In India, Children’s Day is normally celebrated on November 14th, because this is the birthday of India’s First Prime Minister Pandit Jawarhalal Nehru. He was known for his love for children, who called him “Chacha Nehru” (Chacha is “Uncle” in Hindi). He believed that “Future India is in the hands of today’s child.”
This year, November was a very busy month for the MarketPlace: Handwork of India Armaan Club for Children because they were studying for and taking their school exams. Because of this, we postponed the celebration until December. On Friday, 18th December 2009, all the children gathered at Hanuman Tekadi (the SHARE Activity Center) to have a full day of fun. Children wore their best dresses; we decorated the office with crepes and balloons. It was a great pleasure for me to spend time with the children, talking and playing with them.
As adults we build barriers – of religion, caste, colour, nation, language, customs, rich and poor – and we live in prisons of our own making. Fortunately, children do not know much about these distinctions and they are able to play and work freely with one another. And the children of the Armaan Club are even more fortunate as their mothers have been breaking down these barriers through discussion and communication.
The room was filled with love and positive energy as we enjoyed our celebration. We all wore decorated caps and face masks. We cut the cake and played with the streamers and balloons. And we danced to Bollywood dance numbers till we all dropped from exhaustion. These kids never get a chance to go out to parties and celebrate like this with their friends. Such things are luxuries, expenses that they cannot afford.
Celebrating children’s day is about the SMILE on every child’s face, a smile that is priceless. The children give us an opportunity to affirm their rights, the right of every child, to happiness and the chance to grow up as healthy and educated citizens of the country. It is important to teach children the value of sharing with others what they are lucky to have, so that they develop as responsible human beings.
Thank you for your purchases of fair trade clothing that supports our work with the children of the artisans!
Blog written by: Prajakta Sawant, Program Coordinator