For the first time, we were nervous. It is difficult to explain the rush of mixed emotion when we reached the Srijan Help, a school for ‘special’ children. They greeted us with hearty smiles, warm shake-hands, curious looks and shyness.
Initially talking to them looked like a difficult task but that was not because a few of them could not speak. It was because we took a lot of time to embrace them as they were.
A few simple words and bowl of colors did the magic. We were talking, cheering, playing quiz and trying to remember each other’s name. While Jey was easy to pronounce and remember, Meenakshi became ‘M’ for them. She loved her new name.
In a few minutes the students were singing our names- AMMMM……JEYYYY …… M….Jey…… M…Jey..
The air was full of life. The youngest, also the shyest child was 6 years old and the eldest and the most talented of the students was 30 years old. We spend the whole day with these wonderful people.
Although we could not match with their energy level, we tried our best to give our best to them.
A few of them could not talk, some could not remember, some could not stop talking, some could not stand and walk around but they were full of life.
We asked them to choose their favorite colors and helped them print their hand prints on their school wall. Meenakshi had a plan of using their hand prints to create figures of birds and fishes.
Once they were done, Meenakshi transformed all the hand prints into dolphins, fishes, peacock, duck and other birds. All the students sincerely watched the whole process of creating art and interestingly, unlike other children, none of them disturbed Meenakshi or Jey in their work.
Those who could not stand were stuck to the windows, those who could they sat around Jey, Prashant Suhano and Anand Dutta. They were highly disciplined and well behaved.
Hours passed a midst giggles and colors. When it was time to part, the children showed a lot of interest in getting their photo clicked. Not just did they insist on getting their photo clicked in their favorite pose, they also rejected the ‘not so good’ photos.
The parting note and emotions are difficult to explain. The teachers and founder of the Srijan Help school, Gunjan Gupta, thanked us for being able to spend some time with these children. She told us that many people from different NGOs come to their school but they do not treat the students properly.
“From tomorrow onward many will continue to ask for you both. Not many people love them the way you both loved my children”, told Gunjan when we were to leave.
We knew these special children deserve much more love and care than they were receiving in a three bare rooms and a couple of untrained teachers/ caretakers. Still the love they gave us will continue to fill our lives with life and smiles. Only the blessed ones have such pure hearts and hearty smiles. They are the Real Children of GOD.