar Hyderabad. So, he sat down near me and asked a couple of more questions like are you from Hyderabad, what does my name signify etc. As we were chatting a few more boys/girls of various age gathered around. After a round of introduction, where Neha(class 6), Amit(Class 7), Yeshwanth(Class 3) and Kishore(Class 5) all reading in Little Flower High School, informed me that they were class toppers.

Well, I decided to quiz them on basic topics to extend this conversation and they were quite excited. I started off with spellings...Predicament and bang came the reply from Srinivas(the Class 2) boy and I was surprised. Then I went on to probe mathematics/logic with the 9 table, 8 table and Srinivas again was too fast for the others. I moved to environment sciences and Srinivas again was a winner.I was intrigued with this little boy who was a definite winner compared to the others.

As this was happening, I recollected something that happened earlier in the day as I watched the children play. In the Spoon race game, ten children were running and as the race ended a winner was declared. However the boy who was declared the winner by the judges went aside and told the judges that he was not the winner, rather came in third and pointed out who came in first and second position. I was astounded by the values/principles of this little boy who I now
realized was Srinivas.

Totally engrossed with the children I didn't realize the time/space/context around me. Suddenly someone tapped me on the shoulder and when I saw Bhabani, I knew where I was...  This was in Child Haven International( , an organization that assists children and women in 4 countries, who are in need of food, education, health care, shelter and clothing, emotional and moral support.

Started by Bonnie and Fred Cappuccino this organization was into social service. There were around 140 children there and the facilities were good and with new buildings coming up it was going to be better. The matrons and all the staff around seemed to be totally engrossed in what they were doing. Couple of volunteers from Canada and West Indies were also doing a three month internship program staying along with the children.

As a part of our organizational initiative, we had gone there to spend the day and what a day it was looking and experiencing everything around. The children seemed happy to have a home and friends around. Earlier in the day, we all sat down to have lunch. The children prayed and
then started their food. The smaller ones probably didn't like the taste and the matrons/care takers helped them. We also got engaged in various activities with the children like cultural program etc. Finally, the day was coming to an end and it was time for the award function. The prizes for various activities were handed over and the children were estatic.

As bid goodbye to our friends, I was totally humbled by what I saw and experienced. Each child there had a story to tell, one that was sad/difficult/had a struggle. However, the joy and happiness that each one of them exuded was limitless. ChildHaven was ensuring that all the children there grow up and become independent and I do see the determination in their eyes.

My salutations to the wonderful people at Child Haven International and this smart and wonderful little boy Srinivas who I am sure will excel in this world.

(Contributed by Sandip Mishra)

1 comment:

  1. Really nice of you to pass on this info. Hope to visit the place sometime :)


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