152 donors, 20 countries, 52k USD raised - Huge thank you!
I happened to visit India on a short trip and was lucky to spend a few hours at Lotus Petal.
Here are highlights of what I saw.
1. First, your donations are making a difference.
Lotus Petal Foundation raised about 2 crores in the recent fundraising drive at DelhiAirTelHalfMarathon and came up #1 (even surpassing Bharti foundation). Your 33lakhs were a huge contribution to that. Thank you.
|12 new classrooms being built|
2. Things that hit you off the bat when you visit Lotus Petal is the dignity and respect that these kids have. Each one has a neat clean school jersey. There are no special guests. You, a visitor, get a visitor batch. Kids pass you by, waving a "hello sir, how are you" and seem busy with their day. It's fresh and vibrant. No smell anywhere (a usual at govt schools and even some private schools if my memory serves me right). Staff and students have access to same food, same water and yes, same toilet. No division, no levels. Did I mention genuine smiles on everybody's faces? The green grass, neat and clean classrooms (given Gurgaon dusty air, I bet you that there is a person wiping the desks every few hours or is it the kids keeping their surroundings clean?), each classroom was well lit (with huge 4x6 ft glass windows in every wall of the classroom so you can see from outside without interrupting), nice cool breeze - are all very inviting. I felt like picking up a book and sitting in one of those desks or in the green grass in the garden.
|Lunch prep at scale|
|Rita: keeping an eye on entire school|
|DNA structure class anyone?|
|Had an interesting conversation with these confident young guns|
|Be the change you want to see. The inspiring leaders Saloni and Kushal. Such a joy to meet them.|
|Nervous or Happy faces? - Final exams in 2 months. World - here we come!|
|Getting my fundas cleared on DNA structure|
|Temporary store room to hold kitchen supplies|
You could see the focus in their eyes.
And if you looked below the layers, you could also see this "subtle urgency" to be out there in the real world and prove their worth.
I can't wait to see how these futures will unfold.
400 kids today, 4000 tomorrow and all becoming better citizens of a better India/World -- that's quite a responsibility that they seem to understand the urgency and importance of.
I highly recommend a visit (and volunteering). Get in touch with lotus petal on volunteering opportunities. Though, given how busy the school staff/kids are during school days, just be respectful of how much your presence affects school's day to day operations .
edit: those mommy cooks are not volunteers but paid staff of the school- all lotus petal kitchen & housekeeping staff comprises of parents of the children. You will be happy to know that all these people also get their salaries in their bank account (which lotus petal helped them open) and get all medical/PF/esi benefits from lotus.