November 4, Mumbai: Every Diwali, children across the country dress up in their festive best and spend the dazzling festival of lights along with their families. But not all are as blessed. Some perhaps sorely miss having families to celebrate with.
The Madhu Mehta Foundation in association with Salaam Bombay Foundation has been working relentlessly since the last 38 years to make Diwali one of the most joyous occasions for such children. The two organisations join hands each year to arrange a grand Diwali party full of love, warmth and light for children belonging to different orphanages across the city. Keeping up with the beautiful tradition, this year too, a splendid Diwali party was organised at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse on Saturday, November 4. Children from 24 orphanages across Mumbai, including some from organisations for differently-abled, participated in the dazzling celebration.
Mahalaxmi Racecourse looked resplendent as the children, each one of them dressed up in their finery and wearing the most alluring smiles, enjoyed the revelry. There were games, food, entertainment, gifts and most importantly a spirit of togetherness that gave the children an experience of being in the presence of family. As the DJ played beautiful numbers, the children grooved to the music dancing their hearts out and enjoying every moment.
Mujammil Khan, a student of a city-based NGO Apun Ka Club, said, “We are so excited that we look forward to and wait the entire year for this party. We get to enjoy ourselves with music, dance and great food. Also, they give us lots of useful gifts.” Another student from the same NGO, Satyam Jha was equally thrilled. “I am attending this party for the past four years and I really enjoy the day with friends from other NGOs also. We meet so many other different children, some are physically and mentally challenged. This is the day where we enjoy ourselves with music, dance, food and lots of gifts. We get the feeling of being home and celebrating with family,” he said.
Talking about the initiative, Nitai Mehta of Madhu Mehta Foundation said, “We have been doing this activity since the past 38 years. Most of us are extremely privileged to celebrate the festival of Diwali with our near and dear ones. But these children are not as lucky and this celebration that we arrange for them makes them very happy. Since the past so many years we have tried to make them feel like they are with their own families during Diwali. It’s bliss to see the glow on their faces when they enjoy themselves at the party.”