Participants: Terry Benedict (Host)
Series Code: HIM
Program Code: HIM000021
00:20 India is a land full of contrast.
00:25 It's a land of great mystery and beauty.
00:29 It's a land of unspeakable despair.
00:32 But traveling through India one thing is for sure,
00:35 it's a land filled with people
00:37 who should never be underestimated.
00:40 For the last 40 years Asian Aid has invested
00:43 in the futures of people
00:45 who have never been given such a chance
00:47 and their investment has proven infinite returns.
00:52 Driven by the vision of Helen Eager,
00:54 dedicated to helping those who have the least,
00:57 Asian Aid is an organization implementing
00:59 diverse development projects
01:01 and sponsoring thousands of children.
01:04 Their outreach spans from Bangladesh to Nepal,
01:07 Sri Lanka and beyond,
01:10 from remote villages and empty fields
01:12 to sprawling centers of education,
01:15 from nothing to the unimaginable.
01:19 Now Asian Aid decided to document the work
01:22 it has been doing in all these years
01:23 with the desire to show the world what is possible.
01:27 By digging wells in remote villages
01:29 for clean drinking water
01:31 and bringing much needed healthcare
01:32 to the women of Nepal.
01:35 By providing an education for orphans,
01:37 deaf and blind children,
01:38 giving them a sense of place, a home.
01:41 But what we really discovered was being given was hope,
01:45 giving hope to children, giving hope to women,
01:49 giving hope to the ones who needed the most.
01:53 This is Hope in Motion.
02:24 This is the place he used to sleep.
02:26 He used to beg all day
02:28 then come and sleep here on this veranda.
02:32 That's where he slept? Yeah.
02:35 This small boy's name is Rajesh.
02:38 He doesn't know anything about his parents.
02:42 He lived with his grandfather
02:43 and they just used to sleep on one of the steps
02:46 beside a shop just on the concrete there.
02:49 And every day they would beg
02:50 and share the money that they got.
02:53 Then one day Rajesh had done quite well with his begging
02:56 he had around 65 rupees.
02:58 But when he reached the spot
02:59 where his grandfather usually met him,
03:03 the grandfather had died.
03:07 Here in the slums of Hyderabad,
03:09 in the south eastern state of Andhra Pradesh.
03:12 Rajesh story is not uncommon.
03:15 Thankfully, there's somewhere
03:16 he and other orphan children can go.
03:22 A police officer found him wandering in streets
03:25 and he brought Rajesh here.
03:27 He is seven or eight years old
03:29 and no seven or eight years old
03:31 old should have to be on the streets begging for money.
03:33 And so I was very fortunate
03:35 that the policeman knew about Elim Home
03:37 and that he could bring Rajesh here
03:39 and give him a chance to actually be a kid.
03:45 Asian Aid sponsors over 60 children like Rajesh
03:48 here at Elim Home.
03:50 Here they study...
03:55 they live...
03:59 and they play.
04:05 One, two, three.
04:34 As we arrive at Elim Home
04:36 we're skeptical of how much good
04:38 one orphanage can really do in a city like this.
04:42 How are you girl's doing?
04:45 My name is Jashira Yavas and it's spelled J.A.S.H.I.R.A.
04:51 I am an elementary education major.
04:55 Here in India I am working
04:57 with the pre-schools/nursery class that we have here.
05:02 W. W.
05:04 X. X.
05:06 Y. Y.
05:07 Z. Z.
05:09 Very good.
05:11 It's very different than in the United States
05:14 just walking down just outside this gate
05:18 we go down and there's a tent made of tarp.
05:21 And little kids running with only a shirt on
05:24 and no shoes or no pants.
05:27 There's trash everywhere
05:28 and you just see kids using a bathroom there
05:31 or trying to look for food.
05:38 Most kids never escape the slums.
05:40 They remain uneducated, illiterate and impoverished.
05:44 Rani is one of the lucky few who made it out
05:47 thanks to a sponsor who funded her education.
05:52 When we are born, we may be poor
05:54 but with the help of them I'm not poor now.
05:59 I completed my education as the rich people has done.
06:05 After receiving the training to became a nurse,
06:08 she's returned to the slums to help those in need.
06:11 Many children are there.
06:14 I saw many of them,
06:15 I feel very bad whenever I saw my community.
06:20 They should-- they too should become like me.
06:23 If education is there, there will be change.
06:27 So I used to feel very bad
06:29 because I am the only one from this area
06:33 from this slum area I came up.
06:35 I want my people also from where I am born
06:39 like me they should come up.
06:53 When we arrived at Elim Home,
06:55 there were 69 orphans living here already.
06:59 We happened to be here when the 70th arrived.
07:03 Good evening, sir.
07:04 How are you? Fine.
07:06 Keerthana is a five year old orphan rescued from the slum.
07:10 She's been taken to Elim Home.
07:19 Keerthana's mother died when she was two.
07:22 Her father abandoned her a year later.
07:26 When an orphan gets dropped off, it's never easy.
07:30 It's hard for them to understand
07:31 that they're one of the lucky ones.
07:34 You wonder if kids like Keerthana
07:36 could ever find happiness after experiencing so much trauma.
07:40 So we talked to Ravi, one of the first children
07:43 to come to Elim Home 30 years ago.
07:47 I was just five-and-a-half years
07:49 because I remember I was asked to follow a stranger.
07:52 I was in tears, I don't know where I am
07:55 and slowly the pastor said that I'm going to put in a new home,
07:58 that's Elim Adventist Home.
08:01 When I first came to the home I was a bit worried, crying.
08:05 Pastor Christopher served me a bun, bread,
08:10 bread with banana and it was wonderful,
08:13 it was first time I ate bread in my life.
08:18 And the next day I had a breakfast
08:20 then I had a good bath.
08:21 This is the room where I used to sleep,
08:23 I got my bed here,
08:25 I never thought that I would get such a nice bed to sleep
08:29 and a blanket and a mosquito net.
08:32 And as I was going to school I learned,
08:34 started learning alphabet.
08:36 You know that alphabet and numbers.
08:39 E, I, G.
08:41 E, I, G.
08:44 H, T, eight.
08:46 It was good and going to school
08:47 it was really a new experience that I had.
08:51 These are their prized possessions right here.
08:53 This little pencil and this eraser
08:54 means the world to them.
08:55 They feel like they're rich
08:57 if they have a pencil and if they have an eraser.
09:00 I like to thank and I must be
09:02 ever grateful to Mummy Helen Eager.
09:05 I remember she came to Hyderabad to see us.
09:09 She grabbed me and she hugged me.
09:11 And then I felt the real love of a mother that day.
09:15 That was Mummy Eager was a first person who hugged me,
09:21 who grabbed me and hugged me into her arms.
09:23 Today, Ravi is an Asian Aid field officer
09:27 and one of Ravi's main jobs
09:29 is to check on the wellbeing of the kids in the schools.
09:40 I've spend so much time over here in the last 30 years
09:43 with so many people, they're just like family.
09:46 These two boys are brothers.
09:48 Their names are Kishore and Rahul.
09:52 This is Rajesh.
09:53 This is Raja.
09:55 And his sister Yamini.
09:57 This beautiful young lady is named Lilly.
10:00 This young man's name is Hamadam.
10:02 When you were small, how old were you then?
10:05 When you first knew me, he is asking?
10:07 Yeah, 7 years old.
10:09 You were 7 years old.
10:11 Dev grew up in a small village
10:13 where he had no chance of getting a decent education.
10:15 With sponsorship from Asian Aid,
10:17 he was able to attend a good boarding school
10:19 which put him on track
10:20 to becoming one of India's top cancer researchers.
10:24 My life started from a small village
10:27 where there is no knowledge.
10:29 We don't know anything about this world.
10:31 What is happening outside the world?
10:33 The bridge that is created between the village
10:37 and the present position was possible
10:40 only through Asian Aid organization.
10:42 I owe all my sincere thanks to Asian Aid organization.
10:46 My name is Anand Kumar K.
10:47 I'm a product of Elim Adventist Home.
10:51 When I was 3 years old my father and mother
10:54 both of them died on the same day
10:56 due to family problems.
10:58 In India the elder person
11:02 is to take care of the next family after his father.
11:05 So me being born as a handicapped
11:08 because I cannot care of the family
11:09 and he thought I am a handicapped person
11:11 and I am useless in the family.
11:13 So one day he drank and came.
11:16 He called me to him and he said "Sit my son."
11:21 Then he took kerosene and poured on my body
11:25 and lit me on fire.
11:27 Half of my body is burned
11:28 but this is the only thing that is left still now.
11:32 And as soon as my father-- my mother saw that,
11:34 she just came and she tried to stop the fire.
11:38 And by God's grace I was alive on that day
11:41 and if not my father would have killed me
11:43 on that particular day.
11:48 Anand has polio.
11:49 He's taught himself to get around
11:51 without the use of crutches or wheel chair.
11:55 I don't know how you do it.
11:59 You are amazing.
12:05 The secret of my success today is Helen Eager mom
12:09 because whenever I had a problem she used to tell me,
12:13 "you're not even less with other persons.
12:15 They may be physically strong, they may be mentally strong,
12:19 but you're not even--
12:20 you're not at all less than them."
12:22 And that made me very courageous.
12:26 And I feel I am not even less with all my friends
12:29 whatever they do, I will do it.
12:32 Throughout India there was no person
12:34 with 90% disabilities
12:37 studying M. Pharmacy or Master's degree.
12:39 And I feel privileged to study this Master's course
12:42 and it is all by God's grace
12:43 and the help of my sponsors and everybody.
12:55 There's just something about them
12:57 that just, they're just-- they are happy
13:00 and it makes you happy to see them happy here.
13:24 We leave Elim Home amazed
13:26 at the potential of these Asian Aid kids
13:29 and the accomplishments of the ones who have moved on.
14:00 I am here today in Andhra Pradesh, India,
14:02 at the Vizianagaram School with my friend Adarsh, 7 years old.
14:06 And my family, myself sponsored him.
14:08 Everyday he is able to have accommodation,
14:11 food, clothes and a good education.
14:14 We want you to know what a blessing this is
14:16 and that you too can make the difference
14:18 in the life of a child everyday through sponsorship.
14:38 Our film team has been traveling with Asian Aid
14:40 for over a month now.
14:42 Trying to keep up with them is exhausting.
14:46 We're tired and weary and ready to go home.
14:56 There is just one last stop to make.
15:01 We arrive at the Asian Aid School for the hearing impaired
15:04 and are quickly rejuvenated by the energy of these kids.
15:18 Just watching these children interact and learn
15:20 you can't help being inspired.
15:27 We are 100 miles from the nearest city here
15:29 in the remote town of Kamagiri.
15:32 In a southern part of India
15:34 is a school that exceeds all expectations.
15:37 These children are talented, smart and have big hopes.
15:42 And the teachers don't let them off the hook
15:44 just for being as they refer to them differently abled.
15:48 In India 4 out of every 1000 children are born deaf.
15:53 And it's estimated that only 10% of those children
15:57 are getting the proper education they need.
16:00 In a country that often discards the disabled.
16:03 This is an institution that goes far beyond anything
16:05 that was thought possible in the poorest parts of India,
16:09 parts of India like this one.
16:14 Mercy and Pastor Kumar are here
16:16 and so we just wanted to speak a little bit
16:18 about how this deaf school actually started.
16:21 Because it was the information that they got
16:25 that inspired Asian Aid that
16:26 we should be doing something for these deaf children.
16:29 We were only in the beginning trying to teach them
16:32 to learn and repeat and things like that
16:34 but actually you initiated that kind of scholastic program
16:38 where children were brought in to learn the sign language.
16:41 And this would definitely meet the international standard.
16:45 We know that we have give them something beyond value,
16:48 even to have given a young person a literacy
16:50 it's something that is--
16:52 something that I think you cannot measure,
16:54 because it's so important
16:57 and something I think may be in the western world
16:59 we don't realize the difference it makes in the person's life.
17:03 From humble beginnings
17:04 with the few kids being bust to a small rented building.
17:08 Helen and Asian Aid built this into a 120 kid home
17:12 and a leading center for educating the hearing impaired.
17:16 Maheshwari, her brother Govinda
17:19 and their little sister Kamakshi
17:21 have attended Asian Aid School for the hearing impaired
17:23 since the eldest was only 4 years old.
17:26 Raj Kumar, a top teacher here
17:28 and an Asian Aid sponsored child himself
17:31 help us to get to know the kids a bit better.
17:34 The children when they came, when we asked about their story
17:37 about her father and all.
17:39 The girl used to tell that
17:40 father used to come drunken home,
17:42 beat the children and beat the mother
17:43 and everyday they used to be crying in the home
17:46 and there was pain and strife and misery.
17:49 And the father was very mean to the children and the wife.
17:52 In an act of desperation
17:54 their mother placed them in this deaf school
17:56 to shield them from their abusive father.
17:58 And hopes they could have a chance at a solid education
18:01 and a productive future.
18:03 She's saying the father doesn't want her to study,
18:06 you just go house to house to work.
18:08 She was just 4 years old.
18:14 She's going in tears when you are asking the story.
18:19 What does-- what does she said?
18:23 About the father when we're asking...
18:38 Living in the schools she almost seeing the children
18:41 and the care they were given here,
18:43 she almost forgot the story.
18:44 And again now she's remembered and she is in tears.
18:51 We know deafness is partially hereditary.
18:54 But what we don't know is why it's happening
18:56 in such great numbers in the poor areas of India.
19:01 One of the main causes for the hearing impairment
19:03 in this kind of children,
19:04 in this area is the consanguinity
19:06 or the blood relations,
19:07 one of the uncle is marrying the nieces and all.
19:10 Sometimes in the poor communities
19:12 people marry relatives to keep the money
19:14 from the dowries in the family, this can come at a high cost.
19:19 This is Padma and this is Jyothi
19:23 and that is Rani
19:25 there are three sisters and mother is also a deaf.
19:31 They had father but 3 years back he passed away
19:34 because he was having cancer.
19:36 Smallest one, she's playful and she loves to play.
19:41 She's always running, she is a good girl too
19:44 and the middle one she is very good girl, she is helpful.
19:48 She likes to be with younger ones.
19:51 The big girl is very responsible.
19:53 She takes care of these two kids.
19:55 She gives them bath.
19:57 She's always behind these two children
19:58 to see that they both are well kept.
20:02 What does she want to be when she grows up?
20:13 She likes to be a computer engineer.
20:21 She likes, she likes to be a tailor.
20:25 She likes to stitch clothes.
20:29 What about the smallest one, she know what she wants?
20:34 Yeah, she said she wants to be a teacher now
20:36 but she dances also very well.
21:06 The kids are taught tailoring, sewing and embroidery work.
21:10 A valuable trade that can lead to a solid living.
21:20 We have two children who are working outside in Bangalore
21:22 who learnt tailoring here.
21:24 And was working
21:25 in one of the garment factory in Bangalore
21:27 earning nearly 4000 rupees a month.
21:30 Both Govinda and Kamakshi want to be tailors as well
21:35 but their sister Maheshwari has a different dream.
21:39 So she wants to do go for web designing and animation
21:42 like part in the computers-- using computers.
21:50 Yeah, she wants to do the same thing.
21:52 She saw the picture 'Avatar' recently.
21:56 And she said, "I want to do the same thing
21:57 like animation work since I am creative."
22:00 Many computer software companies also hire
22:03 hearing impaired workers for this web designing and all
22:08 because there is less to talk more to do
22:11 using their hands and brain using the computer.
22:48 This deaf school goes beyond teaching
22:50 and creates a family with values for these kids.
22:55 Children knows why they've come here
22:57 with the main purpose of their being here in the campus.
23:01 And one of the thing is to get a good education.
23:05 The second is to get a care, the proper care
23:09 where they won't even get it at their homes.
23:12 When we send the children homes for their holidays
23:15 after one or two days we can see the children coming back.
23:18 Yes, they say that we don't get enough, one meal at home.
23:22 They say we want to spend holidays here,
23:23 we don't want to go home,
23:25 being with the sister and the brother here
23:28 right in one campus and all of them living together
23:31 with the other children makes them very happy, feel happy.
23:35 Teaching these children gives us a beautiful feeling
23:40 that we're able to train these children
23:42 and mold these children in a right fashion
23:44 so that they could get a proper education.
23:48 They can't hear but they can see.
23:49 A picture is worth more than 100 words.
23:52 So we can show much to these children
23:54 and educate them in a better way
23:56 so that they could be a good future citizens,
23:59 a good Christians.
24:16 If there's anything we've learned on our travels
24:18 it's that everything with Asian Aid
24:20 seems to come back full circle.
24:23 I had a sponsor
24:25 and he sponsored me to finish till my college
24:28 and I am standing on my feet.
24:30 It's because of God's grace and by my sponsors,
24:33 I am expecting the same thing for these children.
24:36 They're getting a hope that they can come up in their life.
24:39 You want to write letter for your sponsor,
24:45 what will you like to write?
24:46 She is saying that she will ask, How are you?
24:49 I am fine and thank you for helping me.
24:52 One day I also like to help others.
24:56 And so when they come up in one level,
24:58 they can also help others like how they are getting help now
25:02 like what Rani said,
25:04 she like to help others when she becomes big.
25:07 I've been involved now with this program
25:10 and sponsorship for more than 30 years.
25:12 To me it's just so wonderful to see
25:14 the changes in the children's life's
25:16 because I have been involved now long enough
25:18 to have seen them come from this size up to adulthood.
25:23 And to every now and again come across one of these children
25:27 who come to meet me that have
25:29 really done something special in their lives.
25:32 It just makes it all worthwhile
25:34 From that small start today to see what's happened is,
25:38 is nothing but the story of a transformation.
25:40 There are many more children right in the villages
25:43 where we could pick them up and give them the right education
25:47 so that they could also feel
25:48 that this is their better homes.
25:51 I think the whole world should see this.
25:59 The sponsor who sponsored me,
26:01 the sponsor who sponsors the children,
26:03 we like to say a big thank you.
26:05 Not only that we would like to urge
26:06 many most sponsors to come forward
26:09 and to serve and to help children like us
26:12 so that we could only again,
26:14 they could again serve many more children like this.
26:19 This is one of the toughest school we had to leave,
26:22 while it's hard saying good-bye,
26:24 it seems by the look of it that it's harder for the kids
26:28 to say good-bye to Mommy Eager.
27:42 Well, its breakfast time at the Sunrise Home
27:45 and these 75 sponsored Asian Aid children
27:48 will shortly be going to school and down the road
27:51 we're building a new home for them and they are very excited.
27:54 There is an overwhelming need with orphans in this country
27:58 and Asian Aid needs your support
28:00 with its orphanage home projects.