I fist heard of Sindhutai many years ago when I was researching ‘good news’ stories for a friend. Her story was a true inspiration more so when I felt reluctant to ‘ask’ for money. I wrote about her way back in 2011 and as I reread the words I penned then, it all seems so true even today. In a nutshell you do not need to be rich to help others all you need is a big heart and Sindhutai’s is larger than any one else’s.
If you do not know her story, read it here. It is humbling and inspiring. Over the years she has been lauded and feted and things should have remained thus.
Sindhutai is all heart and people who are all heart just follow their heart; in her case from one child in need to another. Paperwork and official stamps can be overlooked as there is so much to be done. She has been trying to get her work registered for years but many hitches came along the way and she has now been asked to shut her orphanages by the State Government.
This is outrageous more so in a land where children are in need of every little bit of love they can get and she has that in abundance.
Her work is incredible and she needs to be helped.
There is a petition on line that I urge you to sign.
It seems that the petition has caught the attention of the powers that be and I hope that they will act.
If not then all that is good may just be destroyed.
Clarisse and Xavier have not ‘adopted’ Utpal legally but are nevertheless his French ‘parents’, and do everything a ‘parent’ would : loving him unconditionally and being there for him. Nothing proves that better than the story of a cricketer of yesteryear who ‘adopted’ the son of their laundry man, providing all the support he needed to succeed. Succeed he did: his latest gift to his ‘adoptive ‘ parents a swank Mercedes Benz. There were no need of papers and documents to seal the relationship all that was needed was love.
A recent article stated the sad fact that adoptions numbers were decreasing in India. The reason stated is paperwork! Another reason” surrogacy. Indians parents prefer adopting babies under one and will never adopt a differently abled child or a sick one. Adoption agencies have a glut of 3 to 4 years waiting for adoption. These will become 5, 6 and then 7 and one day become 18 year old when the law of the land does not give any further protection.
This reality was brought to light when last week a member of the Child Welfare Committee asked us whether we knew families that would be able to act as foster parents to children of dysfunctional families who are institutionalised. They cannot be adopted as they have natural parents. The conditions in institutions in India are far from the enabling environment a child needs to grow in as children with criminal backgrounds are placed with children from abusive homes. The risk of the child going the wrong way looms large. The children in question were from 1 to 10. Though we promised to try we knew it would be difficult if not impossible. And yet we knew how real the danger was.
Reaching out to a child with or without papers is all about love. As someone said: the adoption process can be challenging but love is instant! There are so many children who need us to open our hearts and let them in.
Yes ‘adopting’ a child will not change the world but for that child the world will change
She was barely 5 when she first joined the special section. It must have been in 2004. She could barely walk or talk. She was like a tiny frightened bird that needed to be tamed. As days went by and we got to know her better the smiles came hesitant at first then bigger and bigger. And a few steps and some sounds. The ice was broken. It would not take long before Sapna was like a fist in water in the special section of Project Why. But all was not well for her mom whose story breaks your heart. Do read it. It is the story of too many women in India.
Sapna was happy at Project Why but came the day where the family moved and she left. There was no news. We hoped for the best and prayed for her well being.
A fews days back her father came to the Project. The news was terrible. Sapna’s mom had passed away in March. She had suffered enough. The father asked us if we would have her back and the answer was a loud YES!
So Sapna is back. She is 16 now and really small. But her smile is there larger than ever and she was so thrilled to see us all. She walks now and even speaks. It is a delight to have her back and her old pals Umesh and Anurag are thrilled.
For us it is bittersweet: a gentle reminder of the fragility of her existence. What if something happens to her father? What if he remarries? Endless questions with no answers. A visit to her home was heart wrenching. The family had very little. Her brother Monty has turned for the worse. He told us that he sold ‘slippers’ from midnight to dawn. He seems to have been targeted by predators.
For the time being Sapna is with us. We have convinced Monty to come to the centre in the morning and study some. Though he has paper saying that he has studied till class VII he can barely read or write.
How much will we be able to do for these two lost souls is anyone’s guess but we will give it our best shot. Sapna will be safe with us during the day. We fear for her when she is back home.
Once again the critical need for a residential option like Project Why comes to mind. It was for the Sapna’s of this world.