“When words can feed a hungry child” – A BlogAdda initiative with Akshaya Patra

Exactly a month ago, BlogAdda had started a noble initiative Blog To Feed A Child in association with Akshaya Patra, in which bloggers had to blog about how to eliminate classroom hunger and ensure every child in India gets a decent meal as well as education. The wonderful aspect of this initiative is that each blog post would sponsor a meal for a child for an entire year. Honestly speaking, I was not interested to write anything on the theme in the first place as I thought what difference would my post make, when so many children still remain malnourished, impoverished and illiterate despite the continuous efforts of different organizations. 3 weeks have passed since my good blogger friend Dr. Ryan Fernandes had nominated me to write a blog post on this topic (Read his post: Food For Thought). I feel so irresponsible and slightly ashamed that it took me this long to contribute to this cause. But, better late than never, as they say.

So what suddenly inspired me to delve into this theme and pen my thoughts? Or should I say, who inspired me? The answer is Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi. When I keenly listened to his moving speech at the Nobel award ceremony at Oslo, Norway about his fight against child labour and work for child rights, I felt proud of him and his dedicated efforts. When he asked the audience to put their hands over their hearts, close their eyes and feel the child inside them, I reciprocated too. What happened in the next few seconds jolted me from inside! Images of children working at a road-side restaurant, wiping tables and cleaning dishes, flashed in my mind.

I felt numb and my eyes got teary. I questioned myself as I opened my eyes: Do you still think you can not make any difference to this initiative when you’re getting a wonderful opportunity to volunteer for a noble cause? Continue reading

Save the street children with Montu

One cold wintry morning, when I was sleeping on the pavement, my body uncovered by a blanket to beat the chilly wind, I saw a beautiful dream.

Indian street children sleep on the pavement -Photo by Kevin Frayer (taken from www.gettyimages.in)

Indian street children sleep on the pavement -Photo by Kevin Frayer (taken from http://www.gettyimages.in)

An angel visited me. His name was Montu. In fact, I should call him Montu bhaiyya, for he addressed me as his little brother. How lovely those words sounded! After all, I don’t really have a family; my parents abandoned me when I was a little kid because they couldn’t feed me with their very little income.

Montu bhaiyya caressed my dirty hair and made me sleep on his lap. He didn’t bother about my soiled clothes or the slight stench coming off my unwashed body. He told me that he had come to help me. He said that he wants to be my voice; he wants to share my story with all the sleeping countrymen who always look down upon street children like us or do not care about our upliftment. He believed my story could wake them up,at least some of them if not all. I smiled. I decided to speak my heart out. Continue reading