“Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.”
For nearly two years I have been writing about the orphanage in India, but there is something I have come realize, it is not an orphanage at all.. it is home!
Anyone who works with children can say, “it takes a gift or a calling”. Patients and understanding will build love and confidence. These children who once lived on the streets will have the chance every child deserves.
For India’s street children, education is secondary in daily life, if at all. They do not have anyone to ensure they attend school, and no truancy officers taking them by the ear. They simply fall through the cracks of the ICPS, and the Juvenile Protective Care Act. In fact the government does not have an official estimate of street children. India has the highest number of child laborers, and street children spend their time forging the city landfills, or “ragging” to make an income. Those who do attend school, do not have the same opportunity as children from the “upper class”.
Since Praveen has taken the children into his home, they have been loved and nurtured, and have become part of the family. Life on the streets for a child,comes with many wounds. This healing process takes time, and can be difficult to break through. The children were behind in their studies, and are receiving the help they need. In their home, there is no “caste system” they all have equal opportunity to advance in life, and be educated.
In India girls face discrimination, and are not educated equally. The family’s of lower caste, feel their daughter will enter an arranged marriage and is not worth the cost of tuition. Illiteracy is extremely high among the female population. At home the girls and boy’s, are being taught to read, and speak English as a second language. Although they attend public school, the family also helps with their studies, as any caring parent would. Each child has their own unique talents, and they are encouraged to use them. The children join in singing, and performing plays for Sunday service.
Praveen and his father Ratna Kumar, hope to one day open a Bible college, where students who can not afford local tuition, can advance their studies. For now they are gaining experience through hands on education.
At the home area children are welcome to attend Sunday school, where Praveen reports they are eager to learn. The children are growing and gaining knowledge, that will help them throughout their life. There they are building relationships with others who will treat them with kindness, not judgement based upon their birth.
Thank you for reading, thank you for caring 🙂