Yesterday I said that so many people in India are hungry and today in the newspaper I read the report of the UNWFP, the United Nations World Food Program. They write that in India 40% of the children from zero to three years are underweight. In collaboration with Unicef the central health ministry did a survey and found out that the rate of malnutrition of children under three is 46%. They do not have enough to eat and their food is not nutritious or of a good quality. This also leads to it that they are more easily affected by diseases.
The children who come to our school and kindergarten come from these circumstances. This is why many of them come mainly because of the warm meal. It is nice to be able to help them. The life at the Ashram is busy. There is always something going on and everybody who comes here can choose himself if he wants to be for himself for example in the cave or if he wants to be part of and in the middle of all the things which are going on. There is the family, in lunchtime there are the school children and of course there is always something going on in the kitchen. And there are many people working here who also bring their children to work.
I talked with Ramona about this and she said how beautiful it is to see this. There is a girl, her name is Vrinda and she is now 2 years old. Her father is our cook and her mother is doing laundry at the Ashram. There is a boy, he is called Laksh and his mother is teacher at our school. There are another two boys, Kanu and Suraj, and their father is working at the Ashram with everything that has to be done. Krishna’s mother does administrative work at the Ashram. Sometimes there are two or three more children of other women and men, too. And the nice thing is that the mother can come and do her work and she doesn’t need to worry about her child. There are many people, many mothers and brothers and fathers and sisters who love to take care, who have an eye on the children and who are around. And the mother herself is not far if the child needs her.
It is a wonderful atmosphere and all children are playing together. I hear very often in the Western world that the mother is sad or worried during work because she gives her child to a place where they take care and she cannot be with her little one. She only sees him or her in the evening and in the morning. Especially with little children it is difficult there. And so it is nice here to see how parents can be near their children and that the children have so many persons to relate to.