How blessed we were to be a part of ACT’s team of volunteers on exactly on the Ammucare Day – 9th of November 2010. This is only a beginning of “ACT Now! For a Warm Winter” 2010 campaign in Delhi and we plan to do much more before the real winter comes.
To start with, we have chosen boys’ shelter ‘Prayas’ in the North Delhi –helping those who are trying to restore the lost childhood of neglected, street and working children and marginalized.
At the moment, 120 boys from age 6 to 18, are given accommodation, food and schooling here. These are all homeless boys without parents (or parents are beggars on the street) and boys who are saved from being used as a domestic help. During The Commonwealth Games many slums were moved and children from these slums got accommodated in such institutions as well.
Our team of volunteers was the biggest ever: Bindu has come with 23 Class X students from Rosewood Public School and Mrs. Sushma. Our Bless The World family members Neena, Abhishek and Gurpreet couldn’t miss such an event, and Mr. Dharampal and professional photographer from Maurya accompanied me as well. In total, 31 ACT volunteers! It was really amazing!!! Each one of us has a story to tell, but I am here to tell mine:
That morning I woke up in ITC Maurya. My husband was staying there since it was the last day of President Obama’s stay in the hotel and he wanted me to join him since hotel was much closer to Prayas than my house. So, previous evening I had a chance to see President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama. In the morning, the US first couple left and so did I the moment lobby was free. Mr. Dharampal and Gurpreet joined me. So, from a 5-star-lobby which President of the United States has just left, one hour later I found myself in a completely different surrounding and witnessed very bad conditions under which kids live and study. How amazing all the opposites in life are!!!
Just before we started our blanket distribution, I felt like sharing something, both with students from Prayas who were there to receive help, as well as with the students from Rosewood Public School who were volunteers distributing the very same help.
I welcomed them all on behalf of Ammucare Charitable Trust and shared with them my experience and joy of Seva (service). I told them that when I was 16, due to the political situation in my country, my family was forced to leave the country and overnight, from well situated family we became refugees. During those initial few months, I’ve experienced the benefits of people who were willing to share. I had to overcome pride and be happy for having an opportunity to get whatever was given to me. Therefore, whenever I’m able to give, I’m so happy to do so, remembering that girl who has crossed the way from being a receiver to being a giver. I encouraged all the students to love, help others, serve and share, if not in any other way by through their smiles.
Here I remember Pradeep’s recent mail in which he says: “Swami Rama’s lecture used to highlight 3 words: Love, Serve & Remember. When asked what to remember, he used to say, remember to love and serve.”
After that Bindu lovingly told them about Ammu and Ammucare, and we started the distribution. Each boy was given a blanket and some sweets, since Diwali was few days back and there is no Diwali without sweets.
We were so touched with all the affection they showed towards us. Each student has signed the wall of gratitude, they made one special big card for us and on top of it they gifted us jute folders which they make in their center. I’m sure that photos will say much more than words.
As I said, this is just a beginning of our winter campaign. We continue on Sunday, 14th of November. All of you who would like to join us and experience the joy of giving are most welcome to do so.
I can’t finish this report without thanking all those who have supported our initiative. Bindu, what to say – you are the best! From checking out the venues, to negotiating with vendors, you’ve done it all.
Rajeshwari and the entire Mumbai team have supported us with their donations and so much love. Shaju, Mr. Tikku, Rajeev, Navin, Roma, Sunita, all the volunteers already mentioned, I thank you all on the behalf of Ammucare. All this would have never been possible without all of you. Special thanks goes to Mr. P. K. Namboodiri, President of Ammucare India, for all his coordination, advices and leadership.
Grateful to Mohanji and all the Masters for their guidance and the blessing of being on this path, I wish all of us a Very Happy Ammucare Day and hope to hear about ACT initiatives from all over the world.