Damodara in Orphanages

BY SHOBNA SHREE

BANDAR TASIK SELATAN, KUALA LUMPUR (29/11/2008) – The ladies division of the Vedic Oasis for Inspiration, Culture and Education (V.O.I.C.E) organized a Damodara Orphanage Program in Senbhagavalli Ashram. This event was coordinated and led by Bhaktin Rohyini. The program was organized to provide an opportunity for the children to offer ghee lamps to Lord Damodara and also to show our love and support to the underprivileged children.

Senbhagavalli Ashram, located in Bandar Tasik Selatan, Kuala Lumpur is a home for 38 orphaned and abandoned children including 12 adults. They are taken cared by Mr and Mrs Ramu who are staying in one of the six rented room in a low cost flats. We started the program with a small introduction done by HG Astasakhi Bhakti devi dasi mataji with the children. This was followed by narration of Damodara lila by HG Karuna Sindhu Kanai dasa prabhu. The children were very attentive, interactive and enjoyed the Damodara Lila. The children were then shown Damodara cartoon so that they will be able to visualize the Damodara lila more clearly.

The games session was next in the agenda. The children were excited to know what are the games has been organized for them. We started of the games session with colouring competition. The children were so much indulged into colouring Lord Krishna and tried their level best to beautify him with their colouring skills. The next game was blowing the biggest balloon in 30 seconds. It was indeed a fun session as some children did not realize that they were over blowing the balloons and the balloons were bursting everywhere. There were a lot of laughter and they surely enjoyed this session. The last game was to utter Lord Krsna’s name with their hands raised. The winner will be the person who is able to utter Lord Krsna’s name the longest. This game surely created a competitive environment among the children to utter Lord Krsna’s name the longest. Each and everyone had an opportunity to say Lord Krsna’s name. We concluded the games session with prize giving ceremony. We then proceeded with quiz session. The children were asked some simple questions on Damodara Lila narration which was done earlier by HG Karuna Sindhu Kanai dasa prabhu. Since they were so attentive when the story was narrated, they were able to answer all questions and they were given beautiful Lord Krsna’s stickers as gifts.

Next was the offering of ghee lamps to Lord Damodara. About 32 children showed ghee lamp because some of the children were away for academic seminar. The children were mesmerized with the beauty of Lord Damodara and started to crowd around and even took a picture with Lord Damodara. In that short period of time, the children were very attached with Lord Damodara and requested us to leave Him there with them.
Finally, we served the children with sumptuous prasadam and had small conversations with the children and the adults there. The children and the adults were very happy to have us there and they requested us to visit them again. This program gave a huge impact on us as we realized how much this program has benefited the children. The happily smiling faces of the innocent children will always be in our hearts.

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BY HEMALAN NAMBIAR
SEPUTEH, KUALA LUMPUR (15/11/2008)  – The Vedic Oasis for Inspiration, Culture and Education (V.O.I.C.E – Malaysia) organized a Damodara Orphanage Program under its Social and Welfare Division. The program was a two pronged event, namely to provide a chance for the kids to offer ghee lamp to Lord Damodara during the auspicious month, and also to provide support and care to the underprivileged children. This event was coordinated and led by Bhakta Prabhu, who also heads the Media Works Division of V.O.I.C.E.

The home called Stepping Stones, located in Seputeh, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is a self sponsored home for orphaned and abandoned kids cared for by Pastor John, a local minister. The home houses over 100 children aging from 7 years to 17 years of age. We were not allowed to perform kirtans/bhajans as the home is Christian in nature. Nevertheless, through the wonderful efforts of the V.O.I.C.E team members, we managed to provide prasadam, show an animated cartoon of Damodara lila and provide the children an opportunity to offer ghee lamp to the murti of Lord Damodara.

We started off the program by introducing the objective of the event, which was a university comparative religion project, for which we presented our selves in karmic attire without tilak to provide a more comfortable feel to our hosts and the kids. Bhakta Prajindra presented a general idea of Lord Damodara’s lila and the glories of offering ghee lamps. The children were then shown the animated cartoon, and we proceeded with interactive games to entertain the kids.

After concluding the games section of the event, we served the kids prasadam, and joined in with a little personal conversations with the kids. The children although very much underprivileged, were very happy to have us and enjoyed our company as we did theirs.

The home caretaker said a short prayer for our V.O.I.C.E team, thanked us for our efforts, and asked the Lord to bless us always.  This event truly moved our hearts as we witnessed children in such a dilapidated state but with such big smiles on their faces. Giving the Lord’s mercy to such children truly made all of us feel ever so blessed.
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