28 January 2012

Something Special...

Our tenure at Bhuj was among the most memorable for me. Besides the wonderful people we met there, I was honoured to get an opportunity to work with the lovely children of Dhanvantri School. Founded and managed by the dynamic Dr Shantuben Patel this is a one stop halt that caters to all needs (education, therapy and counselling) of special children. I am richer from this experience and from everything I have learnt from Shantuben.

At the outset let me make it clear, that the school is forever filled with joy and laughter and optimism. This arises from the diminutive soft spoken power house called Shantuben!  The school was razed to the ground in the 2001 earthquake yet Shantuben and the teachers relentlessly worked on. Their efforts have resulted in a beautiful new complex that offers succour to special children from in and around Bhuj.

There are several large-hearted benefactors that help keep this noble venture going and the school recently got a wonderful new gift- a school bus. The gift was made all the more special as the one and only Big B, Mr. Amitabh Bachchan did the honours by presenting the bus keys to Shantuben.

Due to commitments, he was unable to visit the school, something the children were really looking forward to. When Shantuben reached the school, they reverently touched the keys as 'He' had handed them over. Such unquestioned, unadulterated adulation and adoration and respect has to be seen to be believed. We do hope that Mr Bachchan can visit and spend time with the students of Dhanvatari School in future.

Here are some images of the children and their new bus.

In case you happen to be visiting Kutch or Bhuj, do make it a point to visit this school. It's not about what you can give the school or its children but the hope and optimism that you will can learn from them....
Good Luck!

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