For hundreds of children from poor families in Wadala, Sunday was a day of immense joy. About 350 underprivileged children were provided free books, school bags, uniforms and other study materials by residents from the area. The main aim of the initiative, undertaken by an NGO, Friends of Wadala East (FOWE), was to encourage children from poor families to study before the academic year begins in a few days.
“My son Mayur was so happy after attending the event that he felt like he had won a medal. He studies in Std I, and was given a school uniform, a bag and some notebooks,” said Sanjay Jadhav (34), a driver. “Such initiatives should be held every year, as underprivileged children really benefit since everything has become so expensive lately,” added Jadhav.
Children of housemaids, drivers, car-cleaners, security and housekeeping staff benefited from the event, as they were saved the expense of buying expensive school materials. Sumitra Mahadnath (43), a housemaid, said, “It was really nice to see so many poor kids receive school bags, notebooks and uniforms. One could see the happiness on their faces.”
Speaking to MiD DAY, one of the trustees from FOWE, Vipul Bondal (40), said, “We thought it would be a good idea to raise funds for buying school materials rather than handing out money to these kids. Many of us have been helping underprivileged children on a smaller scale in the past, but this time we planned to organize the event on a larger scale so that more kids can benefit from it instead of only a handful.”
“The best part is that people were very enthusiastic in being a part of this event which helped us to raise a substantial amount of money,” he added. Around 500 people attended the distribution event, which included several residents of Dosti Acres, Wadala and nearby societies. Prominent personalities that attended the event included Kainaz Motivala, Dr Bhalchandra Mungekar (MP, Rajya Sabha), Mir Ranjan Negi, Trishna Vishwasrao (local corporator) and Bala Nandgaonkar (MLA). Trishna Vishwasrao, a guest at the event, observed that such initiatives go a long way in helping the unprivileged children in gaining confidence and adjusting with their peers in school.