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Updated: October 14, 2013 19:00 IST

Adding a spark

Vaibhav Shastry
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Arun, founder of Youth Helping Hands. Photo: S. Siva Saravanan
The Hindu Arun, founder of Youth Helping Hands. Photo: S. Siva Saravanan

‘Diya’ plans to bring cheer to children in orphanages this Deepavali

The festive season gives families a chance to get together, share food, buy themselves new clothes and crackers for Deepavali. But there are others who are not fortunate enough to enjoy these celebrations.

Youth Helping Hands, a group of volunteers who reach out to children in orphanages in various parts of the city and provide for their basic needs, apart from helping them develop their talents, will hold their annual Deepavali celebration ‘Diya 2013', which will give thousand orphans a chance to celebrate the festival of lights.

Diya 2013 will be held on October 26 at the Bharathiar University auditorium on Maruthamalai Road. Children will dance to the music performed by Nilambari, an orchestra group from the city. They will also get new clothes, sweets, soaps, pastes and brushes for every day use. For Arun, the founder who spent 18 years of his life in an orphanage himself, it is an opportunity to give these children a glimpse of a life that they are not used to.

“Children from orphanages do go to schools, but their lives remain restricted within the four walls of the classroom. Once they are out of the orphanage, it becomes very difficult for them to find work and survive. An event like Diya will give them a first hand experience of how a festival is celebrated, and also allow them to interact with other children from orphanages,” says Arun. Arun visits orphanages all over the city, makes a database of the number of children, their needs, education and of those with disabilities.

He also runs a music academy where he trains children from orphanages in singing and drumming. He says this builds their confidence levels.

“Orphans have an equal right to live as normal a life as anybody else. People, especially the youth should come forward to sponsor the educational needs of these children, rather than just donating clothes and food,” he appeals.

Those interested in sponsoring the children can call Arun on 9345559815/ 9790376745.

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