DAY4:THE HOLIEST MAN I EVER MET

14 February 2019

A very different wake up this morning, it was the first night in the hotel – and we didn’t have curry for breakfast! Everyone is missing Udayan loads but was really excited for an amazing day that has been planned.

The first place we went to was the Asha Bhavan Centre (ABC), which is a centre of excellence for the disabled children from all over India. The girls live on site and the boys are supported in the local area. It was a truly emotional and eye-opening experience. The smiles on the children’s faces made our hearts melt, really highlighting the incredible work that ABC does for them, caring for each and every one of them individually. They showed us the arts and crafts that the children had made and everyone couldn’t help but buy some! The centre makes prosthetic limbs, of which they give to the children but they are so good at it, that the rich also pay them to make them for them. We met so many kids who had so many problems but were still dancing with us and showing us how much English they can speak. As our leaving gift, we were treated to the children putting on a beautiful performance, which included singing and dancing. The girls performed a dance with their favourite pink dresses and used their teddy bears to show us a slickly rehearsed dance – which we all loved so much. So much so that Elizabeth got up to show them her Irish dancing!

Following this experience, we headed over to Inter-religious Centre of Development (ICOD) which is a centre for vulnerable and mentally challenged women, as well as, orphans. This centre was created and is run by the legend Brother Gaston, who is a truly inspiring man. Gaston told us his story of when he came to India and how he came to develop into the captivating man he is today. During his whole life he based all of his choices on the principle of love, trying lots of courses, only finishing a one 3 year nursing course because of his life of illnesses. After this he gave us a tour around the complex on his hand bike, even though he could barely walk – it is too awesome to describe in words. What was truly fascinating was how the Ashram was beautiful using the environment to complement the work it does for the people there. Again the kids were so joyful, fully appreciating us just being there, one boy loved Rowan so much that brother Gaston offered to sell him to us – but, sadly we had to decline!

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Comments:

Caroline Weldon

@ 299 days ago

I am delighted you visited the Asha Bhavan Centre and met Sukeshi and her son Papu. I can see them in the photo! Yes, the ABC is a special place. Sukeshi herself is one very special lady. And then you visited her mentor, dear Br. Gaston, a very holy man indeed. He is nonetheless a maniac when he’s on that homemade tricycle! Nearly ran me over when I was there last year, and he thought it was the funniest thing!! He has done an immense amount of good over the years at his beautiful ashram and before that in the slums where he lived as a slum-dweller. Made of the same cloth as Mother Teresa. He is simply adorable and I am so pleased to see him looking well. Enjoy your next couple of days in Kolkata!

Peter Sweeney

@ 298 days ago

A truly heartwarming story of Brother Gaston and the children he has served, giving life back to them.
It is wonderful to see such natural joy in the faces of the children, the students and staff have met and had the privilege to share some time with. These are the experiences that help define us all as humans and help shape our future and the choices we make.
I am sure there are many more remarkable people still to meet on the remainder of your visit.
With prayers and best wishes for you all.

Miss Towlson

@ 298 days ago

Lovely to see you all having such a good time! Can’t wait to hear all about it on your return.

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