When we arrived, the food preparation was well underway, with local university students working alongside the ASMITA team. The fresh vegetables had just been cooked on a wood fire, which gave the vegetables a distinct flavour, and a handful of ladies were working to roll the dough and fry the bread called puris.
Despite their internal politics, it felt good that we were able to come and offer food to the children without asking for anything from the locals. In doing so, not only did we serve them but also through our offering we were an example to them of the value of unconditional service.
During the feeding, the focus was 100% on the children and it was re-assuring to see them all together, smiling and laughing. These children were very confident and mature, no doubt out of necessity because of their circumstances, so it was nice to see them relax and be together as children. They ate well, they loved it when we took pictures, and, when given the opportunity, they introduced themselves to our team with joy and excitement.
So many times the locals flood us with support in serving and preparing the food, but this time the activities were completely our responsibility. This provided the opportunity to experience the true meaning and value of unconditional seva, selfless service to others. With true service, there is no expectation or demand from anyone else and in doing so a beautiful space of unconditional love is created wherein everyone feels nourished and supported.