As I was walking across the various cottages and galleries at Gandhi Ashram, I came to a cottage- the Gift shop of the ashram with a corridor where some kids from under-privileged section of the society were making hand painted greeting cards, stickers, key chains and beaded necklaces. As I interacted with them, I came to know they were working with an NGO – Manav Sadhna. These kids went to school in the morning and from school came direct to this place at noon time and made small craft items that were sold to visitors like me in the gift shop. Moved by the enthusiasm of these kids, who were from a nearby slum area, I bought a few souvenirs.
As I was talking to them, a little girl came and fixed a badge of their NGO on my shirt. I was moved by her gesture. I sat down thinking of spending some quality time with them. And then I put my hand within my purse to take out the foldscope. All the kids gathered around me and here I was having fun and exploring nature with the kids. One of the kids asked me politely “Aunty who made this and can I get one”? My eyes were filled with tears of joy as I remembered Manu. The time spent with these kids was that of utmost satisfaction. In the courtyard of the ashram were many shrubs and trees. I collected samples from there and showed pollen to them. We also looked under foldscope the cotton and the thread – Suut (as they call it), the samples which sister Girija had given me to make a wick for my lamp in Puja room. The lamps had been lit with curiosity beaming on the faces of these kids. They were happy to know their pictures wil be put on a global platform – Microcosmos Foldscope Community.
As the sun was setting, I also got up to leave the place with cherished memories of the outreach activity of foldscope at the divine place, from where the Dandi March and Namak Satyagraha had started.
Thanks Manu and Jim, for the smile which you can see on the faces of these less privileged kids.