A day at Mahathma Gandhi Ashram Sunday, May 24, 2009

Every year, my parents sponsor lunch to children at Mahatma Gandhi ashram, Anaimalai, on my birthday. I'm doing it from this year. This year I'm at home, decided to visit the place. It is clearly not a place of luxury, small buildings scattered all over the campus. It is a home for needy which includes orphaned children and elder citizens orphaned. The personnel called me this morning to wish for my birthday and asked me if I'm able to come and how many people will accompany me. The place is few kilometers outside a village, remained very silent and a windy place. The staff also told me that the children had gone for a vacation this summer and 15 people reside at this point of time. I found some children with a green khadi dress around that place. Just after I introduced myself to the serving people at reception. There was a guy who is second grade saying vanakkam(wishes). I was at the reception watching this place and this guy. His shirt was torn a little.

I saw this guy having a comb and trying to comb his hair for ten minutes, then i called him to speak. He introduced himself as Vivek and told where and how he is studying. I wanted to know his story of his life and how he was orphaned. Asked if he is the only child. He said he had a brother who is fourth grade also in the same place. then I asked your father? He replied, his dad had a fight with his mom and left her. his mom is in a village a little far away from there, may be because of poverty these brothers landed in here. How sad it is for a living father and mother to orphan their children.

It was 12 noon and there was a child who rang the bell for people to get ready for lunch. There was a dining hall which is an exhibition of mahatma's photographs. In focus was a photo of their God. All these kids and few elders assembled in the dining hall and I was also
there. they started with a prayer which they say for themselves and for the world. Then there was a prayer for having such a good day and thanking God for the food they've got. They also wished me for a prosperous life and thanked for the food. I was asked to serve food to them if I would like to and I served it to all of them. After serving I had my lunch with them. The same food, which is as good as it is at home. They seem to follow Gandhian values and principles.

One of the staff told me that they get sponsors for all days and there is also reserve money to keep it running at all times. Happy to hear there are people who sponsor regularly. I'm quite sure the staff are dedicated and responsible for one reason they've kept it running for over a decade and the process and accounts are transparent. I've decided to continue this for years to come. I'm confident these people will keep up their good work.

I left the place after lunch with the fact that, there are a lot people in need for whom I can offer help.


Mano ranjan said...

It is really nice of you to do such a good deed!