The serene sprawling campus of “Chiguru”, a home for street children run by the Don Bosco and Navajeevan Bala Bhavan on the banks of the Krishna on the Amaravati road near here, reverberated with a lot of fun and frolic on Saturday on the occasion of Children’s Day in a different kind of celebrations jointly organised by The Hindu in association with Vilan.
It became an occasion for about 45 students of 10th class from the city-based Akshara International School to mingle with the disadvantaged children, empathise with them and reach out to help them in a touching gesture.
The inmates of “Chiguru” struck an emotional chord with the guests by welcoming them with a dance number for the film song ‘Maanavatvam parimalinche…”
Freely mingling with the hosts, the students of Akshara exchanged greetings and later performed a few song and dance sequences by setting the stage on fire. The dance performance for the A.R. Rehman’s popular number ‘Jai Ho’ received wide applause from the children.
To prove a point that they were no less competent than anyone, a group of the girls of “Chiguru” performed another dance number for the rain song “Ennaallaku Gurtochchaane vaana…” Besides presenting their pocket money of Rs. 3,100, the Akshara students also offered biscuits, snacks and used clothes, which were brought all the way from their homes for the hosts.
K. Anuradha, senior faculty from Akshara, advised the children to focus on studies and set a goal for themselves to achieve something of their choice. Director of Navajeevan Bala Bhavan P. Michel, in his welcome address, thanked The Hindu for coming forward to make Children’s Day memorable for the inmates of “Chiguru”.
He complimented the newspaper for publishing inspiring reports about the achievements of rehabilitated street children, referring to the story on K. Chantamma, a student of IIIT Nuzvid. “It shows the newspaper management’s love for the children and the underprivileged,” he said.
Mr. Michel said Navajeevan was providing shelter to 1,000 children, including 30 youngsters who were pursuing engineering. “Three of our children have passed engineering and many others are now pursuing B.Sc.,” he said.
Some of the rehabilitated street children who came up in life, including Chantamma, Karuna, who is pursuing graduation, Veeranna, an orphan pursuing B.Sc. Visual Communications and Kiran, a mime artiste and a student of B.Sc., narrated how Navajeevan helped them continue their studies.
Representatives of The Hindu handed over the Rs.5,000 to the administrators of “Chiguru” on behalf of Vilan managing director T. Chandrasekhar Rao, who could not make it to the event.