Every Thursday since I have been here in India, I have a Q & A time with a group of RGI students. It is always a slow start, but at the end of my allotted time they are clamoring with questions, as simple as, “How does it feel on an airplane?” To the more complicated, “If given the chance, how would I choose a husband?” In addition, I read the biographies of each girl attending RGI to gain more insight into their previous circumstances. There are many more “total” orphans attending this year. In India you are considered an orphan even if one parent is still living. Anyway, this particular girl’s bio really struck me.
Jyoti is an orphan girl who was found with her two younger brothers living on the street at the age of (more or less) 9. Immediately, the three were taken to a Christian Orphanage in Nasik, but later moved to separate orphanages. She is lucky that she can return to her orphanage after graduating from RGI. Many do now allow older girls to reside at the orphanage. Back on the street, slavery or prostitution are their only options without RGI. There is no hope for them to become self-reliant and marriage is almost out of the question.
Jyoti only passed 8th standard, and really had no hope of being self sufficient without the dressmaking training she will receive at RGI. Overjoyed was her response upon finding that “Beauty Parlor” was also an supplementary course. She had always dreamed of doing “Beauty Parlor,” and God has answered this secret prayer for her.
Jyoti is extremely shy and even though she sings quite well, she lacks the courage to perform. Nupi, the RGI administrator, is working with her to bolster her confidence. On Republic Day she sang a beautiful solo for the entire student body of both campuses.
I had to laugh when she said that one of her favorite things about RGI is the bathroom. I said, “Cue? (Why?”) She replied, “I did not know it was possible to have bathrooms that didn’t stink.” Also she, as well as most of the girls, likes the discipline at RGI. Discipline had always been a negative, not teaching with love.
Jyoti now sees a hope for her future with the life skills, job skills and spiritual training she has received at RGI.
Pray that we will continue to have wisdom in caring for the needs of these darling girls.
The girls are now making some of the cutest little evening purses out of silk. I am going to bring some home to try and sell to a boutique.