Aarti and Bhumika do not address our Co-founder, Harmeet as their mother. They call her Didi. But deep down their hearts are connected. They speak different languages, yet these three are a team.
So, who is a mother?
What is the definition of a perfect mother?
Having met many mothers, we can say she or he is a person who takes on the whole responsibility to nurture and protect a child. She gives life―the most precious aspect of one’s mere existence. She is a beautiful existence, showing a real selfless love.
Aarti and Bhumika are real sisters. Their mother was suffering from Tuberculosis since a long time. Her battle ended last year when she passed away, leaving behind her three daughters. Her husband took solace in alcohol consumption and left the girls abandoned.
The girls were rescued by their grandmother, Manguben, who is too weak and barely supports herself. Theoretically, Aarti, Bhumika and their youngest sister, Neelam aged 8 years, 6 years, and 2.5 years respectively are orphans.
When she met the girls for the first time, she asked Aarti what she desires to become when she grows up.
“I want to be a domestic helper like my mother was,” innocently replied Aarti.
Her answer ripped Harmeet. Her unconditional love gave a lump in her throat. She thought that the only career option she could choose is domestic helper. Harmeet then asked her would she like to become a teacher, doctor, engineer or a social worker.
Aarti asked, “But how we become one of these?”
“By going to school,” replied Harmeet.
“Hmmm. Yes I want to go to school then,” Aarti replied with a content smile.
The NGO, the Pink Foundation adopted Aarti and Bhumika for their entire education. They have been enrolled in a residential school where they will be completing their studies till SSC.
Since Aarti had never attended school, though she was enrolled in a municipal school but could not attend due to her mother’s ill health, she got registered in grade 1 along with her younger sister, Bhumika.
With the help of a generous donor, the team was able to buy basic essentials for them like clothes, footwear, school bag, bed sheets, mattress, lunch box, pencil box, water bottle, pillow, bucket & tumbler, school uniform and other day to day things.
The team visit the girls once in a month and they share their everyday happenings such as making new friends, class fights, how well the food is, recurring monthly requirement like soaps or snacks, and most importantly, their never-ending gossips. Their smiles speak volumes. Seeing that anyone can say they are sharing their days happening with their mother.
Their father is still against their education because he wants his daughters to work as domestic helpers and earn money at this young age.
The team at The Pink Foundation is determined about not giving the girls back. They will make them study and become great human beings. It is like fighting a battle. Although, patience is a key here and and eventually the team will win.
However, we understand that sometimes a child has to work along with their parents to put the bread on the table when earning one meal turns out to be difficult if the whole family does not contribute. This is after all, a family, a union. Moreover, Aarti’s father wastes all the money mostly on alcohol and had never supported his daughters financially. Luckily, his brother’s wife has taken the youngest sister, Neelam under her care.
We sincerely thank the girls for trusting us and our decisions. Their confidence makes us do and behave better and better every day. We know life is hard ahead but together, we can make a difference.
The Pink Foundation is blessed to be associated with such kids.