Sunday, August 14, 2011

Independence day at Mamata Bal Sadan

Today we had the pleasure of visiting a wonderful organization ममता बाल सदन, located in Pune. It is run under the flag of 'सप्तसिंधु महिला आधार बालसंगोपन एवं शिक्षण संस्था ' founded by 'Mai' Mrs. Sindhutai Sapakal. Her life and struggles have already inspired numerous people. She was refused shelter at her husband's home after she had a clash with some landlords over women's right to wages. She left the home and gave birth to a daughter at midnight all alone. This situation brought the turning point in her life. She now gives her own surname to every orphan that comes to her organization.

The organisation tries to fulfill all the needs of orphan children including education and emotional support. It was an awe inspiring experience to see the social structure of the place. Instead of an over-disciplined or over-controlled formal institution, the place struck us more as a closely knit extended family. The elder children took active part in the care for the young ones, just like a family. We had a good time listening to their poems and jokes (though we needed lots of translation to understand the marathi ones). They were very enthusiastic about the cricket kit that we brought them. So we ended up in their little playground. We played with them, shared jokes, and well.. some people were even able to find their younger selves in these kids. The picture given below is dedicated to all those 'Judwaa' moments that we encountered during the day...

The day came to an end with a special lunch which we had sponsored for them on the occasion of Independence Day. Some people out of us had a little trouble eating without spoons though.. but the small papad chips make quite a substitute for spoons in times of needs.

We bid farewell to them in late afternoon in the hope of meeting our newfound friends again..

You can support this organization and know more about it by visiting . Mai now spends most of her time travelling to all the corners of the state and motivating people. In words of 'Mai' herself...

देवा ... आम्हाला हसायला शिकाव ...
परन्तु... आम्ही कधी रडलो होतो...
याचा विसर पडू देवू नकोस..

God ! Teach us to smile..
But let us not forget,
we had cried some day.. !

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