Successes Along The Way
Life has’nt been a bed of roses, but neither has it been just thorns. We have received back from the universe more than we can even imagine – joy, successes, contentment, and acknowledgments.
Let us share some of the successes which really meant a lot to us, and why.
1. March, 1996: Olympics for Special Children
Many of our kids cannot walk to school from their villages high up in the mountains. But they reached Dehradun for the Olympics for the Special Children. It was our first such accomplishment – it was the culmination of our journey of wanting to do something bigger than the normal.
This was BIG for us, because we had never earlier thought it was possible. We were so engrossed in our daily struggle, that this seemed a distant reality.
But it worked out well – we got support, we sent our children with our teachers, and we came back with medals which did all of us so PROUD!
2. Feb 1997: Bravery Awards by Godfrey Philips
We were acknowledged for a bravery of a different kind. Our “lady with the Mangaldeep “lamp”” was rewarded the award for having made a difference to the lives of the children in the mountains who otherwise would not have been heard or seen by society.
3. April 1998 – Anil passes 9th Standard!
What is so commonplace in most Indian households was a cause for some real celebration by us! This is because Anil, our student of 9 years had finally proven that the will is stronger than logic. He had struggled for years with learning the basics, moves into learning the Indian education curriculum (which you would agree is pretty intensive!), learnt to understand questions, answer them precisely, write with the correct use of language, draw and label diagrams, manage time, and trust in himself.
He did it! We had tears in our eyes with this success. it had been a long and arduous journey for him and all of us at Mangaldeep.
Since then, we have had 5 children pass their primary level, and 3 children pass their secondary level schooling.
Anil (name changed)
4. Participation in the Winter Olympics
We had never really thought we could be so ambitious as to train our children to participate in the winter Olympics. We had barely managed to teach our children basic skills of walking – where was the question of skiing and competing?
However, we decided to take our girl students to train for the Winter Olympics. We spent 5 days at Auli, learning winter sports.
We did not qualify for the competition, but it was a great success for us, since we had made a signification first step in this direction.
5. Sales of colors to a school in Almora during Holi
We thought we would do something different last year. We collected fallen flowers and leaves through out the year, dry them, and make herbal, natural colors for Holi.
We had a great response and one school in Almora asked us to supply their entire supply of colors for the Holi celebration! It was OUR children who made these!