Have you ever seen or come across an underprivileged child and felt a tug at your heartstrings? I cannot recount the number of times that has happened. It is so sad that there are millions of kids and babies out there who’ve been abandoned and nearly done for either by cruel, heartless people or unfortunate circumstances. Thankfully, there still exist people like you and me who can be like breaths of fresh air in atleast some of those lives and help them forget their worries and smile for a change.
While we genuinely want to do something to help, we get wrapped up in our busy lifestyle and keep pushing the good deeds it to a ‘later day’. Sadly, that ‘later day’ never arrives for some of us. Including me. Yes, I’m shamefacedly accepting my inadvertence. I used to do a lot of volunteering with and donating to orphanages and old-age homes when I was in high school and college. Seeing the glee on those faces would give me a high like love no other. Apart from that, my family would spend one out of the three days of Diwali at an orphanage. We’d take sweets, crackers, clothes, stationery for the kids and also help the organisation with some grocery supplies. Somehow, all that has unconsciously stopped in the recent past. Needless to say, I’m very unhappy about it. And extremely ashamed to boot.
Look at the tiny tot in the left corner in the picture. I’m sure she’s nothing more than 2 years of age, and yet how obediently she is sitting there and patiently waiting to be served. Such discipline. A kid at home would probably have bawled his/her lungs out by this time and jumped to a hundred different places, making the mom run around him/her in circles, to be fed the food that is so easily available. Such is life.
From what I’ve noticed, all that the underprivileged crave for is love. And care. And when they get those, the resultant 1000-watt smiles you see on their faces is a sight that you can experience only if you make it happen. I am weeping inconsolably as I write this, cos I realise how much I’ve missed this joy in the recent years.
While some of us keep putting off the good deeds, there are some kindly souls who selflessly take the initiative of making a difference. A big difference. A really really gigantic difference. Like my friend Siri Pulipaka of ‘Cooking with Siri‘ who is organising a fund-drive for a destitute home called Vaidehi Ashram that houses girl children in Hyderabad. [That's Siri and some of the sweetiepies at the ashram in the picture above].
Vaidehi Ashram is home to about 108 girls (from 3 to 22 years of age) who either have no parents or only a single parent who can no longer afford to take care of them. Each has a story of her own which will melt your heart and reduce you to tears. The tiniest tot at the Ashram, Samatha (as Siri was told), was seen wandering on the streets near a railway station with her baby sister, when the police rescued them both and brought them to the ashram. I’m nothing short of teary-eyed every time I play the scene in my mind. So I’ve decided I’m doing my bit to help Siri with her fund drive.
How I’m helping
I’m playing a small part in Siri’s fund-raiser. I’m giving away:
- 4 slots in my Chocolate Nirvana Workshop (conducted in JP Nagar, Bangalore), each worth INR 1800. Code RF2
- A Gift-box of 12 Assorted Cupcakes – for 10 lucky winners (shipping within India only), each box worth INR 600. Code RF5
How you can help
1. Buy a Raffle Ticket (or 2 or more)
Each raffle ticket is worth $10 (or INR 500). You can increase your chances of winning the giveaway by buying more than 1 raffle ticket.
For Example, a donation of $20 (or INR 1000) will fetch you 2 raffle tickets which can be used to choose on any of the raffle prizes. You can use all your raffle tickets on one prize (in turn increasing your chances of winning in the lucky draw) or on different prizes.
2. How to Buy the Raffle Ticket/s
Use the widget here for making your payment. You will see a ‘Chip in’ widget slightly off-centre in the very first fold of the page on that link . Once you click on it, you will be able to make a payment via Paypal or credit. If you wish to make a donation in rupees, please contact Siri at the below mentioned email address for her account information.
Once the donation process is completed, please forward your payment confirmation message to info(dot)siri(at)gmail.com, clearly specifying either [RF2 - Chocolate Nirvana Workshop] or [RF5 - Assorted Cupcakes Gift Box] as the raffle prize/s you are interested in.
Within 24 hours, your name and contributed amount will be added to the ‘Fund Drive Supporters List’ at the very end of this post. If you want to stay anonymous, please let Siri know in advance. For any correspondence / questions / queries, use the comment section of Siri’s post or email Siri at the email address mentioned.
3. Other Raffle Prizes Offered
A lot of other kind souls have come forward to offer their support to the drive by sponsoring other prizes. You can use the same method (as in Step 2) to try your luck with other prizes too. Please refer to Siri’s post which has a comprehensive and exhaustive list of all the raffle prizes being offered.
This fund drive ends on Feb 25th, 2012.
Note: If you are not in India, and would still like to bid raffle tickets in favour of the raffles I’m contributing to this drive, you could sponsor both raffle prizes to a deserving friend/relative living in India.
Also, Siri and I would really love it if you could help spread word about the drive amongst your circle of family and friends. Share this post on your Facebook wall, Tweet about it (use hashtag #VaidehiAshram), Email a link of this post to someone who you think would value this. Any help is greatly appreciated. When God gives you an opportunity to be an angel to someone as deserving as these children, don’t miss it.
If my words have pulled at your heartstrings in even the remotest way, I urge you to make a difference in the children’s lives, no matter how small.
Every. Little. Helps.
Go the distance! Make a difference!
Siri, I am proud of you for what you are doing. With you all the way. May the fund-drive raise be a roaring success and bring a huge huge difference in the girls’ lives. Wishing you the very best in this endeavor!
[Note: All images courtesy: Siri Pulipaka]