On November 6th I visited the Swanthana orphanage located in Mullur with our Leo advisors and some of the kids from the Leo club in Mantri. Swanthana is run by the daughters of St. Camillus and is an orphanage which provides proper care for the little girls who have been brought by the local police. The police find them abandoned in city’s railways and garbage dumps left them because their guardians are not capable of handling the way they were born. The girls range in between 3 months and 17 years who are mentally challenged and face life with multiple disabilities. We also donated them Bags of rice and lentils, toys and some sanitary napkins for the young ones.
I walked in Swanthana today excited and quite nervous about this journey. I knew it would be eye-opening but I had never imagined how much. Our advisors, who gave us the opportunity to visit the orphanage, had emotionally prepared us for what was to come. They had spoken to us about the fact that the girls in the orphanage were not capable of communicating in ways society usually does. All we needed to show them was love because these kids had never seen what we call our ‘world’. They lived in their own homes protected and nurtured.
We entered Swanthana and dropped off some donation items and talked to the sisters running the home. They began to show us around. We entered a room where the children were kept in small cribs and had tubes attached to their bellies because they were
incapable of eating food. The smiles on their faces made my heart so happy. The euphoric vibes began to fill the room.
They then showed us the classrooms where the children had done some work. The work that they had done was so ‘normal’ and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a normal child and a disabled child by looking at their work. The amount they understood was quite mind-boggling. They colored pictures and made brilliant art pieces that every child would do. They just weren’t capable of communicating. I met a girl and she was around 12, she was very smart and knew English but I never understood what she was trying to say. She smiled as soon as I held her hand and that honestly showed me that I shouldn’t feel sorry for them, they are happy and they live in a very good home, they just aren’t gifted with all the things we take for granted.
We then saw the rest of the home and met many more sweet girls. I ended up making many new friends, one of them named Aisha. We spent some time together and played a bit.
The happiness that I saw in her gleaming eyes gave me a happiness I had never felt before. I came out of Swanthana not wanting to leave, longing to go back. I had never been this grateful in my life. The love that was reciprocated by the kids didn’t need communication because it was so special that the moment you saw them you would feel it. I do wish to go back to that wonderful place and make more new friends. They deserve as much as we get and I hope that all of them live an amazing life.