We had the two most amazing days of our lives over Christmas break when we visited Anbarasi, a Miracle Foundation Home in Southern India. Besides the fun we had spending time with kids of our ages, it also opened our eyes a lot from seeing kids who are having a “bit different” life from the ones we see here for kids here in Westlake in Austin on a day to day basis.
After our return from Anbarasi, we reflected on the whole trip and made a list of the interesting things we had observed on the trip. The trip has changed our opinion of what an orphanage is really like, particularly those run by the Miracle Foundation. These are few of our observations we would love to share with you all.
a) From the time we arrived and traditional Indian welcome and dance show they put on for us through all the fun activities we did, we observed that they were excited and smiling and laughing most of the time. These kids in general were extremely happy. That was not our expectation before we went there because the image of an orphanage is one of sadness and a lot of crying.
b) When we went around the campus for a tour we were again surprised with the quality of the campus’ infrastructure. We expected to see a stereotypical orphanage like in an Oliver Twist movie. Instead it was much better than we expected and looked like a newly painted dorm of a school with pictures of elephants on the walls. It also looked a lot more beautiful than the buildings around it which were gray and drab. Outside, it looked like the garbage man had not come in 10 years, while inside the place was very clean and we felt very comfortable being there.
c) These kids also were quite talented and some of them very good dancers. We asked one of the house mothers how they knew how to dance so well. She told us that they were all self-taught, and we thought this was truly amazing. It also showed how self-driven these kids were.
d) Another observation was that we were amazed how healthy the kids looked. There were many factors that likely contributed to their good health. The first big reason the kids looked so healthy is the food they eat. It is extremely delicious, nutritious, and the kids often go back for multiple helpings. The second is the level of cleanliness particularly for the bathrooms and toilets. This is most definitely better than what we see in Oliver Twist.
e)Lastly, we were very impressed with how well these kids took care of each other and their surroundings. For example, right before we sat down to eat, two boys got out brooms and cleaned the floor of the dining hall. We also saw these kids, wash their own dishes and clothes, and put their beds away and in general keeping the place free of clutter. Compared to the kids in my school, who wait for their moms to clean for them, this is so incredible. When one of the little kids wanted to rest, they rested their heads on the bigger kids’ laps. We saw very little bullying or taunting and they all seemed to live like a happy family.
These kids could be pitied by some people, but I don’t think one should feel that way at all. In fact, it does not appear, these kids feel any remorse or pity for themselves. They seem to want to make the most of life as they have it. A very big reason it is possible is because of their caretakers and of course the love and the help they get from the Miracle foundation. The Miracle foundation has given these kids so much and we are so fortunate and proud to be associated with the organization.
Overall, this was such an amazing experience that we will cherish for a life time. We promised the kids that we will be back next December and we are already so eager to do that that and help have a positive impact on their lives.
Much Love & Respect,
Sidharth & Rohit