Shanti was amazed. She opened the little note. It said " A gift from Santa".
Neha walked down the street with a smile. A smile she felt that made her the most pretty girl in the world. A smile that came from her heart and glowed bright in her blue eyes.
A week before
Neha felt a strange pulse of anticipation tingling down her spine. Would her wishes be truly granted? Will Santa visit her this time? Mumma had told her about Santa last week. She said he would come with gifts for good children like her. And the other day she saw Minnie - the girl in her favorite TV show - writing a letter to Santa, something she called a wish list. And you know what happened? Santa granted all her wishes. Now how could Neha resist herself from joting down her wishlist? She would sent it then to Santa, Neha resolved.
The other day Neha saw a pretty doll in the big shop near her Papa's office. Though she wanted her Papa to get it for her he was too busy. Okay Neha thought, Santa would bring it for her then.
She also wanted a pair of shoes that she had seen Minnie wearing in the last episode. That would make her look a princess in the X'mas party. She was excited to the core at the thought of her looking like a princess. Mumma's friends would adore her. How she would love the envying glances of the other kids there! The mere thought brought to her ounces of joy!
She concluded her wish list by asking for a princess gown. She knew her Papa would buy one for her. Still if Santa could bring something better, won't that be awesome?
Yesterday- The Christmas Eve
"Aah! The silly girl. Why can't she just tell me that she needs these stuff. Why this Santa drama? Oh my Lord! What all does these 8 year olds learn from the daily soaps?
Now let me see, the doll, shoes and a gown. Is that all she needs? And she believes that a Santa would bring these to her? Poor lass! Anyway she is MY daughter, daughter of The Business tycoon Vikram Bajwa and she will get whatever she wants." He folded the paper into 4 and kept in back under Neha's pillow. He could imagine how happy she would be seeing the gifts tomorrow.
Neha tossed restlessly in the bed. She couldn't sleep. Shanti's words echoed in her mind. Neha couldn't even imagine life could be that sad. She was passing by the kitchen that day when she heard Shanti, her Nanny's daughter talking to the latter. Shanti didn't have toys like Neha had and they lived in a small house. Neha had once been there during Pooja festival. A very small house that smelt very bad. Shanti didn't have many toys. She always played with an old doll with tattered clothes and shabby hair. But Mumma said that was what God gave them. So Neha thought that would be okay as God couldn't do any wrong, Granny had taught her.But today Shanti was almost in tears. She was asking Nanny to get her a needle and a clothe piece to make a new dress for her doll. But Nanny refused. Nanny pacified Shanti saying that she would get them when she got her next month's salary. With red eyes, Shanti agreed.
Neha didn't know why but Shanti's red eyes and the sad face wasn't getting off her mind. She ran her eyes through the innumerable toys she had displayed in her room.They were just everywhere. Big and small, soft and hard, with remotes and wires, quite a lot of them. But they were all old you know. Neha won't play with toys more than a month old. They would bring dust and allergy, Mumma said. But Neha couldn't let them go. They were her's and her's only. So it was her idea to keep them in her room. And then again Shanti's face popped up in her mind.
Neha woke up to surprises. She was astonished to see the beautiful gifts wrapped up and kept on her bedside. Without losing a moment she pounced on it. But her heart didn't allow her to tear up the wrappers. She got dressed up and headed off to somewhere. She had only been there once and she knew Papa would be angry if he came to know of this expedition. But Neha knew this was important. Thank God her destination wasn't too far. She knocked on the wobbly door. Before anyone opened the door, she carefully kept the wrapped up gifts on the doorstep along with a little note and walked back home. Shanti opened the door to see a bounty she had never seen in her lifetime.
Let us too play Santa's in our life and gift a poor child with a toy. Yes, it's no less than gifting them their childhood. :) Now take a glimpse of an NGO " Toybank" that works for the cause.
Details: Goals: To ensure that children from under privileged backgrounds receive toys through collection and distributions. To bridge the gap between children from different backgrounds by creative play/group events/community events. To make play space available for children through-- Toy libraries in available infrastructures; reclaim open public spaces for children. To design and thus provide toys that will be context specific, by having toys made in local languages as well.
Support: Children, Right to Play, Right to Leisure, non-formal education, toys.
Note: We are looking for volunteer coordinators in Pune and Bangalore. We are looking for NGOs working on education of children in Delhi/NCR.
This post is a part of BlogAdda's Bloggers Social Responsibility (BSR) initiative. I am exercising my BSR. You can too with three simple steps. Visit http://www.blogadda.com/bsr/ and support the NGO's.