A day at the 'home of love'
The adage ‘A home away from home’ perfectly conveys the warm and secure feeling one gets at Sneha Bhavan – the home for the destitute children at Palluruthy in Cochin, managed by the Salesians of Don Bosco in association with the Corporation of Cochin. Here the children are given a chance to grow and integrate themselves into society by preventing them from being helpless and exploited.
When we at the editorial team of karmakerala planned a visit to this home, the initial picture we all had in our minds was that of unhappy faces and a gloomy milieu. However we had a pleasant surprise as we reached this simple yet happy home for the children. The kids were jostling to greet us and were curious to know more about us. The toffees and goodies we carried served as handy ice breakers. Smart and forthcoming, these kids portrayed a promising picture of a great future ahead of them.
Sabi and Jamal, aged around seven, took me around their home, nestled along the backwaters. In a hall, a painting master was offering free classes for some of these exceptionally talented kids. Dharma from Assam flaunts some of his lively pictures of landscapes and portraits and the master sounded confident that in a couple of years he will bloom into a seamless artist. In the recreation room, a bunch of kids was having fun interacting with some MSW students who had dropped in as part of their project study.
In the garden, more kids joined me. The band troop was getting ready for a programme and I was introduced to some of its members like Babu from Nepal and Shyam from Mumbai. These kids from far and wide strive to put their unhappy past behind them to build a bright future right from the scratch. Though most of the kids reach here from broken homes or the streets, they have become refined and polished just like any other normal child.
Most of them are good at sports and have brought laurels to this institution. Many inmates have passed out to become research scholars and officers but the most important lesson that they learn from this home is that every job has its own dignity.
Next time when you trash out your kid’s old T short or Tennis racket, think about these hapless kids, who are looking for love and support. You can make a change in their lives by sponsoring a day’s meal or arranging a day trip for these fun loving boys.
As they say it is the surroundings that make or break any one’s character and by providing the right atmosphere, these kids can be moulded into responsible citizens of this country.