Over the last 3 days we were at a service retreat organised by Moved by Love volunteers in Sugad (on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, Gujarat). It was a diverse mix of 30 participants from seven different cities and from 20 to 87 years of age; but a mix which believed in the power of service, kindness and generosity. Over 3 days, we engaged in different activities of “head, hand and heart”. Activities that helped us reflect within ourselves. On the heart day, it just so happened that a young boy walked into the campus dribbling his basketball and pulling his sponge bob suitcase. I thought maybe he was one of the volunteer’s son or nephew or maybe another new group was coming in as it was our last day at the campus.
Later during the day when we gathered for a circle of sharing, I found him sitting with us and Nimesh bhai shared his story. It was a story of heart, of love and one which would make anyone believe in destiny. I hope his story inspires many more. Ever since coming back I’ve been telling my friends and family about him and I felt I have to share it with everybody!
- 3 years ago, on March 12, 2010, a few Manav Sadhna (MS) team members took a 4-day trip to Dwarka, Somnath and Porbandar. The team including, Jayesh bhai, Viren bhai, Nimesh bhai, Smita ben, Gopal Kaka, Bica bhai and few others left early afternoon from Ahmedabad in a van. By mid-afternoon they had reached a small village called Chotila, where they decided to take a tea-break. Jayesh bhai suggested taking a u-turn and going to a tea-stall they had crossed instead of going to the ones on the same side of the road they were on. After having tea and some snacks, a little bit of stretching and refreshing, everyone got up to leave when Viren bhai noticed a small boy of 5 or 6 years of age sweeping the floors, with such grace and detail. He was curious as to why and how such a young boy was sweeping floors, so peacefully and mindfully. He went to talk to him, whose name was Nitin. By that time Jayesh bhai had returned from toilet visit and he asked the little boy if he could sweep the floor to which he answered in a no saying he would not know how to do it properly! :). When the tea-stall owners saw the MS van and saw Gandhi Ashram written on it, they came forward to tell Nitin’s story.
- Nitin was dropped off on a bus, from his hometown Baroda, all by himself with a small backpack which had a ticket and his birth certificate. He ended up getting down at Chotila and as he was walking around the tea stall owners offered him some biscuits and milk. Since then he was hanging out there. The tea-stall owners would give him biscuits and milk and he would sweep the floor. After digging further into his story, meeting the police inspector at Chotila and talking with Baroda collector; the MS family decided to bring him with them to Manav Sadhna. They filled in an application with the police and took Nitin, who was rechristened Krishna, with them! Jayesh bhai gave Krishna his first bath, bought him new clothes and fed him a healthy meal. All during the trip he slept with Jayesh bhai. Krishna completely absorbed himself in his new family and all the love that was showered on him. Later the MS family also went to his village near Baroda to confirm the stories and complete all the legal work to adopt Krishna.
On coming to Manav Sadhna, he got a new family of over a 100 people and kids. Jayesh bhai then decided to send him to India First Foundation (IFF), one of the premier boarding schools in India. IFF also decided to support Krishna all through his schooling. Krishna is now doing what every kid should do. Learning, playing and enjoying. And he loves it which one can see in his smile. During vacation, he stays with Jayesh bhai, Viren bhai and various other MS family members.
As Nimesh bhai says in his reflection ‘Meet Krishna’
“He was showered with love, which is what he deserves and what every child deserves… God is watching over him.”
When we asked him if he loves playing basketball he said yes and that he loves soccer too! In the evening after the retreat was over, some of us stayed back as we were travelling the next day. Krishna and his friend Ajju had got a small pond filled with water and we all played some sort of water polo in there :). None of the volunteers knew that Krishna was coming there that day. I’m so grateful that he did; that I got to hear the story and meet Krishna and play with him. As we were leaving Krishna and Ajju, surprised us all by giving a beautiful gift to each one of us – a flower and a leaf with a message of love!