“Tome eithi mo pakhere basiba”(you will sit here with me), said Maria as she held my hands with her petite fingers and dragged me to sit beside her as she tried her skills in painting.
I will never forget the most innocent face I’ve come across in my life time.
Despite having a big let down the day before I went ahead with my programme to visit the orphanage on the International Day of Service organised by Bakul Foundation , it was the best thing I had done in a long time!!!
My friend Sanky had taken care of all the official things and soon I found myself among 20-25 children in ‘Orissa Orphanage’ in Cuttack. We had a briefing from our group coordinator Deepsha Dhal and started interacting with the children. It all began with a few clichéd questions to the initially hesitant children, ”Toh naa kana?” (What’s your name?) or ”Kou class jauchu?” (In which standard do you study?? )
Few minutes later it was painting time. The arrangement of colours and drawing sheets was done and we painted with our hands and straws.
It was fun showing the children how to make trees and mountains with fingerprints. My hand had turned into the place to wipe out the extra paints by Maria and five other kids of my group. Soon i was given a nomenclature of “Pocha Kanna bhai”(Mop Cloth Guy). The elder ones started painting with enthusiasm and the tiny tots who got bored after initial excitement started painting my hands.
After painting, it was music and Pratikshya (of Sweet Poison band fame) struck a perfect note with the acoustic guitar player Ashish Roshan Tete, the children exuberantly began to spring out demands to the musical duo as we moved from some beautifully Christian Hymns to the movie songs like ‘Give me some sunshine’ and “Tu hi haqeeqat.”
The volunteers joined the musical gala too. The photo geeks were busy capturing the happy faces of the children as we started an antakshari competition between boys and girls. The day ended with the last group photo which would be long-etched in our memories.
Yes! We’d achieved what we had come for. The smile on the faces of these little angels made it all worthwhile.
“ Au kou dina asiba? ”(When will you be back??) asked Maria in her sweet enchanting voice.It made me stop and act to her statement, a few moment of helplessness.
I picked her up and said “Bahut jaldi asibi re”(I will be back soon).
Contributed By : Punyaslok Rath – a volunteer at Orissa Orphanage during International Day of Service 2012.
On 7th May 2012 , 1000 odd people from various locations across the globe devoted a couple of hours from their daily lives for service to the society and to celebrate the spirit of volunteerism. They visited anganwadis, foster homes, orphanages and spent some time with the children and the elderly people there. This certainly gave them a sense of self-satisfaction that none of the activities in their otherwise monotonous and mundane lives could ever provide them with. History of sorts was thus made.
International Day of Service is a day created by Volunteers only and not declared by UN or other Governments. An ode to the spirit of Volunteerism.
Glimpses of IDOS 2012 :
People have asked us what will happen in a day ?
We ask them doesn’t it always start with ONE ?
We are currently looking for volunteers for the Summer Camp. Please drop in a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested to volunteer.