First of all I am sorry for again I am not writing regularly rather say I am not writing et al. I would not say I have been lazy but I really lacked motivation to write. In fact it would be more apt to say that I had no emotion so strong which could have compelled me to write anything. After long I have something which I really wanted to share with all of you and here I am.
I have never written in English on this blog of mine (I would create one separately soon) but this time it is more about expressing how exactly I feel about something. I yet do not know how this is going to be. It could be English, Hindi or may be Hinglish. I yet do not have a clear layout, I never have that anyways. Whatever it be, if it could convey the feel, its worth. I am just hoping that you will take it in the spirit I am writing it in, and there would not be any issues over the language I chose.
I always had a desire to do something for a social cause but as millions of other people it was a mere desire, may be a strong one, but which stays in your heart only. Though I helped people in whatsoever little way I could like occasionally cooking food for poor people, helping old and homeless by donating some money and similar things. We all do such things in fact. But it could never keep me content for long. I knew I was lacking somewhere. It would not have helped those people in longer run anyways. I tried to find other ways but could never find any. I must say obviously I was not trying hard enough.
Then I met this gentleman online. Okay, two third of my friends are the people I met online. Amazing friends I must say, who stood by me in my thick and thins. Hail world wide web! Long live internet. Coming back to the topic, I accidentally happen to this gentleman’s blog while I was looking for some travel related information. I must say I was stunned by the photographs he had clicked. I myself am a self proclaimed wanna-be-photographer. Or say that is something which interests me a lot and keeps me happy. I wrote a mail to the fellow stating how I loved his aesthetic sense and how amazing his photographs ( Now his photographs means photographs clicked by him) are. I got a humble reply. And obviously in my next mail I was asking him about tips and tricks about photography. Quite an opportunist I am.
That was way back in January. Soon our area of discussion widened. We shared this feel of helping others, the only difference was that while I was still thinking of ways, he already had discovered one and was already acting. Despite of a busy schedule, despite of all life’s ups and downs he always had time for something which is actually making a difference. I felt moved. I felt motivated. Hence this post as I wanted more and more people to know about this organization, Prashant (Okay, this is his name) and his friends are working for.
Prashant works for Sankalp which is a part of an organization named ASK (The Association for Stimulating Knowhow). Sankalp is located in Moradabad and is working towards “Ensuring normal childhood to working children in brass industry of Moradabad”. In Moradabad, children have been working in places which are smaller than 20 sq ft. and full of fumes. Someone like us might not be able to stand in there for more then 10 minutes and they work the entire day. As I am told, the average life span of men living and working there is usually around 40-45 years only because of the extreme conditions they work in. Sankalp’s aim is to educate children of people working there so that they have hopes of better future. Presently a total of about 500 children, many of whom were earlier working somewhere or the other now attend school in one of these centres. There are few kids who went ahead to do their class XI, XII and then graduation after studying at Sankalp. You can view few heart warming pictures of these kids here.
Sankalp happens to be a self sustainable model where they build up on their own resources internally and keep the motivation high. We all however can participate in the cause in one way or other. Recently Prashant and his friends visited Sankalp, donated some stationary and organized few events for the children. One of which was the painting competition.Instead of stacking these paintings into some cupboard and then forgetting, it was decided to sell those in order to raise some money for funding the education of 2-3 ( or as many as possible, depending upon the funds raised) children for an year. Now theses paintings are no masterpieces of art but they are much more beautiful in their own sense. They represent the hopes and the faraway dreams of those children. A true representation of their feelings. A mirror to their souls. And those of you who have children can actually see that these kids are no different than ours. Yesterday only I got to know about this little girl whose first question to an ASK representative was ‘Main Doctor kaise banoongi?’. She had the spark, she had the determination, clarity of her aim and may be the potential to achieve it too. But its just that they are not as privileged as we are and that too for no fault of their’s. Isn’t it a responsibility of each of us who are blessed by the almighty, to extend a hand of help to these kids? Most of the time we hesitate to help as we do not know if the money or the other means are actually reaching the needy. Even I used to feel the same. But I must say Prashant is one of the most genuine persons I have ever met and is a gem. And while I am trying to help him in whatsoever little way I can, I know I am helping the ones who need it.
You can visit the site of ASK in order to know about their activities and the modes of help in case you wish to. If you wish to buy one of the paintings done by those kids you can have a look here and here. Many of these are sold, its been mentioned under the painting in that case. Now for a painting done by a second grader you may find it quite expensive for once and I agree to that but that price is not for the painting, it is the price for a little one’s dream. So go ahead if you wish to. We wish more and more people get to know about this. Spreading the word is another way you can help. Please tell your friends and relatives about it. We need your support. I am sure the collective little efforts of ours would make a big difference in somebody’s life.
I have picked few pieces of ASK related information from Prashant’s blog. I am glad I met him and that he is my friend. Prashant, if you are reading this, I respect you for what you are doing for others and cherish the relationship I share with you. Thanks for being my friend.
And I think that was all I had to communicate through this post. I just hope I was able to do it at least up to some extent. I request you all to please come forward and help us in changing lives for good and making few dreams come true.