Volunteer Experience:ISHA VATSA
Udayan is a Sanskrit word signifying 'Eternal Sunrise'. The aim of UDAYAN CARE is to bring sunshine into the lives of the disadvantaged.
Udayan Care is a Trust under the Indian Trust Act registered with Sub Registrar III, on February, 1994.
With the very simple yet superb values “Courage, Commitment, Trust“ , the trust states its mission statement as 'Regenerate the rhythm of life of the disadvantaged.’
It goes without saying that this is not just an institution but the home where children get their foster parents; get the new window to the world which was not open for them before coming here.
The basic MISSION of UDAYAN CARE is :
Udayan Care's mission is to transform disadvantaged lives and make them into 'Eternal Winners'.
It supports the education of deserving girl students from weaker sections of the society through its 'Udayan Shalini Fellowship Program'.
It helps them shape their own futures:
It helps children overcome their past traumas and help them recognize and express their individual abilities, interests and talents.
It ensures that children receive quality education and skills training to be successful and contributing members of society.
The VISION of UDAYAN CARE is:
Establishing more Udayan Ghar across the country based on its model of Group Fostering, Mentoring, Community Ownership and Quality Care.
Reaching out to many more disadvantaged but deserving girls on a National level for Fellowship program .
Conducting more vocational courses under CREAT to enable our children as well as the nearby community to be self-reliant and to face the challenges of the world .Get Health Curriculum included in the regular school curriculum.
Reaching out to more non +) ve children of HIV affected parents.
My first day in UDAYAN:
6th of August, 2006, it was a hot Sunday noon, not the usual one but the first Sunday of August, Yes, it was a friendship day, my first friendship day when I was all alone having no friend of mine physically present with me.
I was waiting for this day very eagerly due to several reasons not just because it was FRIENDSHIP DAY and I was certain to get calls from my loved ones and I was dead sure to cherish those gone days again, but there were some other reasons too.
I had received a forwarded mail days before from Vikas an IBMer asking for people who were ready for volunteer themselves for UDAYAN CARE.
I had contacted the person whose name was given in that mail and he gave me his words to pick me up on this day to UDAYAN. But that person could not reach my residence and at last we decided to meet at a place known both to us and after half an hour, I was in the middle of a gathering of chirping, twiddling, twirling kids in the premises of UDAYAN.
For a moment I was speechless as kids started talking to that new friend of mine who had taken me there and I did not know how to introduce myself. Was I supposed to say: Hey Dear! Meet me Isha, a person who wants to make a difference in this world so she is in front of you, one who is going to turn your world upside down just by giving her few hours or something very simple and casual like Hey me Isha and you….??
In spite of being a very talkative person, I really couldn't speak to those kids because I really didn't know at that point if I had given enough thoughts about how I could make a difference to their life, if I was going to do something really meaningful to them. It seems strange but let me be honest that I really was clueless about my own thinking. Well that day was not bad at all; I met few more IBMers and many more people from different organizations.
We all sat together to decide what we were going to do to. I deliberately chose the children of lower classes to teach as I thought that it would be easier to mould them but My God! They simply proved me simpleton. William Wordsworth would have been very delighted if he had seen these children proving his quote: CHILD IS THE FATHER OF MAN.
Anyways, the day was a nice beginning since I made a start and there was something which had set me thinking, other than getting the company of twenty one amazing, small kids cum friends along with many more companions.
It is really amazing to see the curiosity in few of them to know about anything and everything.
At times, questions are very tough, sometimes the queries are simply French and German to me but most of time they are very silly and funny and Thank God, I am able to convince or confuse them.
It is never easy to start a thing in a new way but then life is generous enough to give us opportunities from time to time. We just need to come forward a step or two and the whole journey keeps on slipping beneath our feet. Some time when the world seems to be a very tough place to live in, these kids make me realize that life is still beautiful; we just need to keep our eyes open.
It was that single step I had taken days ago; I need to think a lot in coming days to keep on moving to achieve some of the aim set by my subconscious mind while thinking of these kids.
So think, think and think……
P.S: Thanks a lot Isha for this wonderful initiative, hopefully other volunteers will also post their experience.