Over a thousand children from orphanages came together for a sparkling evening

As Ramakrishnan, singer from a local orchestra, sang ‘Oodha Colour Ribbon,’ a number of children hummed along. When another group of children took the stage and danced to the ‘Google Google’ song from the movie Thupakki, young ones off the stage followed suit, forming their own creative dance moves.

For the 1,200 children who came together at the Bharathiar University Auditorium, this was a Deepavali celebration with a difference. These children were from 12 different orphanages in the city and participated in ‘Diya,’ jointly organised by ‘Youth Helping Hands,’ the Department of Social Work, Bharathiar University, and Sarguru Trust.

The objective of the event was to provide these children with a feel of the festive spirit, apart from giving them brand new clothes and daily accessories, which they can use.

Diya got off to a start by making the children paint their hands and leave behind the colourful imprints on a white cloth.

The evening became more energetic with a medley of dances to popular Tamil and fusion numbers performed by members of Sprint Hustlers, a local dance school.

A group of children from two orphanages joined the dance, sporting flashy red shirts. The dances were followed by a couple of drum solos by students of Vinayaga Music Academy.

It was now time to distribute new clothes, sweets and toilet kits to all the children. Many of them, who were attending such an event for the first time were visibly delighted.

“This is the first time I have witnessed music and dance performances on stage, and I was very excited. I would like to participate more actively in these celebrations the next year,” said P. Emmanuel, a 13 year-old boy from CMS Children’s Home in Ondipudur.

The annual celebration also had greater participation than in previous years, impressing the organisers.

“The participation far exceeded my expectations. It was very touching to see some children come up to me and say that they will organise an even grander event when they grow up,” said Arun, founder of Youth Helping Hands.