Posted by: Prem Piyush | March 4, 2008

Temple(s) of we mentally retarded people


I have been to ISKCON many a times but to a NGO it was my first visit in Bangalore.

On the 80 feet road, there on a wall written – Asha Niketan. It is a NGO – where SDIPA students decided to make friendship with.

Asha Niketan – a simple building with brown brick walls. With the packet of cloths and other things given by M.S., I entered the gate. And the wavy stairs reached the verandah. There on the bench sitting were some persons.One can see their bent heads, hanging hands, drooling tongue and the dull looking persons – we call them mentally retarded – who don’t have a home like ours !

After entering there, suddenly a feeling came to me. And the feeling I did compared my entry to another famous place – the ISKCON. But both feelings did had a contrasting experience !

When I go to ISKCON – there I try to be good devotee for the minutes/hours – I spend there. There I don’t find the priest’s eyes welcoming me. They seem to be immersed in a another world, in the greatness of the great temple. Of course the security guards, do welcome me as I am a patron member there ! I do get special entry with a life time pass. But even at the temple, truly I don’t feel on the ground in that way I did felt there.

At Asha Niketan, within the dull looking boundaries – everyone is welcome equally. I was said to wait for sometime – as some authority was to come to collect the things. Soon a tall white lady came and took me to a small room. An inadequately lighted house with a PC on the table. In the room, there were other donated things kept in a big bag. She was so busy that she did not opened the things donated earlier. Down the corner, in another room, I can see elderly people sitting down for meals.

And my eyes were feasting on the walls. The walls had paintings – must be made by the members of Asha Niketan. The painted human figures were not as beautiful as I did saw the Bal-Gopal’s paintings on the walls of temple. But these dull colors in painting were speaking aloud. They do make candles, cards and do sell them. ISKCON too make agarbattis, sweets and so many others things and help many needy persons.

Both are temples to serve the human kind. And the fact is, at the NGO’s, we don’t expect the blessing deity idol there, so most of us don’t go inside the NGO’s making a big queue. And of course in temple, most of us do like to go in queue or become life patron ( for shortcut entry or special treatment or big donation) for the essence of some assurance of heaven out of hell life or for fulfillment of some wish. Anyway in front of deity, we do chant and dance too.

Here they learn dance for therapy, dance for happiness and dance for friendship. SDIPA instructors do train the mentally retarded people free of cost, and make them dance on stage. Imagine the different level of grasping power of mentally retarded people. On the stage, all persons trying to follow the steps of instructor lately and one person just moving the hanging hands sidewards throughout the dance.

The dance of life.. in the different coloured beams focussed on us on the world’s stage. Yeah we all the dancers , tied with HIS strings.

We dance, act, sing on the stage of world. And there are some persons, who play the relationship acts beyond blood relations and they run the NGOs.

The deepest need of each one is to love and to be loved.” – the leaflet of Asha Niketan says.

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Responses

  1. Touched !

    You doing a great job Piyush, both at ISKCON and at places like Asha Niketan. Keep it up.

  2. Hi Piyush,

    Its really gr8 job what you are doing piyush keep it up,Piyush is there any opportunity to help those people at Asha Nikketan during sundays for half a day.Plz let me know.

    Thanks & Regards
    Rohan

  3. Where is this Asha Nikethan in Bangalore i want to visit , please send me address to my mail id
    paul.t.sudhakar@gmail.com

  4. Even i would like to help these people is there any opportunity at Asha Nikketan during saturdays and sundays .Plz let me know… Reply to my ID…shwethap_rasad@yahoo.co.in

  5. Hi Piyush,
    Could u plz send me the address of this home at
    mushtaqali.beig@gmail.com

    Thanks
    Mushtaq


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