Volunteer Diary, Blanket Project Day 2:
Night of 28th December, 2014
Home for abandoned children with severe special needs
There is one home in village Saraya run by nuns from Kerala. They have 30 children who are mentally challenged. Most of them are girls who have been abandoned by their families on the roadsides, on railway platforms and bus stops because they either did not want to bear the responsibility of bringing them up or could not afford to do so.
These nuns bring such children to this home and look after them. We gave 20 blankets to them. The blankets are large and Sister said that she would cut them in half and stitch the edges to prevent them from fraying.
Hospital corridors and hospital on the night of 28th Dec 2014:
We again walked the hospital corridors and wards on the night of the 28th. There were two families where 4 persons were huddled under one thin blanket. We gave each of these families 2 blankets instead of 1.
We now have just a few blankets left over and will carry on till this current Phase 1 stock runs out. This has been going every night with the help of volunteer friends. We start at about 9 in the night after dinner and end up at 1 or 2 o’clock in the early morning. We have to be outdoors throughout this period of 4 to 5 hours and the night temperature in this area is about 3 to 4 degrees. It’s a little crazy in these long hours but at least we know that we have a warm home to come back to. Hence the good feeling of being able to help so many in few hours of work keeps us going.
It takes very long to distribute very few blankets as in the hospital we first visit all the wards and corridors and then identify the people we will distribute to, and then in the second round quickly distribute and move on. If we don’t do this lot of people collect around us to ask for blankets and then we don’t know who is in need and who is not. On the streets it’s a little easier. We just distribute and move on.
Atul Chopra, Legal Counsel and Volunteer, Maitreya Project Trust – Kushinagar