PATNA: On a day when most people limit their celebration of the festival of colours to family members and close friends, a group of college and university students in Patna chose to play Holi with children from slum settlements.
Associated with the Helping Hands Friends Charitable Trust of Patna, the dozen youths, led by Utkarash Raj, reached the slum settlements at Boring Road and Aashiyana Nagar on Tuesday and celebrated Holi with dozens of children of poor families.
Utkarash Raj said sweets, colours and snacks were bought by them from their pockets and distributed among the children as a token of love and blessings.
Gaurav Kumar, Abhishek Kumar, Annu Priya, Sanjay Kumar, Rohit Kumar, Nirbhay Sharma and Divya said that a divine festive cheer prevailed on the faces of the children when the group started celebrating Holi with them. They sang, danced and applied gulal on the foreheads of each of those from the group who went there to celebrate Holi.
Nikku, 11, of the Boring Road slum pocket was overwhelmed by the gesture and said, "Bhaiya aur didi log bahut pyar ke sath holi khelaya and mithai khilaya" (Brothers and sisters made us play Holi with love and gave us sweets to eat).
Upon seeing the Patna youths, almost all belonging to good families, reached the slums, many onlookers gathered to watch the celebration.
"This is what our society and youths need to be doing. Stay blessed!" said an elderly man.
Anamika Singh, Sonal Singh and Saumya, all associated with this group of youths, said many of them also run free tutorial classes in the evening for children of slums and extremely poor families.
Impressed by their efforts to render social service, Anjani Kumar, a senior police officer, said the youths deserve kudos for helping to work towards a better society in which illiteracy and poverty do not hamper the growth of talented kids.