By Sunanda Bhowmick, FHI Kolkata
Being a student of Social Sciences, I always dreamt of having a society which offers equal rights to everybody irrespective of their class and financial status. But that is just a dream some of us still has where in reality the society even fails to provide the very basic needs to its people.
India has a significant problem of poverty despite being one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The growth of population remained one of the major causes. Currently, the estimated total population is 1.3billion people, 5% of which living under extreme poverty leading to problems like poor nutrition, poor health, poor quality of education etc. Poverty affects children the most. Children living under poverty are more likely to feel like a failure and left out and become hopeless about their future. Also, they have a more significant risk of developing mental health problem.
I, particularly joined Fly Higher India NGO – FHI to directly cater some value addition to the lives of these children. FHI works on various themes every month. It takes into account different aspects of a child’s overall development – Mental, Physical and Skill development. My first event was at a rescue home for boys. We weren’t allowed to discuss any personal issues of the children as they have been through some severe situations and trying hard to get back a normal life. We talked about depression as a general problem, telling them we all have it. Their responses were spontaneous. They could understand that to overcome depression we should share the difficulties with some friends and also we should listen to our friends when they are in trouble.
FHI believes in team work. Whatever the social evils are, together we can fight it. We teach this to the children as well. In one of our recent events, we arranged a craft session where to make one flower you will need the help of five persons to finish it within a given time. Most of the kids were below ten years old and firmly believed that they could do a lot of difficult things together.
Some of our favourite activities are dancing and playing various games. We have come across extremely naturally talented kids who excel in dancing, singing, painting and Football without much guidance. We boost their passion by actively participating with them. We danced, we sang, we played. I have collected all the paintings made by the kids of my first event and I treasure them.
I feel privileged to work under mentor like Vishal Mimani Sir who lets us work freely with our innovative ways, encourages and appreciates every little effort. Also, the volunteers are cordial and enthusiastic. We get to spend around three to four hours with more than fifty children at an event and cannot figure out how the time flies away and every time I come back home with loads of cherishable moments, plenty of smiling and happy faces and a sense of tremendous satisfaction.