NRI teenager raises money for Thane orphans

Jul 14, 2013, 00:28 IST | Vedika Chaubey

Sixteen-year-old Texas resident, Rayna Srivastava, ditched a vacation in Brazil to work at a Thane-based orphanage and teach 20 girls. She also raised Rs 33,000 to support them

How many teenagers would gladly opt out of an exciting vacation to Brazil to mentor a bunch of children? Well, not many, but Rayna Srivastava did, and she isn’t complaining. Last month, 16-year-old Rayna Srivastava, who lives in Texas, USA, came to Mumbai to help 20 girls from Divya Prabha, an orphanage in Thane instead of joining her family for a trip to Brazil.

Rayna Srivastava with the girls at Divya Prabha, an orphanage at Thane

Last year, Rayna, who studies at Frisco High School in Texas, came to India with her parents on a holiday. “I got a chance to visit an orphanage in Kolhapur and I taught the kids basic computers there. I liked it so much that I told my father that I would come to India for my next vacation, too. He agreed and I am very happy to be able to do something for the girls,” she said.

The family had plans to visit Brazil this year, but on Rayna’s insistence, they altered their plans and visited India, instead. Over the past three weeks, Rayna has also collected Rs 33,000 to help the girls. She taught girls basic English, Environment Studies, and introduced them to the Internet so they could know the world around them better. The orphanage reportedly spends Rs 19,000 on a girl annually. “I am happy that I have collected funds for at least two girls. My friends and relatives helped me collect the money,” said Rayna, adding that she would keep working for the larger good in society whenever she gets the time.

“We are very touched with Rayna’s gesture and the work she has put in to help out our girls,” said Sister Deodita, director, Divya Prabha. The 16-year-old’s parents, Rahul and Vaishali Srivastava, are beaming with pride. They say the past three weeks have been a eye-opener for the family. Rahul, who works as a consultant in the aviation industry, said, “I am proud of my daughter. She is quite young, but she understands the needs and feelings of whose who are not as privileged.” 

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