15th May 2017
Dear Supporters,

I am Radhika Aggarwal, a Fellow with Milaap. I am delighted to share this update with you.

One afternoon, I visited the wonderful Snehwan family.
This is unfair, Radhika Ji. You should have had lunch with us. Now you must spend your day here and have dinner with us,” said Ashok, welcoming me like a family member.

As I waited for the kids to arrive from school, in the meantime, I met Ashok’s parents and his wife, Archana. Talking about his quick marriage ceremony, he mentioned about the culture of dowry in his village – the bride’s parents are expected to offer large amounts of money to the groom.
I refused to abide by this culture. I told Archana that I have 17 kids. If she can bestow a mother’s love on them, there is nothing more I’d want,” said Ashok.

Bags hanged, books well placed in the locker, the kids headed for lunch. Shying away, hiding behind giggles, pushing each other, the high-spirited bunch finally circled in the room where I sat and introduced themselves one by one. When the ‘I want to become’ part of the introduction arrived, most of the voices aspired to be an IPS officer, an Army officer or a pilot.

I sat in admiration as the kids harmoniously sang a prayer ‘itni shakti humein dena daata’

Outside of academics, Ashok encouraged the kids to excel in activities like art and singing. For this, Ashok pays a music teacher to teach tabla, harmonium and classical singing to a few kids. An art teacher also visits them once a week. Additionally, computers have been set up for kids on which they practice typing in Marathi language.

Book and movie day – Sunday!
During our time, we used to read a lot. With advancements made in technology, kids nowadays are losing on reading habits,” said Ashok who has made ‘reading a book’ compulsory for every kid on Sundays, after which they all sit together to watch a movie.

Furthermore, the kids are made to participate in public speaking every day to boost their confidence. Encircled by other kids, a kid has to stand and speak on any topic of his choice for a minute.
Outside their house, kids of Snehwan playing football.

L-R Laxman, Samyak and Sandeep. The big smiling face in the middle is Tanmay, a notorious child who lives in the neighborhood.

I was amused to watch the kids dancing to one of the most famous songs of Maharashtra ‘Jhingat’

Snehwan kids swaying to the rhythm of ‘Jhingat’ song

Gazing at the camera, the kids, along with Archana, enjoyed watching their pictures. Sitting beside me are Ashok’s kind-hearted parents.

For making my day extraordinary, the least I could is to treat the cheerful bunch with their favorite food item – Vada Pav!

Snehwan kids with Ashok and his wife, Archana

Ashok and his family have extended a heartfelt thank you to all you donors for your love and support. Your contribution fills the hearts of these boys with joy and makes them believe in their dreams.

In a small house accommodating 17 kids, managing their increasing expenses, especially the cost incurred at the time of unexpected medical urgency, lack of financial support continues to be a struggle for the Snehwan family.  It will be a big help if you can share this campaign in your network of friends and family. A little help from your end can provide a safe and healthy future to these kids!