From speaking with the teachers, I learned that these children are not used to fruit. Many lower caste Indians can now afford to buy bananas occasionally for festivals and special celebrations. However most of the children at this school do not have even this small luxury. So the fruit they receive from Just One is a highlight in their week - a week mostly filled with bare essentials, family and survival. Of equal important to the care being received, is that the fruit provides a regular source of fresh fruit and the health benefits of fresh fruit that these children do not normally have access to.
On February 20th, we arrived at the school about midday and as I walked in I was struck by how quiet the children even though confined in such a small space. They were all sitting in their makeshift class rooms without teachers quietly waiting for the fruit distribution. Before long the large boxes of fruit were brought out and with the help of some of the older students we began distributing the fruit classroom by classroom.
There are about 340 students at Shiva Ji Mission school today. I was struck by how gracious they are when accepting this offering. As each one reaches out their little tender hands to meet mine I am moved deeply. They are so undemanding and have so much gratitude for what they receive it makes this rewarding beyond measure, filling my mind, body and soul with love and gratitude for being able to serve them. The facilities here are very very bare and it seems this school is just an abandoned yard that they are able to utilize to give these children some semblance of education. Yet another fulfilling day of life in Varanasi.
And photos from the 20th February