Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I noticed little Sourab off in the distance, watching the other kids play so I walked over to him. He had stayed away from the rest of action with a blank stare. His arms and legs were stick thin and lacking muscle tone. His small hands and feet almost felt like they didn’t have bones in them. Although he is 3 ½ years old, he looks all of 2. I picked him up and held him for a while, walking around and talking to him. He barely acknowledged me. I tried to get a smile out of him…acting goofy and tickling him but barely got a reaction. When I put him down, he stood there looking off into the distance. Later in the day, I found him on the steps with a bunch of other kids. He was trying to get a piece of the candy we were handing out but slipped down 3 steps landing on his forehead. His soft cry was barely heard above the other children’s voices as his housemother carried him away. Throughout the 3 days at Rourkela, I tried to engage Sourab with little reaction.

On our last night, after saying goodbye to the children, I went looking for Sourab. When I found the group of toddlers, I picked Sourab up and told him that I was leaving. For the first time, he held me tight. As I tried to put him down, he clung onto me. I finally loosened the grip of Sourab and the other 5 children hanging onto my arms and legs, told them I had to go and walked across the yard back to the main house heading towards our waiting car. The other toddlers followed me, some of them calling “Uncle” Uncle”. Probably 10 of them, all except little Sourab who remained across the yard, sobbing. I had to go back. I held him tight in my arms and carried him with me towards the car in front of the house, finally kissing him on the head and passing him off to a housemother. Sourab is in a home filled with love and will be just fine, but he is the one that will stick with me.

1 comment:

  1. Kevin,

    This is a great blog. I'm trying to raise money for The Miracle Foundation. I'm going to use your blog and some of your narratives on my blog. My blog is www.americanmuslimjournal.typepad.com. You can read about my fundraising project here: http://americanmuslimjournal.typepad.com/an_american_muslim_journa/ramadan-running-for-relief-2011-help-indias-orphans.html

    I'm in contact with The Miracle Foundation so you can ask them about me too.

    Can I use your pictures on my blog? Thanks for getting back to me!