What happens of orphaned or abandoned children? Usually, they spend their childhood in an orphanage. These are places where many kids in similar situations share a gloomy space. They all compete with each other for some meager resources.
The picture in Odisha’s Adruta Children’s Home is like any other household. Kids of different ages start their day with meditation. They help each other with studies in the evenings. They pursue their hobbies like art, music and dance. On Sundays and other holidays, they go on vacations. The size and composition of this family may surprise you, though. It consists of more than 400 kids and their ‘house mothers’. However, it is not a family home. It is an orphanage.
These kids were either destitute or born of unwed mothers and found amid garbage. Founder chairman of the home Dr Aditya Kumar Mohanty says, “A kid must not get punished or feel marginalized because of circumstances beyond his control.”. It was because of this sentiment that he started rescuing such children.
The eldest kid of the home is 26-year-old Purnima who is now married and has her own kids. She was the first kid rescued by volunteers of the home in 1998. She and six other kids from the home are part of a dance troupe that has performed all across the globe. Kids also learn vocational arts like tailoring, embroidery, making soft toys, food processing, etc.
In fact, the kids in the home are encouraged to pursue any talent they may have, follow some hobbies and acquire skills that help them become prized assets of the society. All kids of the home celebrate their birthdays on the same day in a grand festivity.
“The aim behind all this is to give the kids a family-like atmosphere. We get all our girls married and prepare the boys for some jobs, just like their parents would have,” said Dr Mohanty.
You can help the Adruta continue their work for abandoned and orphaned kids by contributing to their campaign here.