‘DON’T curse the darkness, light a candle’ goes a famous saying. The Youth Helping Hands (YHH) lives up to it.
A voluntary organisation, aiming at spreading light in the lives of orphans, the YHH was floated by a group of youth led by R Arun.
Arun, himself a product of an orphanage _ Family For Children (FFC), is quick to feel the problems faced by these unprivileged kids. “Low selfesteem is one of the major issues. Our talents go unrecognised as there is no platform to develop them and to encourage us,” he said.
As a child he used to dream of a day when orphans would be treated on par with those coming from households. He grew up determined to eradicate the problems of the abandoned. His passion for music made him join Government Music Collge, RS Puram, and he began earning a living performing orchestra.However, his busy life never deterred his desire to help the unprivileged.
“The first programmewas held at FFC in 2005. It showcased the talents of the kids and there was an orchestra to entertain them. Recognizing the need to reach out to a wider audience, the second function was conducted at CIT auditorium where children from other orphanages in Coimbatore also participated,” Arun said.
It was while planning the next function that Arun met Manoj Haley. Manoj was adopted by a Canadian family from FFC when he was six.
“Now I’m a part of YHH. We’re planning to launch a branch of YHH in Canada so that we can reach out to orphans not just in India but around the world,” he said.
Understanding the need to promote academics among the orphans, YHH conducted
‘Young Scholars ’08’ on Sunday. 90 students from 18 orphanages around the city were awarded for their scholastic performance. There was a dance by differently-abled children and a music programme ‘Innisai Saaral’ by theYHH band and the students of Govt Music College.
“Giving food and clotheswill not help these kids; something should be done for their education and future. If college students from the city come forward, all their problemswill be solved in no time,” says Vivek, member of YHHand a professional choreographer.
The administrator FFC, Coimbatore, SunbeamVishwanath said, “Arunwas a very dependant and insecure boy. After joining Music College and having found like-minded friends, he started this organisation. We support him whole heartedly. Not many who leave this institution turn to serve the society.”
What makes this organisation different is the participation of the youth. The student president of PSG medical college and a member of YHH, Manikandan said, “As medical
students we understand the problems in the society. We are ready to offer any help.”
“For ‘Young Scholar ‘08’ everything from transportation to stage arrangements was done with the help of PSG medical college students. The college also allowed us to use their auditorium,”Arun said.
VOYCE (Voice of Youth for Clean Environment), a society was also launched under the guidance of Charkravarthy,DSP, CB CIDduring the function. This society aims at creating awareness on environmental issues among school and college students.
“My dreamis to abolish the term orphanages and to uplift them as educational institutions. Every child is special and an orphan is no different,” Arun said. If you wish
to be a part of YHH, contact Arun over phone: 93455-59815.
Note: This was published in ‘Expresso’, the city supplement of The New Indian Express on July 4