A promise to the newborn…

Dear All,

Recently we visited an orphanage in Kolkata. Not exactly an orphanage, but all the kids there, are mostly having single parents. They are there because either their mom or dad is in jail or they are not able to afford to feed or educate the kids. So most of these kids are first generation students.


Many of them have seen enough of the dark side of life which we possibly will never see in our entire lifetime. The young minds, malnourished minds, fragile minds arrive at this place without knowing the reason behind why they have been sent here or brought here. And then a new life begins for them…

First they are taught why they should go to school. Even before that, they need to know what is school. They never saw anyone around them, since their birth, waking up in the morning, brushing and taking shower, pack the books and notebooks in a bag and wear an uniform…mostly what they saw was people fighting, sometimes getting killed, got ill treatment and misbahavior, in the process every possibility of any dream getting ruptured. No they were not fortunate to have a J K Rowling among them.

So when they are told to go to school, they get scared of the unknown. This is the biggest challenge that the educators and the volunteers face. Convincing the kids to open a book, to have them listen to a story – we all know when there is lot of darkness around, we need lot of light to wipe that darkness away. But sometimes, rays of light can do the magic.  And that is what is happening with these kids. Poetry, Music, Paintings are the vehicles of those rays of light travelling through the dark roads of the mind.

The wonderful world in the mind of the young child is getting recreated again. The dreams start to come back. The dreams of becoming a poet, a painter, an engineer, a doctor one day. Tears dry up, the memories of ill treatment fade away. They get replaced by Sukumar Roy’s Abol Tabol or Robindronath’s Shishu. They get replaced by the colorful Paint Boxes, Color Pencils.  With the resurrection of this dream, comes a resolve. So when the parents of the rich kids complain to the school that these ‘kids with no whereabouts’ should not be allowed to mix with theirs, when the neighbors avoid them and do not allow their kids to play with them, they and their dreams march on. In spite of all resistances. And they top the class.


Th377611_4538833064908_709299897_ney win the painting competition in school. They win the prize for most attendance in class – can you believe that or beat that?  They win the book  named ‘I am Vivekananda speaking’.  Seeing the kids, the bright eyes, the mind full of dream, the enthusiasm to learn and go to school, that line written by a famous Bengali poet reverberates constantly – ‘I will make this world livable for children, this is my promise to the newborn’.

PS: The kids from well-to-do families, after they mix with the kids from the orphanage and become good friends, fight back when their parents say anything and convinces them back that it is not a good idea to create differences among kids.


Future India Team

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