When I joined The YP Foundation a few months back, I didn’t know what to expect. I had never volunteered with any not-for-profit organizations before and there was a nagging fear in my mind that I’ll soon loose enthusiasm (the way I usually do whenever I undertake something) and that would be the end of it. Moreover, constant insinuation by “cynics at large” about how NGOs are sneaky little organizations and it would be a foolish mistake to put my trust in them, made me a bit of a skeptic. However, after much deliberation, I decided to give volunteering a shot.
Living in a nation like India, it’s a banal sight to see little kids living, playing and begging on the streets. But, actually knowing their life stories without prejudices and accepting them just the way they are, is a different thing altogether. This was precisely the reason I chose to be a part of Blending Spectrum which works with street and slum children. Volunteering with BlenSpec gave me an opportunity to work with their partner NGO, Music Basti, which was a pure delight.
The visits to the location were always good fun. We used to go to Kilkari which was a home for children-at-risk (only girls) at Kashmere Gate. Now, there is one thing which I completely detest and that is human touch. Perhaps I am exaggerating but seriously, I do not like hugging others. There I was, visiting the location for the very first time and all those girls came running towards me and wrapped their arms around me as if they had known me forever. And finally this warm, fuzzy feeling dawned upon me which I didn’t quite understand but I knew that it was a good start. Being with those kids made me realize that we aren’t very different after all. We may have varied preferences and our very own set of dreams, but eventually, each one of us crave for love , support and a dignified life.
Workshops conducted by Music Basti proved beneficial to both the kids as well as the volunteers. We got a glimpse into their lives which they were happy to share. All of us interacted, played, sang and participated in the activities and all in all, just had a really good time. Finally, there is one thing that I learned from those kids and it was being open and accepting.
Even though I still don’t understand the many facets of their lives and the ordeal they had to go through, their wide grins and toothy smiles were an assurance that maybe, in my own small way, I brought a smile on someone’s face and that was worth a million bucks. I hope that I can do the same, if not more, for the kids (at either locations of BlenSpec- Nizamuddin and Qutub) that I’ll be working with in the coming days.
I have no intention of invoking sympathy in the hearts of others for those kids because the truth is, no matter what we do for them, they’ll always end up teaching us more about who we are and all that is really important.
Volunteer- Blending Spectrum