Children who were coldly rebuked the minute they were born, who felt the meaning of ‘unwelcome’ as soon as they took their first breadth were the ones who ‘ welcomed’ me with a warmth. 65 young girls full of life filled the campus of ‘Love India’- a charitable organization for young girls where I had gone to give unwanted warm clothes.
Parents who left them due to dire constraints, relatives who abandoned them when parents died and some who just gave up on them because of convention that cage a girl child, were responsible for the existence of these 65 bright young girls. Housing girls in the age group of 5-20, the organization supported the livelihood of each girl. From basic need of food and shelter to studies and preparing them to earn a livelihood, ‘Love India’ helped this unwelcomed bunch of girls to stand up and make space for themselves in a society that said ‘sorry we are closed’.
They sat around me, greeted me, and excitedly spoke about their daily chores. Each voice was pleasantly calm and content yet had a happy and courageous tale of survival share. It was heartening to see how these children can be so spontaneous with their warmth and love.
As I distributed the clothes to them, a jigsaw puzzle, in my head, with blocks named ‘unwanted’, ‘clothes’, ‘children’, ‘warmth’ got completed and I smiled like a victorious child!!