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Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Kumlaish's Summary

As promised here is Kumlaish's and Ramesh's thoughts about their trip. I would like to thank them for sharing their thoughts.

Hi Everyone,

Our visit to DOM in Jharkhand had been on our wish list for several years. This year we decided to shift our priorities and planned to undertake the visit on a tight time scale of two weeks. It just felt like, now was the right time for us.

Although we had been involved with DOM since its onset and knew of the many projects and seen video footage of them. However, nothing could have prepared us for the most emotionally moving experience of our lives. On our arrival we were welcomed with an orderly seated sea of smiling faces. We felt immense pleasure and joy to see everyone, and knew we had indeed arrived.

We shared sweets with the children and staff and felt that our small gift was inadequate, in the face of so much love. The atmosphere felt as though it was charged with unconditional love and trust. The children behaved as if they knew us and addressed us as didi (sister) and jija ji (brother-in-law) we felt like we were their family returning form abroad, although we had never met them in person before.

The setting is beautiful and exudes a calm, disciplined and vibrant atmosphere. No child moans about having to do chores or study, in fact you are always greeted with a smile. From early dawn to dusk everyone is involved in purposeful activity. Able body children spontaneously help less able colleagues, at time the response for support is intuitive, as though they are forever watchful of the needs of others.

We had the pleasure and privilege to participate in a picnic outing to celebrate the New Year. The organisation was excellent and a real tribute to Rajesh, who appeared to have organised it without any visible effort, which we are sure, is our illusion. Everyone from all the different schools and projects attended and thoroughly enjoyed the day, some children and adults danced with shear abandonment for the majority of the time. Witnessing capacity for joy this was a humbling experience for us, as we could not remember the last time we enjoyed ourselves with so much unreserved pleasure. It was a day which we will never forget, our senses were overloaded with the sights and sounds and the memories will be with us forever.

There is just so much that is needed to be done there, e.g. teaching material, updated teaching skills, behavioural programme, and psychological support, career coaching, but most importantly what is needed is love and commitment. We have come back with our minds buzzing with all sorts of ideas of what could be done, the only problem is time and our commitment to work and family here. Our worldview has changed forever, our values are now all topsy turvy, nothing means the same any more. We in England have so much to offer if only we could make time and space. God willing, we will return soon and visit our family in Jharkhand.

Ramesh & Kumlaish


Blogger bijay said...

This is a great portrayal of your journey's - physical,
spiritual, and emotional. A truly life changing experience. I am hoping that we can all do this trip together next year.


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