WHAT JOY! WHAT JOY! WHAT JOY!
I am quite away from you; but in my spirit, I never was. Such power writing has upon relationship. I always wrote some stuff for you. I do value what I write, because I don’t write without thinking. But sometimes, I would just write with my heart. Well, today I am just going to do the same. When I think about the past three days, I see my heart brooding. I would only cry. Children from Nine different slums came together at a prominent college in Lucknow. Buses were sent to all the slums early morning, around 5 am! You might be thinking: “Were these kids ready by then?” O’ yes; they were. These children are either rag-pickers or beggars. They enthusiastically boarded the bus. We had 250 kids on an average! Now that is not an easy task! So we had around 70 volunteers to take care of them.
Well on the first day, the kids had a long queue for the registration. After that they had a good breakfast of bananas and biscuits. Then with a bang, the meeting began. We had a time of singing and dancing, followed by a skit on acceptance. It was then time for going to their classes. On the first day we dealt with one major issue these face. The problem of 'Acceptance'. Many of our kids do not feel accepted or wanted. Now to introduce the topic, we taught them about 'Child labour 'and the consequence of the same. We told them that Education is their right! We gave them the good news then! You decide who you are! No one else! If not for any one, God always wants them. That came as good news for the children. Is that not good news for you too?
The second day, we saw a larger crowd! There were 280 kids! Well, the volunteers were diligent to get things done. We taught them about Fear. Many of our kids are victims of serious fear. When I talk about fear, it is not just fear of snakes of spiders. These are real fears, which are deep rooted. Well we began teaching about Child Sexual Abuse. We taught them how to distinguish between ‘good touch’ and ‘bad touch’. We also taught them about the four ‘private areas ‘and to how to escape in times of trouble. In each class, when the teachers taught them about sexual abuse, the teachers testified that they could feel a pervading tension on the class. Some of the kids came to the teachers later and shared their experiences. Many cried, and many were healed within.
Continuing with the topic, we taught them about fear, and how to cope up with fear. Many kids left the campus that day, satisfied and courageous. That day also saw an exuberant joy, when we allowed the kids to just be themselves in the college ground. You should have seen them. They are after all just children. When I ponder about that day, I thought to myself. What a joy they have, when we left them in the ground. They want to laugh and rejoice; but how much do they get that. I almost broke down that day. I wished I could give them more.
The last day, we all knew that it was all going to end. The kids came in and we allowed them to relax. The kids were brought together and asked them to reflect about the previous days. On that day we taught them about happiness.
Did I tell you that how many of the kids do not know how to be happy? Are you surprised? It is true. There is a lot of bitterness in many of them that they have not learnt to be happy. We taught them to be simply happy. Especially we taught the smallest kids to be happy by playing simple silly games like water balloons and ‘Water melon eating’. We however began the class with teaching them about ‘Child marriage’. We told them about happiness and how God wants us to be happy. There is always hope, no matter what. The same day saw the participation of the kids. On the previous two days, we had workshops on singing, dancing, and Craft. Children were allowed to choose between these three options and teachers were allotted to teach them. On every day, one hour was given for the workshop teachers to teach them. On the final day, the children showed what they could do. It was such a lovely day.
So then, I have told so much in short words. You should imagine more. There is much more to say. Each was a blessing. Every day, we had lunch set for them. They had a sumptuous lunch before they left. They all left with joy! What joy! What joy! What joy!