Tara Homes for Children, NGO for street children in Delhi, India

Monday, September 28, 2015

A new adult at Tara Boys

On September 11th, 2015, Rakesh blew out eighteen candles on a chocolate cake at a party celebrated by all the Tara Boys! In honor of the occasion we interviewed him.

Rakesh, Proud to be an adult
Sweet cake

How do you feel in this special day?
“Right now, I am feeling very happy! This morning, one of my friends was reminded all my classmates that it is my birthday. Every one of them wished me the best and a happy birthday. I truly would like to thank all my friends for their wishes.”

Did you plan something special today in order to celebrate your birthday?
“Yes, Sidhu, Sunil, Jaan and I are going to have a dinner in Hauz Kaz village, which is a really good place in Delhi. Pierre and his wife who have been volunteers at Tara for a long time invited us. I can’t wait to be there.”

What does it mean to you to reach eighteen?
“It is a big change, I was small and now I am an adult. I am a little bit surprised because it came so quickly! I have been at Tara for six years and time flies. Now I can vote and it is a great thing! Voting is very important to me. I can also apply for a passport or a driving license. I can make my own identification and I am responsible for myself.”

What are your plans for the future?
“Most important for me is to do my best to have good grades. I love using my computer skills so maybe I will improve my knowledge in this area. I have planned to learn French because I dream of working abroad and especially for a French company. Also, I would like to see my parents soon.”

When do you plan to go to the Nest?
(Nest is the name given to the apartment for children who crossed the age of 18.)
“Since April 2015, I have been spending time at Tara Big Birds (aftercare program) and I plan to move on, as soon as possible. I can’t wait to stay there!”

Why are you so impatient?
“In Tara Big Birds, it is different, because I will do my homework by myself and there will be no one to tell me what to do! In Tara Boys, I was already independent about some things but the new thing will be to manage a budget. I will use my first budget on buying groceries. And then, according to my needs I will buy the rest.”

Why did you feed Pascal a piece of your birthday cake?
“This is a mark of respect in India. Pascal means a lot to me, he is a great role model for me, he supports me everywhere, even I was in bad condition, he took me out of.”

Do you want to add something else?
“I would like to thank again my friends and sir Pascal for taking care of me. I remember 6 years ago, he talked to me in English and I wasn’t able to understand, now thanks to him I can understand and say if something is wrong or good. I fit in at Tara and all the people are lovely. I would like to thank my support “Sir Didier”. He is sponsoring me to live in Tara. I would like to meet him and if I get my 12 classes, I want to go to France to thanks him in person. It is something very important for me because he knows what I am doing here and he is really proud of me.”

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Javed: a heart of gold

Our Tara Big Bird Javed had a heart operation on 17th August. Right after coming back to Tara, he answered our questions.

Heart problems are rare at your age. How did you find out ?
"I used to faint and I had some breathing problems. I also experienced blackout once in a while."

So what did you do ?
"It happened at school so I went to see the nurse. She found my pulse rate below average. I went to Max Hospital to see a cardiologist and I learnt that I had a severe sinus bradychardia. I went through many tests and eventually they decided to go for a pacemaker. It is a small machine which balances pulse rates and controls breathing."

How long you need to keep your pacemaker?
"For life. But the battery has to be changed every 8 or 10 years."

How was the surgery? The medical staff?
"I don’t know about the surgery because I was unconscious for a long time. The staff and doctors were very kind and supportive. They took good care of me and explained about every medical procedure. I was hospitalised for 5 days."

Did you have some friends or family who came to see you to the hospital?
"I had all the support of Tara, staff and volunteers. My school friends regularly paid me visit. My family also came to see me and showed concerns regarding my health. Basanti Maam (manager of Big Birds) has been constantly running to the hospital for my appointments and surgery."

Are you feeling good today?
"I’m good. I take my medicines and my food on time but I still feel weak and drowsy most of the time. Within a month I would be able to be regular on my schooling and normal schedule. I just feel like moving around and be on my own world. I feel like a new born baby who needs support and being carried. Instead of going back directly to Tara Big Birds, I was advised to get back to Tara Boys for a week so that I can be looked after and supervised on my medications and diet. I feel the connectivity and the enthusiasm amongst Tara Boys about my illness and they are very supportive!"

Do you want to add something?
"I want to thank Tara and Max Foundation who have been treating my illness right when it occurred, otherwise it could have been worsened a lot in the future."