Our pledge is that 90% or more of the funds raised by NICF will directly support street children in India. Your donations are greatly appreciated.

Going Back

I couldn’t believe it had been almost a year since I had visited Udayan – the wonderful village for orphaned and abandoned children run by Vatsalya. A new housing unit had been built and Aaradhnana, the meditation/meeting center was being expanded to more comfortably seat the growing population of Udayan. Devesh, Divyansh and Himanshu had joined the energetic group of boys along with Taslima and her beautiful 2 year old girl Shabnam. Staff changes included a new carpenter, Rajendra, and an additional teacher, Santosh.

The campus was green and lush. The hundreds of trees were growing well and providing shade and beauty to the children and staff. A veritable oasis in the desert! Udayan has also had great success with their crops – growing potatoes, onion, spinach, bajara (a local millet), and wheat. For milk production they have added 2 new water buffaloes and one cow.

However, the very best part of returning to Udayan was the chance to spend time with the kids again. I marveled at how they had grown, some had mellowed, some seemed more mischievous but all were still filled with the endless capacity to laugh and love. They welcomed me with hugs and grins as if I had only been gone for a couple of days instead of almost a year. Within no time we were singing songs and playing the games.

Vatsalya, in managing Udayan, continues to provide a loving home for these children, most of whom would have nowhere else to go except the streets. Here they are able to grow, dream and reach for the stars. Imagine an evening, sitting outside in the cooling desert air, watching the older children prepare a local dance for the upcoming festival. A five-year old is sprawled out on your lap, not bothered in the slightest that we share only 5 or 6 phrases of common spoken language, content just to be …. all the while sipping a cup of Karan Uncle’s incredible chai. What could possibly be better?

Delta Donohue
Vice President
December 2008

Comments are closed.