June 2016 By Srikala Ganapathy In September 2014, I created a Whatsapp learning group called Experiencing Life. It is a forum of like-minded people from different walks of life, who share and celebrate their common interests, to enrich their minds and stay inspired. Currently, we are a team of 21 members comprising doctors and research scholars, government and IT professionals, businesspersons and home-makers. A year of communicating with mutual respect and understanding (irrespective of varied personal likes and dislikes) established healthy connections and good rapport among the group members. On October 4 2015, we celebrated our first group anniversary by meeting each other. I hit upon the idea of doing something meaningful in our meet and we decided to spend time with the visually challenged girls of Nilacharal Trust in Nanganallur, Chennai. Radha Krishnan, founder of the Trust was a warm, welcoming and wonderful human being dedicated to a life of service. We gave away some basic everyday stuff like soaps, toothpastes, shampoos, sanitary napkins, bracelets, and distributed biscuits since they travel huge distances in buses and trains in their daily commute to their respective colleges. It was thrilling to watch people in our group willingly pitching in to contribute. The gifts brought happy smiles on the girls’ faces. They were all so sweet, well mannered and talented. They sang and danced and were very friendly and cheerful with no complaints about life, regardless of their deprived condition. They readily posed for photo-sessions. We pinned flowers on their hair which brought joy to their hearts. It was a delight to see them so happy, and able to appreciate the simple pleasures of life which we so often miss. We left the place with so much positivity that it made our day even brighter! In retrospect, it was one of the most enriching and beautiful experiences I have ever had.
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