I wish other public and private sector agencies, in other places, emulate the Coffee Board of India, in sponsoring a fun-filled day out for the orphanage and other socially disadvantaged children everywhere. The coffee board is reported to have organized a spin around town on a topless double-decker for some 60 children, all below 10, of Anatha Sishu Nivasa, Basavanagudi, Bangalore.
Thoughtfully, the trip organizers put a Santa Claus on board to hand out balloons, toffee and other Christmas goodies to the children, who rarely, if ever, get a chance to stir out of their institution. Wouldn’t it be nice if such children could find someone to take them out now and then, to the local zoo, to picnic at a park or to a movie?
Finding sponsors, and volunteers to escort the children, may not be difficult. The tough part, I reckon, is convincing the authorities of orphanages and other charity institutions to allow their children to be taken out periodically. They tend to view it as safety and security issue; and they are generally unable or unwilling to take the responsibility. In many cases, it entails permission from the governing board, which has its share of members who are not amenable to fresh ideas.
The governing body of an orphanage or charity institution is a mixed bag. A typical managing committee is precedent-driven. Stock reaction to any fresh idea is, ‘have we done any such thing before ?’ A negativist would think of risks, and little else, of trying out anything new. What if something were to go wrong?And then there are, what I call, ‘can’t-doers’ who can trot out six reasons why what you suggest cannot be done. I have heard someone objecting to children’s outings, for fun and exposure, because they could ‘get used to them’.