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Shishu Vihar

Praneeth found out from his mother who is a Government officer about Andhra Pradesh State Government run Home called “Shishu Vihar” about the requirement of blankets for the 300 orphaned children. The Home took care of month-old babies to 18 year old girls and AIDS victimized children in addition to the 30 elderly women.

We purchased dress materials for the babies, lots of story books dictionaries, text books, play equipment and book shelves for them.

In this process we had forgotten about the elderly women who had been living there for the past 15-20 years. Not only the kids but these women were also orphans. The kids were in a much better position as they didn’t even know the whereabouts of their families but these women were neglected and left alone, stranded by their children who didn’t care for them anymore after all that these women had done for their families. Reckless endangerment is what it was. We decided to do something completely different, something utterly unexpected for them. We wanted to buy them a color television set because they were without one for the last 15-20 years and we felt that they deserved it more than anyone else. We also wanted them to know everything that’s happening in this world and that they aren’t alone, that there are other people who are facing the same situation as they were and maybe, just maybe this could if not change, then at least mildly modify their views on life and ultimately realize that not everyone neglected them, that there still are a few people whom they might not know but still are broken-hearted when they hear about what these women had been through and decide to do something, anything to make it better for them from here on. One of our unspoken hopes was that maybe these women could drown themselves in the tragedy that daily soaps bring with them and think about a Tulsi or a Parvathi and forget their own sorrow, at least for a while, and know the power that a woman has and well, that’s mission accomplished for us…

If you asked us what the best moment was in the whole process, then you’d hear a collective answer of “the d-day”, the day they found out about our attempts and its results… The kids went absolutely berserk, it was all encompassed with bear-hugs; and quite surprised, one child asked me “annayya idanthaa maakey naa???” in Telugu, which translates to “brother, is all of this for us???”… we gave her a big smile and said “well of course my dear!!! All of this is for you!!!”  The immense amount of joy that we saw in her eyes and the rest of the children’s was truly heartfelt. We were invited by the children, and joined them in a game of cricket and carrom, and then went to meet the women to tell them about our escapades. The reaction there was quite heartwarming…One thing that we’ll remember for the rest of my life was that a woman there who had been sitting in a corner all along, stood up and with a tear rolling down her eye told us that she felt that on this day at this very hour, 9 years ago, her son had left her on her own and went away; but she always knew that he’d come back and at that momentshe felt that he was back , standing there right in front of her

They say… Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away…and well, they sure did!!!…We are forever grateful to her for helping us understand that the love we share with, and have for one another encompasses everything…


After this, we spent the evening in Shishu Vihar and left with a sense of exuberance and a sense of increased responsibility.

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