For Eid, a time of joy & giving: ঈদৰ উপহাৰ কুহিঁমেলৰ শিশুলৈ।
Like a dream carefully dreamt, Kuhi-mel is Bindu's most cherished dream.
There was a time when every Saturday, children would assemble and with their bright eyes and perked up ears take lessons from Bindu's volunteers - but that was a time before social-distancing became the norm, before the assembly of people was not a threat to people's lives themselves.
TVs, phones are not accessible to them; but they protect their dreams from the harsher realities of their lives - from the perils of intoxication, addiction and crime.
Kuhi-mel gives these hopeful kids the opportunity to explore extra-curricular activities, things beyond the curriculum and of course, the curriculum too - as we are aware that when they go back home, circumstances may not be as conducive for studying.
In the small yet humble perimeters of Bindu, they smile, they dance, they draw, act sometimes too and ask questions about arithmetic, the alphabet and let their curiosity strive.
The mini road-show (nukkad-natak) that these little children had put out on the 8th of March, 2020 was the last that they performed, this was on the occasion of International Women's Day, centering on Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao.
While we had restarted the classes in April, they had to be stopped again and we realised that they had fallen behind - accesibility to online, and resources to access them are close to none; but that must not be a suprise as they rarely even have water supply - even that is a luxury.
Today's Eid, there were discussions rampany always in our classroom as to what the children really wanted, what clothes they will get (or be handed down), some special meals, etc.
So, in the month of Ramzan, after counting the days, finally has arrived the prosperous day of Eid; while our prayers and blessings are always with these young hopefuls, there's also been a gift in the works at Bindu.
A couple of bags:
The bag has some sanitizers, a mask, Vitamin-C capsules, cakes, pencils and erasers and notebook - just to get them kick-started.
This distribution was aided by Buli Bhuyan and her son, Ujjwal Bhuyan - thank you to them.
To bring the children some joy, some incentive to come to the renewed Bindu, Dalimi Haloi sewed fifty cloth bags in a day; and you must admit they are quite the bags!
Wishing and praying for you safe health, and a prosperous Eid.
Bindu, an NGO.