It seems a long time ago I arrived in Delhi and was writing a note and yet all too soon I am lining up for another flight.
My tour around Rajasthan has been very successful and i have had a lot of fun.
I visited a friend of Prveen's in Pushkar. His name is Ramsingh and he works at the Shakti Project which was set up to help street kids.
They are a small non- government organization[ NGO- in India that suggest that money coming to the project will be spent on the project. I can see that is happening here]
These kids come from families who have nothing- in India that means absolutley nothing!
they live on the street perhaps under a sheet of taupaulin, food comes from what they can beg.
The idea of the Shakti Project is empowerment.
All kids in India can have a free education if they have a school uniform- obviously that is out of the range of the parents of these kids.
Ramsingh provides a place for the kids to come and get washed and chang into a uniform in the morning and then they are taken to school.
By going to school the kids are getting and education and also creating regular habits in their life, the discipline of working at something, being motivated, being punctual, learning to structure their thinking and hence their life.
school finishes in time for lunch when they can return to the Sahkti Project for friut and a nutritious meal [ their only one of the day] .
at the house there are games to play and further education, and lessons for kids so far behind in their learning they won't benifitt from school yet.
The idea that it is better to work rather than beg is constantly re-inforced and children are taught crafts and small business ideas. [Many of their parents came from the itinerant and illiterate caste of entertainers but with changing times, TV, less nomadic lifestyles etc they are falling out of a place in society]
Shakti Project is always happy to accept donations- cash, toys, games, pencils, clothes [smaller sizes- the kids are very small for their age]but most especially time. If you are in Pushka- an hour or more spent playing games with the kids, talking , showing an interest has such a great boost to their connfidence and development, and is a great deal of fun!
I am happy to take things along on my visits to India email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you might like to contact Ramsingh on email@example.com
I will put up some photoes when i get back to Australia next week
India is such a land of contrasts- I know i have mentioned it before but it always hits me afresh, I can see such material progress in the last 6 months and it contrasts so vastly to the lives of so many and then I come across another example of such great goodness of heart and am humbled.
It is an amazing country moving forward at a vast pace and working very hard at bringing ALL its citizens along with it.