Last week, I posted a picture in my blog which showed some of our school children at lunch. Seeing this picture on Facebook, a person asked whether our daughter ate with these children as well. While I obviously replied there as well, I thought this question deserved a more elaborate answer in my diary as well.
The basic answer is quite simple: yes, she does.
Apra actually waits for lunchtime eagerly because then all the children come running out of school and she can sit with them to eat. She chooses with whom she sits – usually one of the boys who also live at the Ashram and who are like brothers to her. She gets a plate like all other children and the same food like all others, too.
People obviously think our charity is a kind of a farce. They doubt that we would make the food that we feed these kids of poor families good enough for letting our daughter eat the same.
At first, you may believe it incredible that someone could have such a thought. Thinking a bit more about it however, you can understand where these suspicions come from: unfortunately many charities do exactly that! I know that here in India charity has become a kind of established business where people take a lot of money and then only provide poor quality food, clothing etc. to those whom they then show in their advertisement! They know what the food they provide to the poor is made of and that’s why they would never eat it themselves or give it to their kids.
I tell you something: we are not a huge organization, we are just a family having started a school and trying to help these kids. The food for the children is being made in our own kitchen, by the same cook who also prepares our food, with the same vegetables, rice and lentils that we eat as well and using the same spices that we get in our dishes. The only difference is that the pots are much bigger for 200 people than for 20.
And one more thing: if there is any food left after the kids ate in midday, we eat the rests in the evening. Not only because we don't want any food to be wasted and definitely not because we wouldn't find anybody else to eat it. No, because it really is delicious, tasty and healthy as well!