A Visit to an NGO

       Last year, our PU College lecturers prompted us to form an Alumni Association. Many students, irrespective of the year of passing, came together and finally in the month of July, when most of us have holidays, the Association was officially inaugurated. We were all ecstatic meeting old friends and having fun together after years. At that time, our Principal Mr . K. V. Raghunath Rao gave us a piece of advice. I would like to quote those words here. He said, "You can always have fun - going for trips or getting together to celebrate. It's all fine. But never forget your duty towards the society. Try to do some good deeds; help others. Learn to take responsibilities, for you all are grown ups now. Help the needy in whatever way you can. We are always there to help you if you need any assistance. Don't let this association be just another group formed by students to have fun but let it be something that works towards the good of the society" 

       Inspired by his words, we decided our plan of action. This January, we planned to visit Taranga, a school of deaf children. When we shared this idea with our lecturers, they were happy. They encouraged us to go ahead. Next, we expressed our desire to help in front of the Head Master of Taranga school. Like our lecturers, he too was happy seeing our enthusiasm to help those kids. So, finally the date was fixed and we decided to visit the school on 9th of January 2015.

       It is one of the most memorable days of my life. When we reached there, I noticed that many of the students were kids around 10 to 15 years; some probably even younger. They were all busy in their own work, but the curiosity in their eyes was evident. I didn't quite understand it in the beginning. But as time passed, it all became clear. We had planned a small formal function in one of their classroom. When the program was about to begin, they were instructed to sit in this room by their teachers and what a discipline they follow! There were nearly 60 kids and they all came and sat in rows without the teachers having to guide them. Since we were visiting the kids, we had decided to take chocolates. We distributed them while waiting for the guests to arrive. By the time we were done, we had missed one boy. When his friends noticed it, they all started calling for us and it was only after their friend got his share, they felt happy. There was so much unity among those kids, which even we adults lack sometimes. They always looked out for each other!

       We kept the formal program short for obvious reasons. Even during that time span, they didn't show even the slightest trace of disinterest. We find it so difficult to sit through speeches, that too when we are provided with all comforts. But sitting on the ground, never did they once made us that they were bored. If anything, their faces showed only enthusiasm. By the end of the program, we donated few chairs to the NGO. When we had asked the HM if there was anything we can do, he had said there was a shortage of chairs and asked if we could arrange them. When we saw the joy on the kids' face when we donated the chair, we knew why he had asked that one in particular.

      We even had arranged that day's lunch, thanks to our college Treasurer, who helped us. I was seriously amazed, yet again, seeing how well disciplined they all are. Before we reached the first floor, they were all sitting in a row. Instead of the cook doing it, we decided to serve them ourselves. In that time, we got to know them a little more. They were after all kids and naughtiness comes second to them. There were particularly two little girls, who were very naughty and drew our attention. We so enjoyed their antiques and before we knew, we all had fallen in love with them. One of the staff of that NGO, seeing our fascination, told us one of those girls is a heart patient! We just couldn't believe it. She was so full of life! How can something like that happen to her!

       After lunch hour, (Trust me, they all wash their plates themselves!) we spent some time with them. Children are pure and innocent. They don't ask for much. All they need is love and care. When you make them feel cherished, their joy knows no bound. Though they couldn't speak, their happiness rang loud in our ears. Their HM told us that they don't get visitors much. Even parents, who drop them off, don't visit the place. So they were happy when we spent time with them.

       When it was time to leave, all of them dispersed. They came to each one of us and started shaking hands with us. It was their way of expressing their feelings, thanking us for the day. We all clicked a lot of pictures with them. They were so eager to pose for cameras, we couldn't deny them the pleasure. It was a long and hard good-bye. Neither were they ready to let us go nor were we ready to leave.

        There is a certain joy in spreading smiles and it is beyond words! That day, I learnt the true meaning of happiness. Happiness is when you help others and make them smile. Happiness is the knowledge that you have done a noble deed. That day, we all had felt that. There couldn't have been anything better than this event to start our association. We all left the NGO with memories to last for a life time and a silent promise as this wouldn't be our last visit to this place.

Our Team
       Have you ever done something like this? If not, take out some time and do it. Trust me, it's an awesome feeling; one that you can never forget.

Until the next post,
Keep Smiling :)

Swathi :)

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