“Richness is not in having, but in giving”, said Father Praveen of the Preethi Nivas Trust. Truer words are probably yet to be spoken.

In this fast-paced world of ours, we often forget to take a step back in our pursuit of material wealth; and understand what truly matters- love.

Real, unadulterated wealth can only ever be attained through wholehearted and selfless charity.

In a bid to truly understand this concept, we the students of CMR NPS undertook two charitable trips as a part of our school’s ‘Service Learning’ program.

After a short bus ride, we embarked upon the first part of our journey- our visit to the ‘Infant Jesus Children’s Home’.

The sun beat down heavily on us as we disembarked from the bus. The first thing I noticed as soon as I stepped down was the massive wrought-iron arch that denoted the entrance to the orphanage’s property.

A beautiful garden decorated the estate, at one end of which a pristine statue of the Virgin Mary stood tall. The main building was surrounded by two others- all built in the same architectural style.

We were welcomed upon our entry by one of the caretakers, who informed us about the difficulties the pandemic had brought upon them; as well as the pitiful situation of the women and orphaned girls who resided there.

Due to Covid’s safety precautions, we were, unfortunately, unable to meet with the residents, and therefore were unable to personally offer to them our greetings and well-wishes.

Undaunted by this new obstacle and yet eager to provide our assistance, we left them loads of supplies previously collected and donated by the students of our school.

The trip to the orphanage made me empathetic to the situation of the residents, as I am sure it did to many others.

As we left, all I could think about was the numerous ways I could further offer my help. 

The second and final leg of our journey took us to the ‘Preethi Nivas Trust’, an old-age home.

We introduced ourselves to the old men residing there, as students willing to learn from them and their experiences.

Father Praveen- who ran the trust- told us that most of the men who lived there were destitute. Few had any family who visited them, and fewer still had any family left at all.

Mentally ill people were also given a chance to live out their lives in dignity here, without fear of being judged or shunned by society.

We had a lot of fun interacting with the residents. Hearing the stories of such incredible people and listening to their thoughts was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

We carried out an interesting conversation where jokes and questions were traded to and from both parties- the older and the younger generations.

It made me miss interacting with my grandparents and reminded me to cherish them more often.

Before we finally had to set off for school, a select few students sang the ‘Cup Song’, by Anna Kendrick. We also donated another set of supplies.

The trip was extremely enlightening. At their core, these were normal people who just wanted to be loved- to live lives filled with joy, the same as the rest of us. 

To me and the 39 other students who travelled together, I believe this is one trip none of us will ever forget.

For granting us this marvellous opportunity, I would like to thank the school, the vice-principal as well as the co-ordinators who organised everything.

I hope the same program can be undertaken in the future as well so that all students can partake in this compassionate and selfless endeavour.

Posted by cmradmin

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