With a smile on her face and sparkle in her eyes Pooja Raolo said ‘I am happy’. She is 8 year old and studies in 1st standard. She lives in Maharishi Dayananda Service Mission Dhenkanal Orissa. Her friends Barsha Naik, Gaytri Naik and Ramchandra Sahu all replied the same. They liked the place and were happy. Living far from their parents and some don’t even know where their parents were, shared the same feeling of happiness.
Maharishi Dayananda Service Mission (MDSM) is a non-government, non-religious, non-political and non-profit making social organization which was established in 1975 but got its legal entity in the year 1981. They focus on the deprived and neglected section which has no means of support and sustenance. They also assimilate them in the main stream of social development, to help them to know their rights and duties as well. MDSM helps not only children but also women, senior citizens, mentally challenged and other underprivileged ones.
Maharishi Dayananda Service Mission, located in Dhenkanal District of Orissa, is a beautiful place, ideal for all to learn and grow with the Mother Nature blessing it throughout. Pradeep Kumar Sahu, the head of MDSM Dhenkanal told that they have a Balashram, Old age home, and a school building also. Professionals which help them include the medical staff, teaching staff, superintendents and a music teacher too. They have their own garden and the residents themselves take care of it. Children have sufficient place to play and learn.
The children residing here are not only from local community but also from different spheres of the State of Orissa. The total numbers of girls are 61 and boys are 51. The old age home also provides all the facilities to the residents. They happily show the place, pausing to tell their daily routine. Their small but extremely beautiful temple looked prettier with the decoration they did around the idol of Lord Jaganath using red flowers from their own garden.
Pradeep Kumar Sahu told a bitter truth behind what seemed to be sweet and normal. The old people living there either had no one left in their family or their family had left them. Same was the case with young kids, some were orphans while some were left outs. Liza Pattnaik, a 14 year old girl, told that her parents who live in Dhenkanal left her here as her family is big and her father can’t support the burden all alone; though she was sure they’ll take her back soon. It was her second year in the Ashram and she was happy to get education and music lessons.
Like her there are many who are not only happy but are also learning to be independent.
It is a place which gives them hope that life has good plans for them, that they are not
alone. Sharing love, caring for each other is more important than any other feeling in the world.
Pooja Raolo participated in a Diwali drawing competition held in the Ashram itself.
She was one among the winners. She was jumping in happiness along with her friends.
She had no worries and only joy ran through her. This Ashram gave her smile on her
face and sparkle in her eyes and she shouted with delight ‘I am Happy’ spreading the
amazing feeling of happiness everywhere.