I visited an NGO few months back, The Refuge Foundation, near Hennur Main Road, Bangalore as a part of my assignment work in college. It’s a non-profit charitable organization started for orphaned girls by Mrs. Beulah. The place currently has 27 girls from ages 3 to 15 years.
As soon as I entered their house I was welcomed by Beulah aunty and 27 little smiling faces. I instantly felt at home! Beulah aunty is called ‘Amma’ by all the girls and she is nothing less than an inspiration. She started the place almost 10 years back. She says her main motivation for starting this place was the fact that she couldn’t have a girl child. She says she has 27 daughters now who are god’s blessings in her life. She is more than happy taking care of them and she says they are a dream come true for her! When I asked her how she managed with 27 of them, as my mother struggled with just 2 kids, she said it does get tiring but when god has answered your prayers for a girl child in such a beautiful way, it never feels like a burden. Her positive outlook towards life really touched my heart and I couldn’t stop admiring her and her 27 beautiful daughters. She treated each one specially and was a real mother, Amma, to all of them.
The atmosphere there is full of love and compassion, which is most essential as the girls brought there are usually from slums, and some even rescued from red light areas. Beulah aunty narrated few incidents and I had a chill run down my spine! I couldn’t imagine such little girls going through such horrendous situations in life. Beulah aunty firmly believed that love and compassion heals all wounds and she has seen these little girls have the ability to move on when treated with love and affection. I was indeed amazed as love is something most of0 us take for granted and don’t think is important to express. But seeing its healing power I made a mental note to express more often, especially when someone dear is going through a rough phase.
Little things make these little girls smile. I had taken some of my old books, clothes and jewellery which were in good condition, to give to these girls. They all lit up when they saw the clothes, books, especially the jewellery. The feeling of satisfaction at having given these to the girls instead of disposing it off was tremendous for me. I had a smile that never left my face. I found myself sitting with the girls and even reading few of the books and helping them wear the jewellery. The child inside me came out as the energy and joy of the little girls was infectious. They have really learnt how to celebrate life and find happiness in the littlest of things. This is again something we forget overtime with our hectic schedules and demanding lives. With those girls, I lived in the moment and forgot all about the external world. I got so much happiness, love and satisfaction in return for the little things I had given them.
There were other visitors who dropped by later and the girls behaved so well. They were given cupcakes, which they waited to start eating till each one of them got the cupcake from the visitor. They even waited till their Amma got the cupcake! These life lessons are truly learnt through life experiences, sharing and caring for one another. Again these tiny tots had proven that, it’s these small things in life that truly matter. The older girls always helped and took care of the younger ones and it was very evident when they all started getting ready to go for a function. They took care of each other like sisters and were a one big happy family. Beulah aunty had managed to instill those values of kindness and compassion in them, which takes ages for many people to realize and implement.
This was one such moment in my life that I would cherish for the rest of my life. Every time I think about Beulah aunty and the girls, it inspires me, gives me strength to take a step towards helping someone less fortunate and putting a smile on their face. They make me believe that humanity, goodness and kindness still exists in this world. We see so many heroes in movies but Beulah aunty is a real life hero!