XIMBians Leave An Enduring Smile In Orphans’ Life

XIMBians Leave An Enduring Smile In Orphans’ Life
Kalinga Times Correspondent
Bhubaneswar, Dec 7:

A little way off Damanna Chhak of the city, exists a little group of houses that was home to over 60 children and their caretakers. Welcome to Anand Mission Ashram, run by a group of Sathya Sai Baba devotees and maintained over the years by the kind hearted donations that keep flowing in from the generous public. The children belong to the age group of 2-17 years, with the oldest girl now taking up graduate studies in a local college.

It was with a mission of repairing their broken down computer that a group of 10 XIMB students, calling themselves Dus Bandar Class Ke Andar, ended up in the Ashram. This computer, donated by enthusiastic donors had long since been ruined by disuse and had to be replaced. But the group was so moved by the conditions within the Ashram, they decided that putting a smile on the children’s faces was just as important as repairing their computer.

The fun activities directed at the children started with movie screenings, where the latest animated Hindi movies were shown, much to their obvious delight. Diwali saw the entire group landing up in the Ashram to brighten up the Festival of Lights for the orphans with loads of firecrackers and sweets in tow, a gesture that was much appreciated by the caretakers.

Children’s Day on November 14 saw the biggest initiative in what was called `Project Smiles’, where all the children were brought down to XIMB campus. There were competitions galore, from drawing and singing competitions to lemon and spoon and musical chair competitions and lots of prizes and goodies to boot as well.

According to one of the caretakers of the Ashram, the children were totally exhausted but very, very delighted with their day of fun and frolic on the campus. Project Smiles had indeed achieved its desired impact.

When asked about what his biggest learning from the entire project was, Chandrasekhar Kartha, one of the members of the group said:

“There were a lot of Ashram centric activities that we performed, including providing a new computer so that the children can never lag behind their peers in computer education, distribution of cold weather material, provision of a netted frame over the well so that their frequent well cleaning expenses are significantly reduced and replacing water purifier candles so that they can get pure, safer drinking water.

But the biggest thing that I will remember is the pure joy in the faces of the kids as they ran around during musical chairs and the pure exhilaration they showed when playing outside in the football grounds. I am sure everyone in the group will definitely agree.”

Perhaps that is why, at the end of the term exams, the entire group is planning another trip down to meet the kids again. It is because Project Smiles has just started.