California based Ms. Reena Goyal has been IDRF’s donor and volunteer over the past 4 years. She is actively involved in supporting IDRF’s education programs. In Dec 2015, she visited our partner NGO ‘Shiksha Bharati’ which imparts innovative and holistic education to the most deprived tribal girls through a unique residential program.
Here is Ms Reena’s report from the visit:
“As I stay connected to these girls and their warden via phone and whatsapp, excitement was growing with my program being finalized to visit India. One day while on phone with a bunch of hostel girl, I asked them what should I bring for you from America and unified answer was ‘Didi, bus aap aa jao’ they just wanted me to visit , especially when I told them that I was keeping extremely busy with my job and it’s possible that we don’t meet this year.
I insisted that they give me a clue and then something clicked to me and I asked how about a doll, do you girls have a doll? And as an answer I heard giggles and I knew what I am going to get for the girls this year.
Shopping for 37 girls in Grade 2 to 7 was just too much fun but it worried me that I might be stopped at Delhi airport if my suitcases are opened up and found filled with so many dolls.
Nothing happened and I reached hostel. I can’t describe my happiness when girls were waiting for me and came running to their Reena didi. I distributed their presents and requested hostel administration to arrange a dance and fashion show party with food of their choice on upcoming weekend.
That dance night was the night when I became friends with them all over again, heard their stories, their plans to change their own life and the world and was very proud when couple of girls also asked what exams they should take to go to USA for higher studies.
I am very satisfied with how school /hostel administration is nurturing these girls and how donor’s money is working towards the goal. I recommend donors to visit this hostel on their next trip to India, it’s worth all your efforts to empower these girls!”