“Talk to Joyoti. She will help him.”
That was the statement made by our driver, Rajesh, as we were leaving Sooch Village two days ago. He was speaking to a man who had pulled up next to our car on a motorcycle. Sitting in front of the man was a young boy about six years old.
This boy is the newest orphan at Sooch Village. The man on the motorcycle was his uncle, who had been caring for him for the last three months but was no longer able to do so. The boy’s parents had been traveling back from the city one evening months ago when they promptly disappeared. As the Sooch Village director Jyoti put it, “Their bodies were never found.”
I had seen the later conditions of orphans at The Miracle Foundation – the smiling, happy faces and the sad ones too – but not the initial face of a boy who was literally dropped off moments ago to start a brand new life.
Later that evening, the first day the boy was in Sooch Village, I was eating dinner in the dining hall of building #5. I ate a scoop of rice and looked up. There was that new boy. He had wandered out of his room and was looking up and down the inside of the building, surveying his new surroundings. The look on his face spoke deeply to my primitive, human side. He was confused, scared and still wiping his mouth from his first meal at the orphanage. Other children quickly ate around him, regulars who knew the drill and had already found comfort in the habits and rituals of Sooch Village.
Eventually, this boy will find comfort too. But not yet. Not now.
After we finished our dinner, I asked to see that boy before we left for the night. I walked into his room, where he was lying on the floor with eight other children, sleeping away his first night in his new home. As Jyoti put it, even though the children had beds of their own, they liked to sleep together when they first arrived at Sooch Village. The boy was sleeping soundly. So for now, he had found enough peace to rest.
I kept wrestling with the idea of how tough it would be to be that boy. How difficult is it for children to be forced to have adult emotions. I took solace in the fact that he was no longer a lone orphan staying with his uncle but that now he would have a new, much bigger and more capable family at The Miracle Foundation.
Life is tough now for that boy but he only has good things to look forward to. It’s been a blessing to see not only the end results of The Miracle Foundation’s work but the beginning of it too. It makes the good times here that much more rewarding.