“Everyone needs love”, I thought to myself, trying hard to hold back my tears, as one of the child in Rajkiya Balgraha orphanage was consoled by my colleague and the child hugged her up crying.

It was 26th Jan, Republic day in India, and we had arranged a puppet show for the children in the orphanage. We reached there at 3:00 pm and children, just after their lunch, were full of energy and enthusiasm. They are a total of 104 in that orphanage. Well the senior students were out playing cricket while the smaller guys were basking the sun. We were greeted by the manager of the orphanage but subsequently the children were elated to see us there. They flocked us in groups, each one of us, sharing, chatting and catching our hands and then one of them made each IIM Disha members their favourites so that they roam besides us with pride to “compete”.
They had hoisted the flag in the morning but were unaware that it was the republic day being celebrated. We made them aware of the importance of this day and also of other national holidays. They recited those to us with a military type salute – The sweetest moment of the day.

They were very excited to get balloons and building block games too. Watching them I just remembered our days when we used to press our parents for toys and we needed them every month. How lucky we were! These children are devoid of such a privilege and the shine in their eyes after receiving that simple game and that craving minds after inflating the balloon, sent a sensation down my spine. I prayed God to bless the innocent souls.
The puppet show was a hit. Children enjoyed a lot and finally had their snacks which we had arranged – samosas, ladooos and mixture.

Life has a strange phenomenon. It’s all luck that we all are born in family which is in well being. A thought crossed my mind when I saw those kids yesterday. This was my second visit to the place and I just thought – “what if I were one of them?” , Well, the very thought of it sent shivers in my heart. 8-10 years old kids, with no dad or mum to hand around or brothers/sisters to share life.103 others of the same kind. More of a survival issue let alone – living life. 3 rooms for 104 kids. Sleeping curdled with 30-35 guys in a room with total of 10 beds and when I was a kid I needed a complete bed of my own. Total of 20 bathrooms for 104 guys with no water supply in toilets. If you do enter the area, you are sure to vomit. With senior boys having the responsibility of cooking food for the group, I wondered, what all stuffs would I had been able to make when i was around 12-14. And look at them! They made the complete breakfast, dinner and lunch for 104 persons/ day. We still crib of the food outside, of mess and stuff; I guess these kids too had a chance to do the same.
Life is at opposite poles for these kids of what ideal life ought to be (may be what u n I had experienced ourselves). Just imagine, with no family around, no one talks of a word of kindness to them. It’s always caretaker’s rules, PT sir’s orders and then all other boys frustrations. And in that circumstances suppose you fall ill, there will be no dad to take u to hospital and no mom to sit beside u all night with a drenched cloth on ur forehead. You will be all alone. If at all U are hungry – make n eat urself. If U have to study – do it urself (am sure every one of us would have studied with our parents when we were so young). If U have to take bath – do it urself. U have to wash ur own clothes, clean ur rooms, beds, and last but not the least if u have to sleep- just go to sleep yourself. There will be no one to sing you Loris or place d soothing hand on your hairs.

Most of the kids here are brought by police when they found these kids begging or working in hotels or eloping alone. Some of their parents were in jails, some didn’t even know their parents and some were in hope (A Mammoth word) that they would be taken away some day.
Looking at those kids, I always get jostled from within.
They have a small playground with a hand pump at the centre. They maintain their lawns petty well but still much has to be done to at least make that place well equipped with basic amenities. We have taken the initiative for that and this time in a big way.
As I said one kid had made us their favourites and mine kid’s name was incidentally also ‘Sanjay’. He held my hand wherever he went and made me see all his favourite places. It was awesome. His innocence, his deep feelings, his respect and his selfless attachment made me feel very important person for him. Finally he gave me a rose flower (my most cherished gift ever, this was my first one I ever received in my life till date) and said – “ Bhaiya aap jaldi aana, main aapka intazar karunga”. This time I hugged him with all my warmth. I could feel the emotions and the heartbeat of the most innocent soul on earth as I promised to return back soon. It’s rightly said – “All beautiful things in life are for free”.
I just hope that our hug would have given him some confidence and security which, I guess, we all always need in life. Nevertheless I realized one thing –“They were very brave hearts’. They had all the reasons to be happy, to sing, to dance and above all to live life. I realized one thing – “Life can be disastrous to them but could not break them because it’s them who will decide their own destiny.” I realized that – after a certain phase of hardships, life too become helpless and it has to bow down to the undying fighting attitude of (hu) mankind. I realized this for Rajkiya Balagraha kids – “They were all Alone but not at all Lonely.’

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