I had the pleasure of spending Halloween night celebrating in style with the beautiful children of Ramana’s Children’s Home. As we danced to blaring Hindi hip hop under the vivid flashing lights, I felt someone tenderly tap my leg. I looked down to see the cutest little girl reach up to me. She wanted to be held. So, I picked her up and I danced the night away with her in my arms. The whole time I was wondering what brought her to Ramana’s. What sort of awful circumstances must she have endured.
Who Are These Children?
Ramana’s has over 40 children living on site and over 200 that attend school there. Every precious child at Ramana’s Children’s Home is there because they would otherwise be at great risk of either being murdered, forced into child labor, begging, or prostitution. They might even starve to death. Two million children die every year before the age of five in India. Forty two percent of the world’s under-nourished children and an astounding 30 percent of children with stunted growth are Indian. According to Unicef, 42 million children in India do not attend school, largely because approximately 14 percent of the children in India are child laborer’s.
Ramana’s Garden Café
Ramana’s supports itself primarily through donations and revenue from their amazing organic café. The food is as fresh as it gets because they have a giant garden right there on site. The menu varies daily based on what’s available. They also have goats that provide valuable milk protein to the kids and to their menu. The dishes are perfectly prepared and really tasty. I enjoyed a lovely meal while I was there which consisted of a delicious eggplant lasagna, fresh salad, and a decadent slice of carrot cake for dessert.
How You Can Help
Through Ramana’s Sponsorship Program people like you have the opportunity to contribute to a child’s future. A once orphaned, neglected, or abused child will receive important life necessities because of your generous gift. You can provide a quality education, needed medical care, food, and a safe loving home. I had the honor of meeting several older teenagers that were raised in the children’s home and were helping out in the cafe. They told me that some of their older “brothers and sisters” are now attending college thanks to scholarships and thoughtful donations. These kids were bright, helpful, articulate, and happy.
Millions of Indian children live in horrible dangerous circumstances as a result of being born into the sad cycle of poverty, and lack of education. Ramana’s Garden is working hard to make a difference and rescue as many of them as possible. They also need volunteers. If you are willing to commit to several months of service you can even live on site in exchange for your help. If you’re ever in Rishikesh, make sure you drop by Ramana’s Garden Café for some great organic food and say hello to the remarkable children.