69th republic day celebration with ngo beneficiaries for a cause in delhi on 26th jan 2018
After enjoying the early morning Republic day parade in all its glory and grandness, it was time to carry on the celebration of India and Indian constitution at Muskan Foundation, Dwarka. Khushiyan, following its commitment, connected with Youth Empowerment Foundation (YEF) and Muskan Foundation (Integrated rehabilitation center) to mark this day.
It was a perfect Delhi winter afternoon, cold with sun up, bright and shining. A line of performances from children of both NGOs was scheduled. To say, these children were bubbling with excitement and energy, is an understatement. They could barely contain themselves till their turn to perform. Apart from being constant chatter box, some of them even practiced while others performed, got scolded, remained silent for few minutes and then started practicing again.
YEF gave multiple dance performances, leaving us longing for more.
Muskan foundation’s children too stepped up and danced on. They also entertained us with a captivating qawaali. Suited in white kurtas and tri-colour ribbons on their wrists, they looked so serene and hopeful.
Fortunately for us, seeing others perform, Danny, a child who is extra-ordinary in all possible ways but only limited because of his legs, decided to give an impromptu performance. This boy is a rock star. One has to see him, to believe it. His signature move- cartwheel, of course.
Just when we thought their bags have gone empty, Sunil, decided to show his skills with dhol. The sound of his dhol beats put instant electricity in the atmosphere, thus compelling everyone to dance carefree like baraatis. When asked how he learned to play so well, this 10yrs old says, “Mujhe mere papa ne sikhaya hai, main bachpan se bajata hoon” The celebration also marked the beginning of a wonderful tradition of celebrating birthdays within Khushiyan. Birthdays of January born children of Muskan Foundation were celebrated, for whom, gifts were picked up by January born volunteers of Khushiyan. Khushiyan will likewise celebrate birthdays in the subsequent months.
Among all these fun and festivity, a part of me was ashamed because of the preconceived notions I had before arriving. Earlier in the morning, in a typical have-it-all behavior, I had decided against taking my 14yrs old cousin to the celebration venue which is a rehabilitation centre. I was wary of the kind of exposure this place may provide him. It only took a glance at these kids to realize how wrong I was.
They were pure, innocent, mannered, energetic, scared, smiling, and inquisitive. Just like any other child of their age, they jumped at the sight of an aircraft and had their eyes glued to sky for as long as they could see it. Only difference was, they were longing for more human connections and love in their lives. Looking over at YEF children, a bunch of Muskan children asked me, “kya ye family se aaye hain?Main bhi jaunga”. Because the answer to that was yes, I decided to lie.
One can ponder over the purpose of organizing events like these. Answer to that lies on the happy faces of these children. These children live a difficult life, with more bad days than good ones. Ensuring better lives for them is a long journey; but today, let’s begin with taking an ordinary day out of their lives and making it a happy one.