BENGALURU: Latha (name changed), who lives in an orphanage in Jalahalli, could not contain her joy when she got to meet her brother, a resident of another ashram, at a sports event in the city on Sunday morning. The experience was no less than getting a trophy, she said.
Latha was among the 400 children from a dozen ashrams who got together to celebrate sports and camaraderie at Sindhi School, Hebbal.
Cheers reverberated as the children, aged 8 to 16 years, participated in the Inter-Ashram Athletics meet, organised by the Bangalore Ladies Chapter, and Nayi Soch, parts of the Sindhi Council of India, and the youth brigade from the community, for children of destitute homes and ashrams.
For the teachers, who brought the kids, it was a rare occasion to see them mingle and compete with those from other homes. “Many orphanages like ours do not have enough outdoor space. An interest in the activities gets developed if such programmes are held. Sports events are often restricted to the older children. But here, even very young kids benefit with the building of socio-emotional skills,” a teacher said.
For others, the highlight was the joy of dancing to Kannada pop music. “Our team danced together a lot after the competitions. It was the best part,” said Keerthana from Akkamahadevi Ashram, who won in the throwball contest. The children, who were also given food, participated in 29 activities.
“We organised this just as we would for our own children,” Amrit Hinduja, programme chairperson, BLC Nayi Soch, said. “Today, we are proud to commit ourselves to the idea of promoting athletics among youth,” said Shobha Kalro, vice president, Sindhi Council of India (ladies wing) and BLC president. To laud their participation, children were sent home with shoes and jerseys.