Two years later we found ourselves returning back to the school in Bhuj to see our ‘buddios’. This time we took the Rickshawalas to share this amazing experience again with us.
After spending only two weeks with these children I didn’t expect to become so attached to them. They had definitely touched a place in my heart which made me want to come back to see them soon! As soon as we touched foot on the school ground again that warm welcoming feeling rushed through me as I saw the smiles and the waving children that I had created such a strong bond with two years ago. Many of them still remembered us and wouldn’t let us go. Although they had all grown up, that sense of innocence and appreciation for the help we all provide for them has not changed. Especially the younger children who now understand the incredible work CARE is doing to make a difference to their lives and how they have the doors of opportunities open for them to excel in life. Simply seeing those smiles on their faces reminded us that all the hard work and endless hours of meetings, discussions and planning have all been worth it! These children have left imprinted memories in our hearts forever.
One of the fundamental things, which we have realised since going back is that one will always leave an incremental footprint in someone’s life. Be it us making a difference in the lives of underprivileged children or these special children making a difference in our lives. Every moment, story and experience shared with the children opened up a new door of life not just to us but to them as well. It shows that the cycle of learning is on-going and we should never feel as though just because we are educated and live in the developed world that we are any better or more superior to those without an education. If you open your eyes and mind you will actually see that we are nowhere near as talented as these young minds.
People say knowledge is power and you gain this knowledge by reading books. However, what we learnt from these children and our experience is something that you cannot learn from a book! It’s something which you will only understand after you go out into the wider world and live a day in the life of someone else. When you take a step back from your own life and reflect upon how privileged you really are.You begin to change the way you perceive life and realise how different your life would be if you didn’t have everything to hand. We take a lot of things for granted and don’t even think twice.
When we returned from our first visit to Bhuj, we told our friends and family about our experience and eventually, the CARE Youth team was set up and the Rickshawalas idea was born. After telling CARE’s trustee Bharatbhai, his initial reaction was ‘I don’t know what Bhavik and Janvi have said to you guys about their journey to Bhuj, you suddenly came jumping with enthusiasm energy all wishing to do something for charity’. It wasn’t about what we said to the Rickshawalas it was about how these children changed our perception of life and the differences the Rickshawalas saw in us after returning, which made them want to share the same experience for themselves.