By Volunteer Sunanda Bhowmick, FHI Kolkata
Ankush was painting a beautiful landscape using colourful crayons. Nabi, Param and Rahul finished their paintings early as they are not interested in painting and to have some fun with Ankush. Nabi (six years old) being the mischievous kid, was making it little difficult to paint peacefully. Watching this for a while I joined them. Ankush (twelve years old) seemed little mature as he was not complaining and managing with the painting to get it right, smiling along. I asked Nabi not to destroy his painting. The reply came – “There is nothing left to be destroyed in our lives“.
I was speechless for a moment. I felt like giving him a tight hug and take him for a day out and give him whatever he wants. I felt very bad. With a heavy heart, I told them immediately nothing is destroyed and not to lose hope. We all are here to fight back the situation together and we have to help each other and not cause any problems for anybody else. I learned that Nabi loves to dance. I told them we all should appreciate Ankush so that he can be a great painter and they promised they will.
It was my first event with Fly Higher India NGO – FHI in November 2018 at a home for boys aged between five years to seventeen years old. They have been rescued and now being taken care of. They go to schools. They are great at extracurricular activities. A lot of them love football. We had a lovely time dancing, singing and painting with the kids. They wouldn’t let us leave until we told them we will come back soon. They waved us as far as they could see us from their home.
Back home, those words haunted me for the next few days. It is very scary and threatening as well that a six years old kid thinks that his whole life is destroyed already. We weren’t allowed to discuss any personal issues with the kids that day. Then I thought even if we could know the personal problems of the kids, that couldn’t serve any purpose. Now that they are rescued and trying to have a normal life, we should focus on the future only and not the dark past.
We should ensure that they get equal opportunities to spread their wings. We all have to be responsible enough to impact a child’s life in a positive way. Children learn from us. They tend to copy us in every possible way. We have to be very careful with our words, behaviour, and temperament whenever a child is around. This is not a problem of the poor sector only but for each and every child. Children do not understand the importance of money. All that have effects on them are good environments, parents, teachers, and friends. Privileged children have their family around to take care of them. We must look after the lesser privileged ones.
We at FHI, emphasise on the mental development of these children. We teach them the importance of unity, friends, the importance of health and personal care, self defence, taking care of the environment and many more important arenas of overall personality building. It is a continuous learning process for me as well, as we have workshops on different themes each month to add some good values to the children in need.