It’s funny how we always think we don’t have enough time on our hands, that we could do with more than 24 hours a day! And here I realize how much much can happen in one month that I have not been able to go out  – the house-warming ceremony back home in Bengaluru, the Vijay Diwas vigil, lunch with Rashmi Bansal courtesy BlogAdda, so many things at work and continuing the trend, the Independence Day celebrations tomorrow. I have never missed attending the flag hoisting – first in school, then in the community we lived in and for the last few years I have even been lucky to celebrate it in different locations in the midst of certain great souls showing us the path to tread on – 2009 in Munnar where I went in search of and found the workers of the tea estates rejoicing in celebrations and joined them, 2010 in some of the remotest areas near Bhadrachalam where people are going all out in taking education to the most needy and 2011 meeting some more such inspiring folks in and around Warangal here.

And so, even if I see people around complaining about not being ‘independent’ in the real sense, I live in hope and not any false hope because I have seen people like the above working for that glorious India that she has always been and been covered in dust because of her very people, Us! Why do we blame our country for what the system is, for what the representatives that we have chosen have been doing, how many of us have pitched in to do what we can or raised our voice for the right things, how many of us have tried to dig in and see and understand the truth rather than believing in the version a few bought over channels show?:(

Like I said in the last post, I missed sharing a lot many things in this space. And one such thing is about the totally awe-inspiring folks I celebrated Independence Day with last year.

Rajni was just like any other youngster holding a lucrative job in Delhi. One thing she had been inspired by her teacher in school was to keep a sum aside every month and give it to people in need. It was when she went to give this pooled money to two kids who had been affected by HIV and had lost their parents, that her life took a different turn altogether. Her heart did not allow her to just give these kids money and return back and so she took them in as her own. Living with them made her realize her calling was in providing home to more such kids. She quit her job, her belongings were thrown out of her own house and distanced by her parents, yet she did not give up. Rajni started ‘New Life Society‘ in Warangal – a small rented premises which currently houses about 15-20 young ones. Rajni is brave – she was talking about how she can’t shed a single tear because that makes her children feel low, she cannot express pain or fear when her children are well one minute while they lie down with fever the next.  Just in her late 20’s, Rajni is ‘Akka‘ to all those kids for whom she means the world. Her parents are now with her and have become ‘Ajja‘ and ‘Ajji‘  (grandparents) to all her kiddos. I was in awe of this lady and till date, can’t decide if I would have really taken the plunge in her place – it takes so much to do this, but she has not given up all these years. Rajni is now a good friend and keep sharing how she sometimes has not provisions even for the next day but someone turns up like a God-send in time to provide for the same.

A few pics from when I met her and the kids last year

The little shelter that houses them all
The decoration by the kiddos
Isn’t that cute?

The kids had collected flowers and twigs and made such lovely bouquets for all of us who visited them that day.

That is what they live by – Hope!
Spreading Smiles 🙂
And that’s Rajni! Take a bow!

If that was not enough energy for the day and even though we were running really late to return back to Hyderabad, we decided to visit a residential school for (I had never expected) shepherd boys in a village called Kothagudem. The people involved put in such efforts to convince these children who are happier romancing nature with their goats and sheep. The entire route was through a forest and absolutely no lights at all. Imagine such wonderful initiatives in the remotest corners of India!

Yes! That is the hut that houses them.
Look how organized they are
The boys did this 🙂

They engage the boys in various activities to keep them interested in studies. Here are a few things they have made and proudly displayed them in front of our eyes (literally) !

Happy Independence Day folks 🙂 We still have a lot of good if we look and see around! Stay happy 🙂