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Spreading happiness around through simple acts of kindness
An inspiring story of Veena Milwani Singh (Khyaal Community Member)
“I love talking to children and they give me a lot of love. ‘Koi mujhe aunty bulata tha aur koi didi, bohat accha lagta tha.’ I resigned from AirIndia in 1988 after 8 years as I was expecting my child. When my daughter started going to school, I volunteered to teach the children of inmates at Tihar jail, Delhi. One of my cousins introduced me to this opportunity as she and her husband were already volunteering there.
Roughly in the year 1991, I was around 40 when I started teaching at Tihar jail. Even though I did not get any remuneration for my service, I felt that I had earned immense wealth in the form of children’s blessings and their happiness. I went there every day from 2 pm to 5 pm and that was the most fruitful time of my day. There were approximately 35 children of inmates/kaidis. I taught them drawing, painting, storytelling and how to make greeting cards. I also held counselling sessions for some children who actually needed ears that would hear them out and understand them.
It had already been 10 years since I began teaching in jail. My life was on the right track as I was expecting it to be until something went off track. I met with an accident and had severe injuries. I was not allowed to travel much and do any activity that would increase my pain. In 2013, unwillingly I had to stop going to jail due to my health conditions.
As years passed, I recovered and thought of getting involved in a social cause. In 2017, 10 members of my society came together to start an NGO and I was one of the founding members. Initially, we began ‘Humari Udaan’ at our own expense but as time passed by we realised it was a quite expensive initiative as we distributed food to about 250 people daily. We collected money from our society and felt like this won’t go a long way, but our initiative touched many hearts out there and turned them into benefactors. People started acknowledging us and donating funds to Humari Udaan. During COVID as well, we continued with our mission and distributed food to people.
Apart from this, I love making new friends and in fact, I meet new friends every day. Wondering who are my friends? They are stray dogs. I go daily twice a day down the street to feed and talk to them. Today also when I and my husband are travelling, he stops the car if he spots stray dogs and teases me by saying, “Dekho tumhare dost hai waha.” Indeed, in all my good deeds there’s an impression of my mother as she was so compassionate and loving.” - Veena Milwani Singh (Khyaal Community Member)