Wheelchair distribution in Samasthan Narayanpur, India: Wed Dec 7, 2011

On Wednesday December 7th, 2011, one of the most significant events during my trip to India took place. Significant because I had partook in a fundraiser back in Toronto in September to raise money for the very wheelchairs that would be provided on this day for physically disabled children in the village of Samasthan Narayanpur.

The village is dealing with an endemic of fluoride-contaminated water, resulting in children being born with skeletal fluorosis, a debilitating illness that causes pain and damage to bones and joints. The result, people affected are unable to walk and often have to drag themselves across the ground to move around unless if fortunate enough to be carried by someone else.

As a promise made in April 2011 by the HEALTHY KIDS HAPPY KIDS foundation, wheelchairs would be provided to people affected by this illness as an aid for mobility.

This promise was kept on December 7th when we visited the village with wheelchairs for those with the greatest need. It was very special seeing the work of the fundraiser back home in action. Many families were tearful when receiving a wheelchair for a loved one. I was particularly touched by a father who carried his son of 36 years of age on the stage to greet us. To see the love and devotion for his son as his old body persevered through so many years of carrying him yet never hesitated for a moment when his son needed to be picked up again.

The mass wheelchair distribution was the first step to provide temporary relief to those affected by the crippling skeletal fluorosis. The next step that HEALTHY KIDS HAPPY KIDS foundation is working on is meeting with engineers who can create a filtering system that can defluoridate the water. In turn, with clean water in the future, those affected have the potential to reverse some bone damage and future generations of children will have the opportunity for a healthy birth.

Peace, love, and happiness.

Times of India

Lighting candles to inaugarate the evening.
Part of the village that was present for the distribution.
Delivery of wheelchairs to victims of skeletal fluorosis.
Deccan Chronicle

Red Cross Orphanage “Bal Bhawan” in Ludhiana, India: Mon Dec 5, 2011

Continuing the with the HEALTHY KIDS HAPPY KIDS tour:

A night of being emotionally touched, visiting the orphanage, Bal Bahawan, was one of the most special yet.  I connected with so many children and fell in love with their hearts.  Most of the children I noticed were mute or both deaf and mute yet they still communicated perfectly with their eyes and gestures.  We understood each other’s names as we wrote them in the sand.  We played hand games, had a “choo-choo” line going, and even had a surprise visit of a box of newborn rabbits to the park we were playing in.

I will never forget the beauty in the faces of those children.

Me and some of my new friends :)

Action shot on the swings--that's why it's blurry ;)

Ring-around-the-rosey!

The baby bunny surprise! We loved holding these cuddly little friends!

Goodnight to our beautiful friends :)

Taking Responsibility for LOVE

Continuing on my journey of learning about “LOVE” through the teachings of the wise Leo Buscaglia, I came upon the section of love taking responsibility.   Responsible love means loving of self first and foremost; it is also loving of all beings; supporting others in growth and reaching their potential; creating joy; and the needing express thoughts and feelings.

The following part about expression really resonated with me; I believe it to be 100% true and applicable to family, friends, and everyone we cross paths with in life.  Communication is our responsibility, and many times, misunderstandings occur because of miscommunication or no communication at all.  This is an area  I continue to work on, and one that we can all continue to work on throughout our lifetime.

I hope this piece also resonates with you as it did with me.

From pages 164-165 of “LOVE“:

Responsible love needs expression.  Love is communication.  As man must assume the responsibility for expressing his joy, in like manner he is responsible for letting his sorrow and loneliness be known.  In reality, it seems the more devastated one becomes, the more he builds defenses, rationalizations, and creates walls behind which to crumble.   He is misunderstood.  He is unloved.  He is abused.  He is exploited.  In other words, the more he seems to need loving understanding, the more he moves away from any possibility of receiving it.  The “pouting syndrome” is the perfect example of this.  If one needs, one must let others know of his need or it can never be met.  Even lovers are not mind readers.  Oftentimes, when people have allowed themselves to express a need, they are surprised at the response they have received.  For example, “I had no idea you were lonely.”  “You always seemed so self-sufficient, so composed, so fulfilled.  I’m really pleased to know you’re human.”  As one shows others he loves them, so must he reveal to them his need for love.  You cannot assume that people, even those most close to you, will know and understand your unexpressed needs and feelings.  If you want people to know you, you are responsible for communicating yourself to them.

To a wonderful day!

With Gratitude,

Denise

Mother Teresa Orphanage & Rehab Centre in Jalandhar, India: Sun Dec 4, 2011

December 4th, the HEALTHY KIDS HAPPY KIDS tour continued as we visited the children at the Mother Teresa Centre in Jalandhar, where we visited the children and distributed blankets to each of them. They were so beautiful, and the smiles brought to their faces from our visit was a priceless experience.

Distribution of blankets to the children.

Spending time with children after blanket distribution.

Lovely Professional University “Creativity for a Cause” fashion show: Sat Dec 3, 2011

With University presidents, deans, and HEALTHY KIDS HAPPY KIDS founder, Satish Sikha

On December 3rd, we visited one of India’s largest Universities, Lovely Professional University, to partake in a fashion show of collections by the students in the Fashion program.  This show was done to spread the message of HEALTHY KIDS HAPPY KIDS, and to raise funds for the foundation.  Below is an excerpt from the school website regarding the event:

 “Couture Showcase- 2011, Lovely Professional University’s Annual Fashion Show, left its imprint enthralling audiences with courteous presence of world’s best models and beauty pageants Winners- Denise Garrido, Miss World Canada; Emma Waldron, Miss World Ireland; Fanney Ingvarsdottir, Miss World Iceland; Marika Savsek, Miss Universe Slovenia & CLAUDIA ARCE Lemaitre, Miss Universe Bolivia. It is for the first time, in the history of any of the fashion shows, that such a large number of beauty queens walked the ramp together else than in the actual Miss Universe and Miss world competitions.
Their charming walk on the ramp, at SBRM Square of the campus, heightened the dimensions of the show organized by the School of Fashion of the University. The fashion evening saw the display of designer collections through 90 promising students of the Fashion programme. The great moments of the show were when the Beauty pageants wore the dresses designed by the students and walked the ramp. These beauty queens not only walked the ramp once all but three times, under different theme rounds of the show. This Show was also in the aid of the cause where the statement was a message of oneness and to raise funds to help the poor kids through HEALTHY KIDS HAPPY KIDS. Over 200 students of the school came together, directly or indirectly to support this noble initiative.”

http://www.lpu.in/FullNewsRelease.aspx?id=235

First sequence of fashion show. Each queen was the showstopper for each collection.

 

Second sequence--gowns inspired by "under the sea"

All titleholders, past and present, in support of HEALTHY KIDS HAPPY KIDS foundation