Sunita Giri 11:17 PM |

With 200 children inside Bal Mandir, there were always some children who were not normal, some disabled, some deaf who used to go to only deaf school in perhaps in Nepal , which is still inside the Bal Mandir premises and some children were autistic or down-syndrome. Those were the one, who could not go tot normal school, but, yet they too needed to teach and learn.

Volunteers for down syndromes : Some foreigners [white people], used to come, when I was aleardy in school and go, before I came back from school. As a growing up child in Bal Mandir, for me all white people were Americans and when they said, “NO, I am not”, then my reaction used to be always the same always, “ Oh ! you look like Americans.”

There was, this big room near by the office area, painted in all rainbow colors, and all kinds of pictures hanged on the walls. There were picture dangling on the thread which also was hanged from this side of the wall to other side of wall. All colorful papers and childish paintings on them. Their class room did not looked like our class rooms. It was a whole lot of different look than ours, because it was for down-syndrome children.

Volunteers for knitting class : so many people ask me where did I learn my knitting skills, which is so fine and perfect, than what they know. Well the answer is obvious, Bal Mandir, as it used to get, so many people coming in, to teach the best skill from what they already know. The art of sharing and passing is best part of this class. I myself was never ever in any such group although, there were many of my age group found the spot in those training classes. Kedar Shrestha, the housemother who hated me, must have, used her power to pull me from those classes, but it was not the much of complaining issue.

The one, who was in the group always used to share it with the rest of us, who were knit enthusiast, like me. Knitting was kind of staple skill or favourite time pass during the winter seasons, in the Bal Mandir. I think, those volunteers were from different countries like America, Korea and Japan. This gave us a chance to learn the best of all parts of the worlds little bit good skill from this and little bit good idea from that country. So, no wonder, if I have grasped all the best options, available there for me and made it my own style in all that and I am sure if, Kedar Shrestha, would have been alive, she would have coiled in red with jealousy. How good I am today on this skill, even though she had pulled me from all those classes.

Volunteers for Ikebana : I am quite not sure that his particular class was volunteered one, but there was this beautiful Japanese lady. She used to teach us this Japanese art of flower arrangements, which is called Ikebana. At the end of the training, when the exam was taken, to see how much we have learned, it was so surprising, that I have made it to the third position. Me ? on third place ? to some thing called room decor ? Nah, but then, it was truth also, whether I like to believe it or not.

Volunteers for physical hygiene : But the most life changing volunteers were from Nepal and these people perhaps could have been from the health sector. I am not quite sure, but perhaps they were doctors and nurses. They taught us to keep our toilets clean and wash our hand after each visit to the toilets. Prior to their visit and a week long [may be], training; toilets used to be Oh ! my God, dirty. There was not much of culture also in those days prior to ’85, too flush it, once we went to toilet to relieve us. Boys toilets, used to be even worse than girls, which is very common around the world and even after training, it did not changed much.

Of course, there was a man to clean it twice a day, but 200 children plus staffs and only about 20 toilets, needed frequent cleaning and lots of water to clean it. Those volunteers changed our concept, that toilets are meant to be dirty place. At least it cleansed in my mind forever.

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