Health and Happiness for Children in India
Home | About Us | Community Service | Around the World | Health and Happiness for Children in India
Health and Happiness for Children in India

Our India team traveled both north and south to complete two unique community service events

On the vast subcontinent of India, the needs of the people are as diverse as the landscapes they call home. Grand Circle Foundation supports several villages in India, spanning both north and south—and our team in India, led by Regional General Manager Iliyas Mohammed, recently visited two of them to host community service events.

Back in May, a team of Trip Leaders, associates, vendors, and local guides traveled south to the village of Kaduveli in Tanjore province. Kaduveli is home to the Sri Venkateswera Orphanage, which provides shelter for children whose parents are deceased, incarcerated, physically or mentally ill, or otherwise unable to care for a child on their own. The facility also houses a school where the children can study each day. "We wanted to do our part to improve the place where these children live and study," says Iliyas. "We were ready to earn some good karma."

The team split into groups to tackle several different projects at the orphanage: the building of a granite waste receptacle; the creation of an information board for the children; and the planting of saplings around the orphanage's playground. The children, too, were enthusiastic about pitching in with the day's work. "We were so impressed by these kids," says Iliyas. "They live there on their own with such limited facilities, yet they are happy and satisfied with whatever they have." The team rewarded the children with a rare sweet treat before saying goodbye. "We learned from them how to cherish what we have," says Iliyas.

A few months later, in August, a second team of Trip Leaders and associates hosted another event in the village of Abanheri in the northern part of India—this time accompanied by two doctors. "At the school, we were greeted by smiling faces and curious eyes," says Iliyas. The principal showed the group which rooms needed to be painted and where trees needed to be planted in the garden. Then, their attention turned toward the children. "They came to school that day not for studies, but for dental, eye, and ear exams," explains Iliyas.

While two teams handled the maintenance of the classrooms and garden, the rest of the group helped coordinate the children's checkups. "Everything went very well," says Iliyas, "though some of the kids did not enjoy the dental checkup!" The team distributed toothbrushes and toothpaste to the children, and helped teach them how to keep their teeth clean on their own. "The parents were very thankful that we did this for them," says Iliyas.

By the end of each event—both of which took place on very hot and humid days—the team returned home exhausted, but satisfied. "We were all overwhelmed by these small gestures of helping communities," says Iliyas. "This is one of the best parts of my job, and every year I look forward to doing something for my people."

Featured in our September 2011 E-Newsletter. Read the full issue here.