- Chhavi Gupta, PGHR 2010-12
This Children’s Day, I had the opportunity to be on the bus to Deepalaya School’s hostel with Team Samaritans and some of our student volunteers. Situated in Village Gusbethi, the place is just about an hour’s drive from MDI; but it seemed like it belonged to a different era altogether. The fact that it was a part of Gurgaon seemed unbelievable because for me Gurgaon was a ‘happening place’, a ‘corporate hub’, a ‘shopping haven’ et al. Deepalaya was way beyond all this. With echoes of innocent laughter, and the hustle & bustle of children playing around, the place had a soothing calm. It was serene.
As soon as the kids spotted us, they came running towards us, clung to us like we belonged there and called out to the familiar faces among us. First-time visitors like me weren’t left out. Kids clung to me with the same affection. That they were seeing me for the first time didn’t stop them from holding my hands with their little palms, pulling me into their hostel and introducing their friends to me. Then came an innocent question, “Didi, aap sab kitne din ke liye aaye ho? I said, “Hum toh aaj chale jayenge”. The little girl was so disappointed. She wanted to see more of these new faces. I explained to her that we hardly get any holidays and have loads to study, and diverted her attention to the fact that we were there to celebrate Children’s Day. She quizzed me on the activities for the day and was happy again!
I went there with the notion that those children were in need. I wanted to give them some happiness and make them smile for a while. I thought I enjoyed privileges that they didn’t. But it took me just a couple of minutes with them to realise how wrong I was. They have a twinkle in their eyes that I don’t witness too often. They have the ability to make themselves contented and happy with just about anything that comes their way. They know how to find joy in small things.
As Samaritans, we wanted to make Children’s Day special for those little angels and to a great extent we succeeded in bringing our idea to fruition. They thoroughly enjoyed all the activities we organised for them. Their happiness was so infectious that it touched us to the core. It takes most people a lifetime to gather as much love as these children gave us in a few hours.
We sure made them smile, we sure made their day but we didn’t give them anything that they didn’t give us back!