Mumbai Smiles Journey through 2020
The year 2020 nears to a close, a year of frustration, fear, anxiety and uncertainty on the one hand, while on the other, a year that gave us an opportunity to be with our loved ones, to take a moment to pause and reflect inwards and connect with those who need our help and support, a year that led to our hearts getting muddled with bitter and sweet memories. This is Mumbai Smiles’s journey through 2020.
The year started with new dreams and new plans across all the communities where we work in the Mumbai city. However, the COVID-19 pandemic hit badly to everyone’s aspirations. In a flash, the darkness overpowered. In the communities, those eyes which used to smile through thick and thin were brimming with fear and uncertainty. We have seen people running out of food and losing homes due to the lockdown situation. Many lost their jobs, houses and had to spend nights on the roads. We have seen mobs of people walking on the road going back to their villages with their old parents and children with the only hope which was the only hope of survival.
For us it was all disheartening and we were worried for the future of our preschool kids, their parents, our VHT (Victims of Human Trafficking) beneficiaries. However, we were blessed with the helping hands that not only supported us during this pandemic situation but still are motivating us.
We adapted to new technology to train our preschool teachers and continued teaching online to all our students. We could not only provide food grains to our beneficiaries but also to roadside dwellers during the first 5 months of the COVID-19 lockdown.
Our VHT students and their families were always connected with our education and mental health team through telephonic calls. Our team was always there to attend and listen to their problems. We provided them some occupational and psychological therapy sessions online to support their mental health.
The Smiling Bus which we inaugurated in 2019 was dedicated to spread the awareness and information about covid-19. We have also taken one more leap by opening our new office in Madrid to create more smiles. And in the same year we have completed 15 years.
Though the year 2020 parted us initially but we have come closer like never before and have become stronger as a team and family.
Thank you all for your continuous support and trust.