“St. Valentine gave us a message: Spread love by doing what you can to relieve people around you of their pain. And that is why we are planning to celebrate Valentine's day at Kidwai Memorial Cancer Hospital”. That's what the President of YuvaBenguluru, Kiran G told me last month when I had met him at DeenaSeva Sangha school, where I teach as part of TeachIndia; and which has been adopted by YuvaBengaluru.
Now, when he put it that way, there was no way I'd miss this opportunity to interact with ,and spread love and hope to, patients. And that's exactly what I did this Valentine's day.
Kids from the DeenaSeva Sangha school put up a cultural song and dance show for the patients. You won't believe how talented these kids are. Then, there was a gift distribution event – Kannada film star Ramya did the honours. It's always good to see stars supporting such causes (although it inevitably attracts the media and the “unruly” media behaviour). Along with fruit and soft toys, child patients were also presented with Valentine's Day greeting cards crafted by the kids of DeenaSeva Sangha school; and also a lamp with paintings by the kids again.
I saw several kids at the institute with shaved heads. I assume they have some form and some degree of cancer. Some were as young as 3 years I guess. But, no amount of cancer could take away their childhood spirit from them. They were playing, bursting balloons, giggling, sulking – you name it. Makes me wonder – is their innocence their best ally in fighting the disease? How many adults take their sufferings as well “in their stride” as kids do?
Anyway, participating in today's event made me “feel good” - but it is just a start. What remains to be seen is to what extent I continue to make some noticeable difference in society this year (as I have committed to at the beginning of the year). Looking forward to a year with meaningful contributions.