November is school exams in Varanasi, so the number of students from the local schools is very much reduced today. One of the teachers came especially to explain why the students would not be coming as a group today. However as the students finished their exams they still came through the Ashram to receive their special meal before returning to their homes. The meal, especially the kheer, a rice pudding, is a treat for them and provides a welcome end to their exams for that day.
Once most of the children finish eating, we also serve some of the local adults. They always patiently wait until the children are attended to. Many of these adults regularly attend and most are elderly, unemployed or have mental or physical disabilities. Sadhus (holy men) also visit if they are in the area. One almost blind man who attends each program is given a seat at the front of the Ashram and served here so that he does not have to negotiate the steps and other obstacles to reach the main program area. We always make sure that not only does he receive his meal, but that his hunger is fully satisfied.
In total about 120 children and 40 adults are served a meal today due to the generous donations from the Sai Maa global community.