There are necessities. And then, there are luxuries. It’s very disheartening to see we live in a world in which some people have the freedom to spend lavishly whereas others struggle to buy the necessities. It’s high time that we ask ourselves this question, “Do we really need this? Will this make a significant difference in my life if I don’t buy it?”

If the answer is yes, go for it. But if it isn’t, it’ll be a divine thing if you can use that money to buy someone else their share of necessities. This was the most important lesson I learnt during my internship at CRY.

Throughout the course of my internship, I did surveys, studied the data, interacted with and taught numerous children from the slums. During this, I realized how enthusiastic and cheerful those children are. No means to afford interesting gadgets or modern toys. With hardly any means to afford necessities such as medicines and stationery items for their education, they stand ever so tall with jubilant hearts and a contagious smile. They laugh their lungs out and have fun with whatever little things they have or are provided with. This really shows that it’s not like only wealthy people are happy. By teaching them their subjects I learnt how to be content with whatever you already have. This internship undoubtedly gave a new meaning to my life, which has changed me for the good. I believe it is the duty of each and every individual to ensure that these children receive the basic necessities so that they can lead a normal life without any hurdle to their health, education and well-being.

During the course of my internships, I also came to know of the ground realities. Falling ill is a nightmare for them because their diseases either go unnoticed or if not, parents have no means to afford the treatment. The impact of tropical diseases on them is devastating. They lose their childhood battling diseases and in many unfortunate cases, children also succumb to these diseases at a very tender age. Also, in the absence of education and the pressure to earn money for a living forces them into child labor. Is this what childhood is meant for? The image of a child working at factories or a showroom or selling articles at traffic signals or working anywhere for that matter is one of the most heart-breaking sights. The internship with CRY helped me get close to them, understand them, work for them so that they can have a brighter future. Today I stand tall, proud of myself since I grabbed the opportunity to help with both hands and made an impact which was life-changing for me and I’d like to believe I made an impact in their lives too.

So the next time, instead of that burger from McDonalds, I would like to buy someone happiness. Instead of that swanky car, I’d be thrilled to buy someone their smile. Instead of that fancy gadget, I’d be most honored to buy someone a life. My advice to everyone out there would be-

Let’s make a difference. Lend a hand and be a part of the revolution!

Chiranjeeb Prateek Mohanty, CRY Intern, Delhi

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