Yesterday was children's day. One would have liked to celebrate it with all the 700 project why children but for reasons beyond our control one just could not. So it was decided to give our creche children a special treat. One of the reasons that made us take this decision was the fact that most of the creche children come from extremely deprived homes and have never gone beyond their homes or the tiny lane of project why.
After much deliberation it was decided to take the children to the Doll Museum. Thirty children with 6 teachers and 2 volunteers were the chosen ones. The tinier ones were given a holiday. The next problem was transport: the cost of a bus being prohibitive we agreed upon using our vehicle of choice - the three wheeler. Four of them were booked for the day.
It was touching to see the children arrive in the morning in their 'party' outfits, each brighter than the other. A name tag was hung around their neck and clutching their water bottles the kids were ready to go.
First stop the Doll Museum. After a the required group photograph, the children were taken around the museum. It was amazing and touching to see their little faces looking at the dolls with bewildered eyes. The only dolls they had ever seen were the few that sat on the shelf of their classroom. None of them had ever owned a doll. They looked fascinated at the dolls from different countries and parroted the names the teachers diligently told them. Time somehow seemed to stand still as they ambulated around the room moving from one doll to another, too fascinated to even utter a word. For them it was a trip to another land, or even another planet. It was a magical moment for all.
After the Doll Museum the teachers decided to take them to the children's park. Once again the kids were taken aback by the expanse of greenery, too spell bound to react. Their world was dirty lanes and dark homes where there was no place for flowers, grass or trees. At the park many activities had been planned for children and our little lot decided to join the dance competition. Staff and kids dances their heart away and would have for much longer had not little tummies started growling. It was time to look for food.
The teachers had yet another treat planned for the children: a meal at a proper restaurant. So it was time to climb into the scooters and zip to our favourite south Indian eatery, one that would not gall at having 30 slum kids. The children were again mesmerized. They had never been to a restaurant and at first could not figure out what the place was as it looked alien to them. But project why kids are one of a kind and they sat quietly wondering what would happen in this space that looked like a classroom. The wait was short as plats of hot vadas and other goodies were soon placed in front of them. They ate their meal with gusto, as if to the manor born.
The meal over it was time to head back to the centre, and then home. The children were quiet, their little heads filled with images and sensations they would treasure for days to come. It had been an incredible day.
We too felt content as we looked into their little faces and read all the unsaid words.
You can share some of the very special of this day here: