|YGB supporters Ms.Karin Korvin and Ms. Rina Tham joined me on this trip|
my film, limping with medical conditions. Four years ago, a local doctor misdiagnosed her, but YGB Ambassador Sophie Herbert Slater and her husband Dan Slater were visiting from New York and took her to a better doctor in Mysore who diagnosed her with Thyroid complications. Thanks to Sophie and Dan's attention and effort, Maalai (*her name is changed to protect her privacy) has been treated with correct medication and has really grown. You can see how she has grown to be such a happy pretty girl. Just like many other children's here, Maalai had a very sad childhood. She was actually found lying next to her mother's dead body on the street of Bangalore. When you look at her smile today surrounded by many sisters and brothers who love her, it is clear that Professor Jayadev's dedication to create this "Home of Love and Acceptance" has truly become a reality for so many children.
|YGB Ambassador Sophie Herbert Slater and her husband Dan Slater from New York (2013)|
Over the last 25 years, Deenbandhu had sent about 100 boys into higher education or independent life with paid jobs. Last year, the first three girls also left the home to study or work in Bangalore. These alumni students return to the home throughout the year.
Last October, on the day of Gandhi Jayanthi, birthday of Gandhi, all the alumni students visited Deenbandhu and discussed how to understand Gandhi. I hope we can all learn from what they concluded here:
1. We have been receiving from society and it is now our turn to give back something to society.
2. What can we give? We are not rich! But we can still give back to society by staying away from corruption.
3. We give back to society by being honest.
4. We can give back to society by being punctual, helpful to others and by leading a disciplined life.
This list is a clear demonstration of the seed Professor Jayadev planted in these youths' minds at the home. They have no biological family and possess very little materialistically, but their minds shine bright and teach me a lot about how to live with a sense of gratitude and give back to society as much as we can. This day, one young boy donated 5000 Rupees from his income as a driver at Toyota Corporation. Others donated 200 pairs of slippers as well as sweets, crackers, jumping ropes, and toys for the children.
Professor Jayadev writes in his report of the day:
"... So the 'giving' was densely loaded with an attitude and feeling of fulfillment for being able to give, which actually subdued the arrogance of giving and at the same time the giver floated in a sense of gratitude. These are possible not by mere psychological understanding but with true spiritual comprehension. Often we read out the prayers of Saint Francis of Assisi---
O Divine Master, grant that I may not seek so much.
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved to as to love,
For it is giving that we receive, It is in pardoning that we are pardoned..."
This, in be brief, are the prerequisites that lead to the making of a personality of a child. It involves precise interpersonal interactions that lead to the etching of a desired character in children. We are able to describe some aspects of this experience for which we have an easy vocabulary. Yet there are others aspects of this phenomenon which abhor vocabulary but are amenable only to a spiritual bent of mind...."