Small things matter

Sunita Giri 9:55 PM |

Last time when I visited Bal Mandir, I was not allowed to enter in the main area where  children lives. Me being product of Bal Mandir and been there so many times without even needing permission of a staff as well as Nepal Children Organization, it was not something I could take it easily. I was never denied to enter in nor was asked why I enter in Bal Mandir. One or the other always knew that we once were one the children. Now after more than 20 years of leaving Bal Mandir and when its management was running by a Mitrataa Foundation, I have heard they are less corrupt and better management. They them self were not satisfied working with the team of NCO for so many reasons, needless to say corruption is one of the main root.

It was beginning of October 2012. I have made something which I wanted to give to Bal Mandir. For this, I have received support from many of my Facebook friends, who have given me some cash so that I could buy wools and then make some woolen caps, two caps for each children that made it 400 woolen caps . Once it was ready, I thought I could go there and then hand over it to all the children in Bal Mandir.

Having been product of Bal Mandir I knew the corruption but more than that I just wanted to be small part of all those years of meekly accepting the stuff from good hearted donors. But, when I wrote Rebecca Bec, Executive Director then, she mailed me there is no need for caps for the children. I wrote her back, I was not giving it with a thinking that they don't have a single cap. I  was fully aware they may be having already 3 sets of it; still I wanted to give it to them. She persisted why not I go to other children home and  give it to them. This kind of mail exchange tested my patience limit. I am nor foreigner not to know that Bal Mandir had several branches across the Kathmandu as well as many around the Nepal. I have my personal attachment to give it to Bal Mandir.

Nine mails exchange between us before I found myself standing in front of the shabby gate of Bal Mandir which could have led me to children room. Just inside the gate there was waiting chair for visitors, which was the picture perfect to scream for donation from all sides. Some children were playing there and now I was seeing them from the same eyes perhaps the others would have seen me decades before during my stay there in Bal Mandir. They were dressed very shabby and they looked dirty to me. I could see their runny nose and dirty faces as well as some legs that was filled with some pus filled small wounds. I thought  it  was not the same when we were there. Or maybe I was not that kind of children who ran with dirty nose or pus filled wounds. I was not that smart also to see myself from the eyes of an adult who has very sharp observation.

More than that the look of brazen kitchen garden and the deserted look it wore made me think hard. It was the place which used to grow vegetables for 200 people throughout the year. Now, it was just play ground  and it really spoke the sorry state of the Bal Mandir and its dire need for financial help.

I was not even allowed to enter in the office to hand over the goods I carried along with me. Rebecca had managed one of her staff to collect the goods from me who was waiting for me just inside the gate and then I have to leave from there. She even had told me in our mails to send me the pictures of children wearing those  lovely,  bright, colorful  woolen caps. Because I have asked some of my friends to help me for this small project of mine so the picture she promised really meant a lot for me. I could post it on my Facebook and thank all my friends who helped me to carry this small charity work.

I have visioned in my mind how happy and lovely those children will look in them, and the twinkle in their eyes will glow more as I myself had those experienced when I was in Bal Mandir receiving one of those goods handed over to us, whether by a staff or from the visitors. I was dead sure I would  get a couple of pictures and there will be 25, or 50 or even 100s of children wearing different designs woolen caps that have power to mock the gloomy look of winter[s].

Lets ignore the fact, that we had nine mails exchange before I was allowed to give small donations, lets try to igonre the fact, she had taken more than three months to send me those pictures as she had excuse that she was sick and had gone to Australia - her native land - for treatment. What was hard to ignore was she gave me the picture of only couple of girls wearing dim colored caps and it was not taken in their rooms. They must have called in the office to take those pictures. Should not she have let the picture speak louder than her sick excuse ? I needed those pictures, not only I was covering an article for my blog  which appeared on November 2012. But I also have some public responsibility, of those people who gave me money to make those caps. But to my surprise, it looked to me, the girls in those pictures were mere used to send message to the donor to ask more caps, than the picture which bore thank you note on it. Besides, she had sent me not the actual picture which I could use for my blog or post it on Facebook but PDF files, which I could not use it in anyway.

When I was in Bal Mandir condition of it was not so bad in so many ways. But lucky me or many like me who were there long before the management of it was even needed to  hand  over to other than a Nepali run charity foundation.  In fact it was managed and operated by Royal family. My small effort to give back something taught me a lot more story than I have asked for and from now on, I will refresh my mind only Nepali are corrupt or have murky conscience.

They say small things matter than big things.

Note : Early 2013 may be around may, I have received a mail from Rebecca, her management team which is [Mitrata Foundation] had handed over the management of Bal Mandir to NCO after completing 5 years contract.

1 comment:

The Sane said...

What a World!!! Damn it.

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