As I woke up this Sunday morning, little did I expect to be so moved and motivated to make a difference in someone’s life. As a new intern I was assigned to work with different Public Action Groups or PAGs. PAGs are a group of volunteers who work towards helping children of a particular underdeveloped area or slum. This week my project was based in Yeshwantpur. I travelled about 30km to reach Yeshwantpur and arrived at JP Park where the Yeshwantpur PAG has their usual meetings .There I came across a group of young volunteers who came from different walks of life with only one motive – to help children. They were debating passionately about the agenda and I didn’t understand what they were discussing until I met the children later.
As we kept walking towards the slum I couldn’t help but notice the horrendous conditions in which the people are living. Most of the residents having been living here from a long time but they also have some migrants living among them. Now as we kept going deeper into the slum , the living conditions kept depreciating.
After walking for quite a bit we finally met the children who were eagerly waiting for us. At this point I didn’t know any child and I was a stranger for them too, but I immediately felt at home from the moment they greeted me with so much love and respect. Looking at these children one would never imagine that they have a rough deal with life . So full of life and energy and so many happy faces , you can’t help but feel heavy hearted.
So as the session stared, we divided the kids into different groups based on their age. It was quite pleasantly surprising to see that some of them could understand English . The session’s agenda was basic mannerism and some mandatory health and hygiene notions. It was extremely delightful to see the volunteers so focused on teaching the children and so efficiently too. The children responded beautifully. There was never a dull moment in the session. They had targeted the children of the higher age group so that the children could comprehend better and they in turn could teach their younger friends and siblings. On health and hygiene, children were advised to bathe regularly , no open defecation and they were taught how to clean a fresh wound if they get hurt. The session gradually came to an end with a photo session in which each child was eager to pose for the camera!
As we said our goodbyes to the children I was filled with conflicting emotions. I was disappointed because these children are being deprived of some basic privileges and happy at the same time because of the existence of an organization like CRY and all the Volunteers involved that are here to see the future of these children and make them self sufficient in this world that can be unfair at times. CRY gives these children faith and self confidence and the Yeshwantpur Public Action Group(YPAG) is a perfectly good example of how they do so.
– Konish Naidu, CRY Intern, Bangalore.