Currently, the Orphanage consists of one classroom and a yard. There are 51 Children from the age of 4 till 16 receiving daily education by 3 teachers. Recently the project has come into further expansion since now the Orphanage is as well starting to offer Food for the Children.
” On my Journey to India, this year did I meet an incredible Man called Ashish whos genuine heart is reflected in his eyes and smile. Shiva literally had brought us together.
He started a School project for Orphans a while ago but it is still at its beginning stages. I knew as we were speaking that this is the Project that I had envisioned, that I want to collaborate with. He took me to the little Village where the School was.
When I met those children and saw the gratitude and joy in their hearts, even though they were brought up in very harsh conditions it brought tears to my eyes.” Asherah Sananda
My name is Ashish and I am from Varanasi, India born in a Bengali family.
My service for the world is the support of homeless children, Orphans, as I once was. I started to do that at the age of 15 and for the last 20 years have I built a little Orphanage in a Village in Varanasi called Maya.
Here I would like to share my story with you.
When I was 7 years old my father died from a snake bite. I was the only one child so it was hard for me to survive and support my mother at such a young age. It was a difficult time for the both of us, but we started to accept the situation and knew that we had to move on. We were living under very poor conditions in a broken house close by the Ganga and the Shiva temple.
After a month of my father’s death did I started my life as a Worker. It was easy for me to find a job because there are so many people coming to the holy city of Varanasi, many tourists and people from all over the world.
WIth my young age could I only get a simple job like serving chai on the street or cleaning the street.
I understood very early that it was my challenge and I had to keep going in Life. I devoted myself to my work with my whole heart and because of that could I find many jobs since I was doing them always properly.
When I was 10 I started to work in hotels and guesthouses. All the children in my age where going to school, they could study and receive an education. That was making me sad because I could not have this privilege since I had to take care of me and my mother. During that time was my Mother teaching me that I should not compare myself to others but accept my life situation as it is.
When I was 12 I realized a deep sense of gratitude for being a human being. Even though I did not have anything I knew it was a choice to find happiness and appreciation within myself. I saw many sick people, people with a lot of money but disabled so I understood that I am actually privileged to be healthy and be able to work and support my mother.
With the time did I started to improve in my work at the guesthouses, people always loved me because I was so devoted to my work. They started to help me and teach me how to write, to read and to speak English.
I am so thankful to all those people who have thought me this language that I can speak English now.
I decided that with this opportunity to be a human being I should take the chance to give.
So decided to leave my Hotel Job because I was very busy there and find another Job where I would have the evenings off. In the evenings I would then be able to teach the children since I knew they are only free at that time because they work during the day.
I found a Job in Construction and I started the school project with 2 children at my home.
After some years a couple of my friends from overseas visited me and they were amazed by the work that I am doing so they started to support me in that project.
I found the children on the street which were working in chai stalls etc and made friends with them. Through that more children started to come to my homeschool.
Then my Mother was getting sick so I had to find another place where I could continue this school project because it was getting too much for her to have the children around in the house.
I went to a small Village where I started to make camping schools and where teaching the children in the open air.
5 years later did I decided to settle in one of the poor villages and rent a little house.
Now we have 51 children from the age of 5-16. We have 3 teachers now which are educating the children and since I was becoming more successful in my construction job can I now afford to give 25 percent of my income to the Project.
To do this work is such a blessing, it is my meditation.
Most of the children that are coming to us have lost their parents, or have mothers that work as labour carrying heavy stones.
What we focus on teaching them is not only education but as well as meditation, humility, gratitude and the connection to God. Because truly nobody is an orphan – since we are all taken care of and supported by God.