On 28 July, 2016, I had the opportunity to visit the SOS Children’s Village, Greenfields, Faridabad (Haryana). It was to attend the signing of Memorandum of Understanding between Huawei India and SOS Children’s Village India. Through their CSR initiative Daksha, Huawei India is going to help in the welfare and education of 982 children living in 10 SOS Villages of India across Maharashtra, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Telengana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. In addition, Huawei would also provide computers and internet facilities to 20 family homes in SOS Children’s Village, Greenfields, Faridabad (Haryana).
At the event, along with the chief guests and people from Huawei and SOS Children’s Village, many young girls were also present. All these girls were the inhabitants of the SOS village where the event took place.
I don’t exactly know what I expected while visiting an orphanage. I guess, my expectations were colored by the picturization pf orphanages in Bollywood or the one orphanage I’ve seen in Ghaziabad.
But the experience in SOS Village was quite surprising. At first glance, the place almost looked like a resort or something. It is clean and full of greenery and flowers. And the few girls of the village whom I met looked well dressed, happy and healthy.
Most of them were teenagers. And like all teenagers, standing in groups, whispering to each other and tittering seemed to be their hobby too.
I clicked a photo of a group of girl (below). And when I showed it to them, at least two exclaimed, ‘Aww, I look so fat!’ I couldn’t help but laugh at that. Really, girls are girls. Always terrified of being fat!
Another fear that has become habitual in Indian girls is the dread of becoming ‘black.’
The girls were expected to stand in the garden with dignitaries for a group photo. They were put into position first and had to wait for the guests for a few minutes. As they waited, some of them wailed, ‘The sunlight is so bright here. I’ll become black!’
I know that these girls must miss not having their own family. But their smiles were bright with the pride of budding youth and their eyes were full of dreams. I hope their dreams would come true. And now that Huawei India’s Daksh program will give them access to computer and internet too, I hope they will be able to use them to acquire knowledge and build a good future for themselves.