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The acceptance that the author received from kids at a school for special needs that she visited on a CSR drive made her wonder about a lot of things we take for granted.
Being an active participant in the CSR functions of our organisation, I got so many chances of exploring new experiences and learning, that sitting at home or working in office for 8 hours would have never given me. I used to love the concept and wanted to do things not just for the heck of doing it but actually to contribute something to society and the less privileged. I must say that those small experiences made me more compassionate and full of gratitude.
Some six years ago, our agenda was to do something for underprivileged disabled children. We had planned for a donation and a day to be spent at a foundation which was primarily formed for such children.
I, along with a few of my colleagues, informed them about our plan and visited that school one day. I was quite anxious that day, and was not sure what and how I would experience on meeting some ‘different children‘ whom I had never interacted with so closely. I had no plans and wanted to just move with the flow. I was not much interested in initiating a conversation about the actual donation part, as I had a senior who would be doing that on the behalf of our organisation. I was more interested in having some close interaction with these children, and give them something straight from my soul.
We reached there, and the moment I was at the gate of that small school, I felt my heart pounding as if I was going to venture into something really difficult to experience.
There were four small sections of the school where kids of different categories were found. The 1st section was for those kids who were physically impaired due to polio or any other limb disabilities. The 2nd section was for the kids with intellectual disabilities, 3rd section was for the hearing impaired kids, and the 4th for visually impaired kids.
My smile just vanished off my face the moment I entered into the first section and had a glimpse of the kids. The teachers who too were from the economically backward sections, were busy helping these kids walk with their walking aids.
I spoke to a girl who had a disability due to polio, and was trying to walk up and down on the elevated floor with her crutches. While she was walking, I asked her name and about her dreams. With her bold, charming and a very confident demeanour, she smilingly answered all my questions without wasting a single minute in getting judgemental. Very enterprisingly she told me her details, and also confessed about the dreams she wanted to fulfil by supporting her family financially. Nowhere in the conversation had she uttered anything about her disability. I was impressed by her grace, by her confidence, and her ease in displaying her strengths.
Then I went to a small classroom where the tables and chairs were positioned round the place. All these kids had some kind of intellectual disability, and were from different age groups. The teachers were making them do some hand activities to bring in harmony. I felt my eyes become a little damp on seeing the innocent smiles on every face.
I stood behind one kid’s chair. Since I could see all of them and not the kid behind whom I was standing, he looked up at me. I greeted everybody with a smile, and received a beautiful positive response from all of them. I am not sure what vibes I was generating with those beautiful kids, that the kid behind whom I was standing, raised his arms and his head up to look at me and hugged me from his behind. I lovingly caressed his head and cheeks. He closed his eyes while I was rubbing his head and I could feel his pleasure of being pampered. My eyes shed a few more tears – with a trembling voice I asked a few questions and got such innocent responses which were hard to comprehend. I knew I was not prepared for facing such miraculous kids who have actually touched my soul and filled me with gratitude.
Then I visited the kids with a visual disability, and saw them work with their Braille technique, and was impressed again. On asking a few questions, I received beautiful and encouraging replies. I felt that somewhere I was impaired because of our day to day cribbing, and high expectations from life and our loved ones. Those kids were so happy in reading their Braille books and felt nothing missing within them. I was flabbergasted with the positivity around.
Last section was for the hearing disabled kids, and all were conversing in their sign languages. They all were so impressive that we from so called large corporates felt like bowing down in admiration. We all felt incomplete in some or the other way. The teachers said something in sign language, and the kids stood up with a saluting posture and some of them started singing the national anthem. I had goosebumps, and tears in my eyes. The innocence of whatever they did was a true tribute to our country. I am sure Our Country if incarnated that moment, would have felt a great pride in their performance.
We all applauded to their performance and patted them on their backs. All smiled back graciously. I could see that they had this wealth of innocence, beautiful smiles and an unprejudiced soul. I was glad to meet them all, who made me feel that we all who are fortunately bestowed with all our basic abilities, waste our so much time in cribbing and judging people. We create so much of negativity around ourselves and blame others to bring sorrow in our lives. A small paucity in our lives becomes the biggest gap, and we don’t choose to focus on all that we have which many people around would crave to possess.
I remember I could not sleep for so many days after that, as the smiles of all children, the hug of that child who wanted me to pamper him thoroughly enjoyed my affection, their effortless attempt to show that they are no less was so endearing.
We donate funds, and in kind. The kids may not know who gave what, but what goes deep down into their souls and their hearts is the love anybody gives for a while. I believe these children are actually God’s special creations who make us learn the beauty of love, beauty of innocence, beauty of godliness.
Loving, respecting and accepting such creations as they are is the biggest gift we can give them. If our personal and professional commitments binds us so much that we hardly get time to spend time with such beautiful people, we can at least make sure that anyone around us who needs our special attention is treated with respect. They are not aware how they help us in becoming better souls. We are not aware that we owe them so much because they have made us understand the importance of life and togetherness.
Image source: shutterstock
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