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Written by Pallavi Dadarkar
In Jawhar, there is a small town located in the Palghar District of Maharashtra - Divya Vidyalaya. It is a residential school, but mostly a home for children dealing with visual and mental challenges.
Dharma, which most people know as ‘one’s duty’, resonated in every interaction within this school. All the staff, teachers and volunteers were so committed to nurturing the minds and hearts of the children. It was so heart-warming to see that even the children themselves showed so much care towards each other. One cute example is of an 8-year-old sister constantly caring for her 5-year-old brother. Both were partially blind and despite her young age, whenever he was crying or needed something, she took the responsibility upon herself to help and be there for him. The love and support everyone in the entire school showed formed the foundations of a community built entirely on compassion.
Just small interactions with all the inspiring individuals who have devoted their lives to the children, including the school's founder and head, Smt. Pramilatai Kokad, who started this school alone, highlighted the embodiment of Sewa and Dharma. It was so inspiring to witness their commitment to making a difference in these children’s lives. The teachers' dedication plus the kids' constant happiness shows a community that cares for everyone. It's a real-life example of Hindu values in action.
This experience really encouraged me to reflect on my own privilege and the things I might not notice in my everyday life. The children’s happiness that came from the simplest activities highlighted the difference between our perceptions of normality and the reality faced by these resilient individuals.
The lessons I learnt at the brief time spent at this school continue to inspire me and challenge me to reassess my core values and embrace the simplicity that brings true happiness.
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© Sewa UK 2023
Charity Number 1135425. Company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales No. 06976220. © Sewa UK 2023