Poverty demands that all hands in the family work tirelessly so that by the end of the day, no one has to sleep hungry; even if the hands are young children who should ideally be learning in schools and playing outdoors.
It’s not an uncommon sight to see young children begging, selling toys or cleaning vehicles for a few rupees. Often, they even eat their meals on the roadside, as traffic goes by.
This is a daily routine for many children across India, but one woman in Lucknow decided to make a difference, and turn the lives of a few children around.
Seema Gupta, the wife of IAS officer Jitendra Kumar, lives in a lavish bungalow with many amenities, thanks to her husband’s post.
When Seema watched the movie, Hichki—that not only sheds light on Tourette syndrome (you can read more about the disorder here) but also on the social divide between the children belonging to wealthy and underprivileged families, respectively, she was inspired to do something, and decided to foster children who come from a disadvantaged background.
So, if you visit Seema’s home in Lucknow, you might meet about 25 children studying, eating their meals or playing around.
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Speaking to the Navbharat Times, Seema says that she does not only welcome the kids in her home but gives them good clothes to wear, serves them healthy food and conducts classes in her garden.
Seema also adds that Jitendra lets her borrow his private car and driver to pick up the children from their homes and drop them back at the end of the day.
Aditya, one of the children who is fostered, told Navbharat Times that ‘madam’ is not just a teacher to him, but also a motherly figure.
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Seema has also requested her husband to help her get these children admitted into a good school so they can secure their future. Seema, who says that she doesn’t believe in doing social service just for the sake of it, wants her initiative not only to be a temporary residence for the kids, but a means to better the lives of 25 families!
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)