They probably came first for a free meal, then a safe place to play. Many attend the after school tuition classes. Some accompany Swami on his morning walks or do yoga with him. These are the neighborhood kids from slum who make Amma’s Delhi Ashram their second home.
They are everywhere, usually in small groups. “Good morning sir … Om Namah Shivaya … What are you doing…Can I help you?” For ten days before Amma arrived, I had the privilege of working with these boys and girls, preparing the ashram.
Hundreds of volunteer name badges were made for the children, and when Amma arrived, the got their t-shirts. Sevas were long, hard and often dirty, but their enthusiasm only increased.
One brahmachari referred to them as “Accha Bacca”, the Good Boys (and girls). It takes courage to be a “Good Boy” when your friends are getting into all sorts of trouble on the streets. It takes role models to show them what a life of service to others and spiritual values can look like. I realized that is the real purpose of the projects we take on for Amma, how we work and the example we set, rather than the results.
One day, while the children were cleaning the street in front of the Ashram, Swami Nijamrita said “I don’t need to do all the work here, only get them started.” It is these children who will change India, not us.
On the final day of the Delhi Program, I got my “Accha Bacca” shirt. One of the boys was so touched that I would want to be one of them, he actually cried (but only for a second). Om Namah Shivaya