Spending time & Mentoring Kids at Shishu Mandir

Shishu Mandir is a school located in KR Puram, Bangalore, which serves children from an extremely under- privileged background from 12 villages in the vicinity. The children come from the most desperate of situations, often with alcoholic fathers and despairing mothers and their future looks bleak. At Shishu Mandir they have been receiving education, love and care, guidance in their careers to reach a life of self-sufficiency and independence.
For the last 6 years, my family has been sponsoring 3 girls for their education- Lavanya, Krithika and Likitha, who are now in grades 3rd, 6th & 7th. We used to keep visiting them once in a while to see how they are doing. We also used to celebrate some of the happy occasions in our lives by sponsoring meals for the entire school- which included birthdays in our families as well as my grandparents 75th anniversay, which we had celebrated in the school. In fact, this year, these girls had done a video for my mother’s birthday and sent it to her as a surprise.
During the pandemic, we were not able to visit for a while, so a few weeks back, my mother and I went to meet all the 3 girls and we decided to take them out for lunch to spend some time together.
We went there around noon and they were eagerly waiting for us! First, we gave them a goodie bag with a few chocolates and biscuits which brought a lot of smiles to their face. Then we went around their school and asked them how school was going on during the pandemic and what all they’ve been doing. They were also having online school on their mobiles which was given by their schools.
After spending a while in the school, we took them and their teacher, Stella to lunch to a nearby place, KMR Hotel. It was an open place with a lot of greenery. The kids were extremely excited since this was a first time experience for them. We had a great lunch with some chinese cuisine which seemed to be a favourite of the girls. The restaurant was also very hospitable and made some special dishes for us, as a nice gesture. We spent out a lazed time taking about all what they’ve been doing and told them how we’ve been spending our time. Finally, we wrapped up with our favourite ice cream flavours.
As we started to return, they did something very sweet. They quickly opened their back-pack and handed us thankyou cards and thanked us a lot for the day!! The cards were really very thoughful.
I had a great day experience with them and hope to meet them again soon. I am now connected with these girls and we have a whatsapp group and it’s fun as “Divya akka” caught up with their daily banter in life!