Travelling through the tapered roads of Hastsal, on reaching my destination I was stupefied on being received by the doting smiles of the little angels of Protsahan. Truly said, “The soul can be healed by being with children.” They rekindled me with a lot more joy and hope than I expected, exactly then did my first experience of interning kick start! I Chahal Vaid started with my internship at PROTSAHAN.
Rising above gender bias
Protsahan is not a work place, not just an organization but a ‘Family’ of numerous girls who endeavor to turn all their can’ts into can’s and dreams into plans. The first week at Protsahan with the little ones was so overwhelming as it brought out the best in me. At 20 I wander aimlessly, looking at these aspiring girls was a blessing to my soul. As I entered the girls clustered around me giving me heartfelt hugs, warm greetings and ecstatic smiles.
The first day I came to Protsahan on meeting the mastermind behind this beautiful life skills home for little at risk girls – Ms. Sonal, and her prodigies all geared up to meet their new ma’am. I was elated how much do they rely and urge to acquire from a stranger too. Their guileless smiles entrapped me and their magnificent crafting left me awe struck. There was no gender bias under the roof of Protsahan, only a plethora of best out of waste items, quilling cards, anonymous painting styles and innovative designs stunned me and I knew from their faces they are willing to abstract maximum knowledge from me.
I started with my Lilliputians, as I am beginning to call these little gems. I could sense their innocence with their tight grips on my hand. Little Meenu being my very first favourite, I already felt attached to her. Every day she welcomes me with an electrifying smile pulling me in her class. The commencing session on identifying TIME was a playful one with six year old Ayesha always bubbling with questions, mischievous Neetu struggling to be veiled by her notebook and the pocket sized trio Kinjal, Manisha and Gauri giggling and distracting everyone with their cuteness. I was helped by their teachers who were constant support to me throughout. The best time to catch up and mingle with the girls was the lunch break. Lunch time opened a new face of Protsahan in front of me the one where all sit together and start only when all are present, religiously share their lunch and all have enough to eat.
Throughout my way back home I stayed in their spell and recollected each and every happening of the day. The next day I reached Protsahan there was a girl named Suman – a talented girl and an expert in sewing, she accidentally sewed her finger in the machine. Everybody was aiding to cheer her up, I escorted her to the neighborhood doctor, and discovered she was one of those who couldn’t speak and was traumatized by her mother who was in a habit of beating her, before I drowned in my empathizing emotions she gave me a laudable smile that changed my outlook towards life. She bears a lot of strength and sets an example for the differently abled children who by their sixth sense overcome every challenge. She’ a true warrior who refuses to bow down to any amount of gender bias and be labeled as anything other than a strong, independent young woman.
That whole day I took a session with the senior most batch, saw them grooving on the song prepared by their theater instructor Jony. My face brightened up seeing their unblemished smiles. I started with basic introduction regime trying to know them better, and came across my new best mates. Kiran – a human spring always the first to answer with her vernacular tone saying “I know that”, Fatima – the perfect English spell checker of the class, and my three musketeers Soni, Sonam and Anju leaving no
leaf unturned to give the class a laugh riot. Mala ‘the aspiring lawyer’ of Protsahan summed up a lot of courage and by the end of the session came out of her shell and confidently conveyed her emotions. The iron eyed Soni is avid to learn and teach, she is always on my periphery with a doubt or a new idea. Before dispersing I made them sing a stanza of WE SHALL OVERCOME and in a span of 5 minutes all hummed and sung kindheartedly. These craftilicious girls are nothing less than angels to me and this beginning of internship was probably the best decision I took so far.
In a world constantly trying to curtail their happiness by being biased against them, Protsahan has carved a niche to self attainment and freedom, every member of the team contributes to the life of these angel girls striving to achieve their vocation. No one can dampen their invigorated spirits. Their wide eyes shout out to run wild. The girls have shown me rainbows and hope beyond despair.
There is a song that suddenly strikes on my mind infusing the ineffable emotions on meeting the dulcet girls of Protsahan.
“Dil hai chota sa choti si aasha
Masti bhare mann ki bholi si asha
Chand taro ko chune ki aashaa..
Aasmano mei udne ki aasha”
I am here to serve them with two things : Roots and Wings.