Today is Sunday, which is considered as the only rest day of the week in India. Last Friday, there was a huge fire here that destroyed 9 dwellings and hospitalized one man. The tents were made of bamboo poles with discarded sacking, and saris or any other suitable materials acting as tarpaulins over the bamboo frames. The repercussions of this fire for the village are harsh. They have been ordered to leave the land within 15 days. And, even as we cook the food, we see one of the locals packing up a bicycle trolley and moving out of his house.
More than 200 children and adults that attended the feeding today, consisting of the traditional Indian food of puris, vegetable curry, and a banana for dessert. Because the fire destroyed everything that 9 of these very poor families owned and has affected the whole community, this feeding was not just for the children – it was for all members of the community and was warmly welcomed by children and adults alike.
This feeding was a great success and one of my most enjoyable feedings. It felt great to bring this village together at such a chaotic time. It felt joyous to play with the children and let them know that people care about them. It felt intimate to be brought into and accepted into this community in way I had not experienced before. The love and caring offered by the students of Sai Maa and the ASMITA staff, and the reciprocated gratitude from the villagers seemed to create a magnetic exchange and was an intensely rewarding experience.