Independence Day India 2012, The Chief Guest at this years function was Mr and Mrs Patro. Mr Patro has been with us since 1986 and is a Non Medical Supervisor. He was one of the major persons in implementing the Leprosy Eradication Programme. Mr Patro spoke to the children in being more socially aware to learn to grow up with an open Indian mind and not to think so much about family background – to be individuals and independent. It was an interesting speech based on his and Mrs Patro’s experience of having 4 daughters.
Manga is now a senior girl in Rainbow House. She has coped well with an early traumatic life and now is a group leader in her class. She made the presentation of flowers from the piece of garden she cares for to Govinda. Govinda was simply found many years ago in a Bus Complex of a large city. He really has no idea of his background. His disability is genetic and his eyesight is now very poor and he has loss of mobility but he remains happy because of the friends and care she gets.
Independence Day India 2012
The girls represent a total cross section of the children we care for – Kumari Bhavan girls, a girl orphaned form a leprosy colony, a born HIV+ girl, a girl from a railway station. On the right, now growing up is Subbu – the ‘train accident boy’ who survived a terrible train accident and is now at High School and senior boy Leader (Prefect) Our Director – Always encouraging always supports the children towards education, vocational training and independence. He speaks with great examples of people – from Mahatma Gandhi to people like Anil who came from a leprosy colony and has been to university.
Independence Day India 2012: Anil tells everyone that it looks easy to be a Director – but our organisation is not like a story book, a film with a film director making everything look nice. Being a Director is helping us to all understand responsibility. He explained that being given an opportunity to education means little unless we take to challenge to learn what is taught and use it in our lives. Swapna represents so much of our work over the years. Found on a Railway Station, traumatised and not able to tell her story, she came to New Hope and for 2 years did little than begin to realise she was safe. She completed her studies to 7th class and asked to go to Vocational training. She is now employed with a small but caring tailoring company. On all holidays she ‘come home; to us.
Independence Day India 2012
The girls at New Hope have all grown and we see them as more and more self organised and forming their own social entertainment groups, cutting across social barriers and backgrounds. Ruth madam was the ‘closing speaker” on the Independence Day celebration. The Director had already spoken. The Director was standing on the side and he made a comment about how the children were growing up and it made him feel older – Ruth madam gave a reply and we all laughed.
Independence Day India 2012: It is true so many have grown up and got very good jobs and positions, especially the girls who did tailoring and computers. I came to New Hope simply because there was no where else for me to go as I was orphaned and made homeless. Now I help the Director with office management.