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Grade 8 community service

On Sunday, the 28th of February, the students of Grade 8 visited the SNEHA SADAN- an organisation that provides a home for the homeless. We reported to school at 9:30 in the morning and from there we were taken to the place which is located at Andheri (East).

The boys were taken to the Boys’ home, which houses approximately 25 boys (of different age groups ranging from 8-20years) and the girls were taken to the Girls’ home, which houses around the same number of homeless girls.

The girls, on the other hand are looked after by two Nuns who are very particular about the needs of each and every child in the Home. They plan their daily schedules and consider these children to be their family. They ensure the safety of the young girls who are under their care.

The Boys’ home is taken care of by a couple. They themselves were brought up in the homes. Together, they decided to live at Sneha Sadan and raise the homeless boys as their own.

Mr Robert, the gentleman who takes care of the boys, warmly welcomed us into the home. The home was small, yet equipped with a few facilities for the boys. A garden with vibrant flowers surrounded the home. The boys gathered around in the common area as the owner introduced us to them. We were all made aware of the fact that they attended school and were planning on pursuing their careers. Personally, I was amazed to learn that they were being given such opportunities. The boys were friendly and engaged in numerous conversations with us. They all seemed happy.

Later, we decided to play a football match. Before we arrived, they did not even have a ball to play with. And when we began playing, they took us all by surprise. This showed us that they all had immense potential and great team spirit. More importantly, they all enjoyed thoroughly while playing. Those who did not play cheered both the teams when they scored. This showed me that they enjoyed everything that they did, be it competitive or not. As the game got over, we all proceeded to the common room, where we gave them some snacks on our behalf. Together we all sat in a circle, devouring the food, and having a good time together.

Their joyous mood, coupled with a powerful vibe of enthusiasm made me realize that you can have so little, and yet be so happy. They all seemed content and it felt as though they all held a strong sense of belonging towards the place. Before we bid goodbye, we gave them various essentials such as bed sheets and clothes. Upon receiving this, they all displayed immense gratitude, and I could see that they were all overwhelmed with happiness. As we departed, I felt proud, proud of the fact that we had made them happy. They came and dropped us all the way outside to where our bus was and they waited there till it arrived. This showed me how much our visit meant to them. It was their way of showcasing appreciation and friendliness. This may sound cliché, but there is no greater feeling than when you have done something for someone, and made him or her smile.

Before we went to the place, I did not feel like waking up in the morning, and when it was time to leave the place, I felt like spending more time there. Those homeless boys taught me something. They taught me to be content, to always be happy, regardless of my situation. At the end of the day, there was no real difference between them and us. We all had a great time and gelled extremely well with each other. I'm proud of what we did and I look forward to visiting the home frequently in the future.

Aman Choksi - 8 A

  1. When we reached the venue, we found the girls waiting for us. As we entered, we went and made friends immediately with the girls there, introducing ourselves etc.At first we were uncomfortable speaking in Hindi but within a few minutes, we were fine. We then played a game to get to know them better. All of us thought it would be a great idea to play throwball with them. They were very good and very tough to defeat.As the younger ones could not play; a few of us took them to a side of the garden and read out a few stories for them. When they decided they had had enough, we went inside to play a very competitive game of Antakshari.

    At the end we gave them what we had brought and we had to leave shortly after. The thing that I was least expecting was how alike we were. They also hated studying and loved watching. T.V.. It was also very refreshing to see how close they were to each other and how they didn’t need a family because they had each other. Sure, maybe they felt an absence of parents but most of it was filled by the other girls they were living with and the nuns who took care of them.

    Sachika Bhojani -8 A

  2. We played football for an hour. We had a lot of fun and competition realizing that they were better than us. They, obviously, won the match. We also donated food and clothing to them, which we gave towards the end. We had some snacks with them, which gave us a chance to mingle with them and learn more about their daily routine. The only bad thing was that we had to go on a Sunday, when most of us rest.

    Overall, I really enjoyed the trip and I feel very privileged to help them and I want to thank God that we are so lucky to not have anything less in our lives. I’d definitely do this again.

    Devansh Damanir -8B

  3. For me, visiting the Girls' home of Sneha Sadan was a magical experience. It was one such experience that I will never forget. It was a lot of fun playing throw ball with them. I myself was the referee for the game.The team with most of the girls from Sneha Sadan won by a large margin. After that, a group of girls and I read a story to three young girls. All of them were keen listeners and were all actively part of discussions. We also played Antakshiri which was a lot of fun. We didn't even know half the amount of songs they knew! When I first entered the orphanage I felt very lucky to have very caring parents. During our visit, I realized that they were taken care of very well and they all were extremely content with what they had.

    When we were supposed to leave, none of us felt like going and even the girls living there didn't want us to leave. It would be a lot of fun if we could go visit them again. The next time we do, we all will try to come up with new games to play with

    Ayushi Gyianchandani - Gr 8 B

  4. Community service is one thing I really appreciate our school for, as it is taking an initiative for a good cause. So, once we entered the Girls’ home, the smiles on the faces of everyone that we saw, were priceless! Helping others seemed very nice because we received three gifts from them in return. One was friendship, the second was happiness and the third was respect. Simply that made my day. I look forward to such trips even more.

    Vanshika Shroff - Gr 8 A

  5. Our visit to Sneha Sadan Girl’s Home was indeed an amazing experience. The girls over there were very sweet and indeed very intelligent. We played throw ball with them and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. Some of us also read stories to the younger ones. One thing I learnt was to be happy with what I have because even though these kids are not exposed to as much as luxury as we are today, they were still so happy and friendly towards us. The thing I liked the most was that the sisters taking care of them called themselves “a family” and did not allow any of them to consider the other as an “orphan”. I find this very heart-touching. After that, we played Antakshiri where all of us had too much fun but unfortunately the time we spent there wasn’t enough and we had to go. I’m so glad we were able to help these children and donate clothes, food and books to them because I think they really deserve it. None of us wanted to really go back home as we felt so attached to that place. On behalf of all of us, we would really like to thank all our teachers for giving us this opportunity to visit this place and we hope to come here soon.

    Aashna Doshi - 8B