DASHAIN is the time of the year when families gather from all corners of the country, celebrate each others presence, eat delicious food like there’s no tomorrow, give gifts to loved ones and most importantly receive tika from the elders. Whilst many have countless reasons to celebrate and share the joyous occasion, there are many who pass each Dashain missing their family and saddened by the memories of the past. A group of young adults came together with an idea to give a Dashain to remember! The personal effort of two individuals created a core team of seven and that was how DASHAIN AYO began!
As the idea took shape, the group decided to focus on Bal Mandir Childrens Home and provide the 130 children there with a Dashain to remember. The team express their gratitude to their family and extended pool of friends for their generous contribution to make Dashain Ayo a reality for them and for the children of Bal Mandir. The joyous occasion took place on Monday 29th September from 11AM onwards in Bal Mandir premises, Kathmandu.
Having spent two hours at the Dashain Ayo event in Bal Mandir, I was very pleased with the group’s team-work and their interaction with the children at the home. Whilst I was there, we played with the children, talked, most importantly – gave them time and attention. The slightly gloomy weather did manage to interfere with the days plan as the singing session had to be moved into the grand meeting room. The young bhai-bainis took on the microphone to belt out hits such as ‘But Slowly Slowly’ and ‘Resham Firi Ri’. The singing was followed by chocolate distribution and lunch box distribution. Lunch was prepared by Foodmandu and the team would like to send a special shout-out to the team at Foodmandu for their input.
As the weather picked up, the rest of the days event took place outdoors where the children got to go on the traditional Dashain ping (set up a day earlier) and fly the kites high up in the sky. The essence of Dashain radiated through Bal Mandir as the care-taker didi’s were seen beaming with bright smiles etched across from one cheek to another. They wondered and asked many times “tapai haru kun sanstha bata aunu bhayeko”. This was no organisation or an institute, just a group of friends and mutual friends coming together to make someone else’s day memorable.
Blowing bubbles and dancing in the open followed the kite flying session; oh how wonderful it was to see children being children. The youngsters got very excited as they saw three cakes from Crave Bakery! After a bit of dessert in their tummy, the highlight of the event unravelled as each of them were called out by their name to receive their gift. The gifts ranged for different ages, whilst those under two years of age received soft toys, diapers, lactogen and more, those between three to twelve years received toy cars, school stationary items, footballs, toy dolls and more. Girls aged above twelve received accessory goodie bags equipped with towel, sanitary pads, hair bands, lip balm and more.
Continuing the element of surprise, the young team behind Dashain Ayo also had two clowns interacting with the children and livening up the atmosphere.
Photography at the event was kept to a minimum in order to respect the wishes and the privacy of the children at the home.
PS. Thank you to the team for inviting me to be part of the event and experience Dashain Ayo.
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