New Year and Birthday Celebrations!

Posted by on Dec 30, 2012 in News, Uncategorized | 0 comments

New Year and Birthday Celebrations!

This article appeared in The Hindu Times (Tirupati edition) on 2nd January 2009.

Cake cutting on January 1 generally reminds one of the celebrations that are part of heralding the New Year, but it was a different event at Akshaya Kshetram, a home for special children.

Thursday’s celebration at the ashram, tucked deep in Durgasamudram village of Tirupati rural mandal, was totally different and far from the city’s revelry. As is the practice at the home every year, the New Year’s Day was celebrated as the birthday of the inmates. First reason is that the mentally-challenged children cannot reveal their date of birth and the deserted children don’t know it. The second reason is to send a ray of hope and drive home the message that their life will be purposeful from the New Year’s Day.

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Well cared

Out of the 120 residents in the home, 30 were abandoned children picked up from railway stations, hospitals and even dust bins. The Kshetram even provides shelter to the missing and unclaimed children at Tirumala. The birthday of these children was celebrated in the presence of the Kshetram’s well-wishers and philanthropists. “Our children are not orphans, they are abandoned. They too have a right to celebrate their birthday like the normal kids,” reasons M. Ramaswami, Kshetram’s founder. The octogenarian and his wife stay at the ashram and take personal care about their nourishment and skill development.

Teaching value of life

Of late, there has been a significant increase in public activity on the premises. Many residents celebrate personal events like wedding day or their child’s birthday in the midst of the special children by buying them sweets or clothes. School managements also bring their students here on a day-long excursion and let them interact with the special children. “This is done to convey to the students how fortunate they were compared to the ill-fated children of our ashram and thus explain the value of life,” Mr. Ramaswami adds.

Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha Vice-Chancellor Hare Krishna Satapathy, former Vice-Chancellor of Dravidian University P.V.Arunachalam and Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan director N. Satyanarayana Raju were among the visitors to the Ashram on this day. The cultural programmes performed by the special children attracted one and all.