Reflections by interns Revathi,Mohit,Neenu,Adhriti,Madeeha-2013

Our wonderful experience at Samiksha….

“One of the deepest secrets in life is that, all that is really worth doing is done for others.”

Coming across “Samiksha Foundation- Caring for Children with Cancer” was one of the most enlightening experiences we have had so far.  Many of us  are not aware that there are organizations like Samiksha Foundation- silently and persistently working toward numerous needs of the individuals around us.

It was with a lot of trepidation and curiosity that we started off for our Orientation Programme in Samiksha at the Kapur ward in Kidwai. But  our apprehensions were put at ease by the founder of Samiksha Foundation-, Ms. Sandhya. She showed us around the pediatric wards and explained what was expected of us and told us about their mission at Samiksha.  We came back home with a lot of hope of giving it our best.

The day finally dawned, and we reached our destination looking forward to working with these young children at  the Samiksha learning Center at the Hospital. We had come as part of our internship programme to spend a fortnight with these special children and engage them in creative learning and fun.  The children were more than willing participants to the activities we had planned out for them. Their initiative, enthusiasm and their spirit astounded and stumped us.

Having had the privilege to intern here was truly great.  We worked with a group of students and taught them whatever we could. We concentrated on teaching them subjects in which they needed a little extra help like English, Maths and Science. The need to study more and be like the other normal fellow beings outside have been  keeping  these children going while some get along only because of peer pressure or competitive nature, but towards the end what mattered was that they all want to live their life normally as their other friends at school do .  It has opened our eyes to see a side of life that we had not come across so personally before. In a world where each individual is battling against his or her own race of achievement, success and development, it is rare to see some not burdened by that race and stopping to take care of those around them and ensuring them an equal opportunity. It is beautiful to see how Samiksha provides for their children an environment like any other child, helping them feel they are no different from the rest and nurturing them in every aspect of their lives.

Appreciative part of these children was that they still live everyday with the little joys that they get from trivial things like drawing, learning something new as per their school portions and so on. Interning at Samiksha really opened our eyes to see that there are so many who are not always nearly as blessed as we are and yet we take life for granted.  Be it exercises in the morning, lantern making, pottery, vegetable painting or hand painting; spending time with the children and sharing a small part of our love with them was worth every minute. Their smiles and happy faces is what drives us to come back each day. Though we were at Samiksha for a very short while, each day was special in its own way. More than what we could provide for the children I feel they have provided for us. Being at Samiksha helped us redefine our ideas of being strong no matter what, taking every day as it comes, staying happy, having fun, loving and supporting one another, encouraging each other in times of need and most of all to push through even when life gets difficult and it seems impossible to move on. Our experience at Samiksha has definitely touched our hearts, and in our small way allowed us to contribute and be a part of the lives of these young children. The moments spent teaching the children, yoga sessions with them  was indeed productive playing games, celebrating Diwali together, making diyas and much more will always be cherished and remembered. Samiksha is not only a place of learning but also that of fun and friendship- improving their interpersonal relationships. The staff consisting of Ms. Parvathi and Ms. Vidyavathi  are really committed to the children and they  taught us a few lessons on how to interact with them.

Wishful thinking processes that these children had got accustomed to, found it so amusing when people came to share some happiness with them and who were not a part of their routine, that they would forget that they are ill and not healthy enough like the others.  It actually left us wondering as to what and how much do these kids understand about cancer and what is happening to them. Terms like “bone marrow”, “chemotherapy” etc are common things one would hear from these children. It takes a while for someone outside the Samiksha family to adjust to this. The children have seen a lot more. They know one or other child has to go for some medical treatment etc. They have even seen some of their friends fall sick and not return.
Through this internship we got to learn so much and grow as individuals. Only after working with these children do we learn the truth that even though they are fighting something as major as cancer, they don’t let it affect their daily lives. They live each moment as it comes. Always full of energy in their own ways.  To witness the enthusiasm and joy the children expressed at the smallest of things was a different experience altogether. The strength and determination with which we have seen these children fight all the odds that come their way is commendable. And Samiksha definitely plays a major role in helping these children fight those odds.

The constant support of medicines and timely food intake has got these children better to an extent but the side-effects of the therapy is something we cant imagine at times. Their family members would leave all their work and take the responsibility of taking care of their child, while at the centre, the children are busy finding some joyous things to do. The care takers should be admired for the hope that they live with and the trust they have on the doctors and today’s medical field.

This foundation is giving to the children, a life support, and an imperishable security, which will stay with them forever and strengthen them always, and that is- knowledge and education. Our journey in Samiksha from beginning till the end was so meaningful and enlightening. Samiksha is so blessed to have taken this wonderful initiative of imparting creative knowledge and good quality of life to these young and brave children as well as their caregivers.

Samiksha has helped the children get back to leading a life of normalcy and returning to the mainstream. It is indeed a fulfilling experience to see their happiness increase and embrace life under their care. Our association with Samiksha does not end here.  Even further we would love to be a part of Samiksha volunteering whenever possible. The teachers, supporters and every volunteer helping out are truly doing great work. Hope the love and warmth only keep increasing over the years.

We intend to come back and spend more valuable time with these brave and innocent children. We are humbled by their enthusiasm and positivity that they show.  We are all twenty year old adults but we needed our own time to gather up enough strength, on an emotional level to interact with these children, who are so brave. We salute The Samiksha Foundation for their noble venture. Thank you Team Samiksha for giving us the chance to work here.

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