Wednesday, October 04, 2006
It has been nearly a month since I’ve been working with the Salaam Baalak Trust, and I’ve been finding the experience very rewarding. For those who don’t know, the SBT or the Salaam Baalak Trust is a trust run by the well known director, Mira Nair’s mother, for street children. The trust has a very good record of successful turnouts, many of them working as actors as well as professional photographers. As for me, ever since I had started visiting the trust, my view of life has totally changed.
Each one of the kids there, has a spark, a fire within them. They’ve lived through the worst, therefore, they want their lives to be compeletely different from what it was. Knowing them at a more personal level, as also helped me develop a more mature, and empathetic view for them and helped me relate to them in a better way. I now understand, that they are no way different from us.
I was introduced to the SBT through the city walk tours that they conduct, where the guides are the former street children themselves. When I reached there, I was greeted by a group of well groomed, well mannered young men, who spoke to me in fluent English. Imagine the extent to which my jaw dropped when I first came to know that they themselves were street kids sometime. That was when I learnt that any person, born in whatever conditions, needs grooming of the right sort to make a mark in the world. Anyways, what I love the most being here, is the whole hearted respect and the genuine quality of love that I recieve. When a person goes through the hardest of times, he starts appreciating life in a better manner, and that is the biggest lesson I’ve learnt here….. To appriciate and value the people in your life, especially your parents….. Most of the children here have been living away from their parents for quite some time now, most of them don’t even remember them properly, and the expression on their faces on showing them my parent’s pictures, or talking to them over the phone, while you are with them, is really something, that makes you feel jittery from inside.
But in the end of the day, so alive is the spirit within them, that not even for a moment they make you realise that they have been through so many miseries… they are what they are in front of you. They value and appriciate every moment that you spend with them, they value your feelings and they value you as an individual. This is what I love them for, the people here are REAL…..