Inspiring India

Seven-year-old twins were inspired by a trip to India to launch a fund-raising drive for charity that supports homeless children in Mumbai

Freya and Satia Badwal from Derby High School of Aston-on-Trent, saw the work of the Vatsalya Foundation first-hand when they visited India for a family wedding.

The girls met a six-year-old boy who was being cared for by the foundation after being found alone on the streets, looking after his three-year-old sister.

Moved by what they saw, the girls decided they wanted to help and started with a ‘back to front’ day at Derby High School, which raised £220. They have also created a web page, where more than £200 has been donated, and a YouTube video.

As well as raising money, they have asked their parents, Harvey and Karen, if they can volunteer at the foundation next year.

Freya said they were keen to help the children who are cared for by the foundation, which supports around 4,000 children every year.

She said: “The charity gives children an education, food and beds. Life for children out there is very different; we know how lucky we are. We met a six-year-old boy who had been found on the streets looking after his three-year-old sister. That made us feel a bit sad but he is happy now.

“We hope that by raising money the children can have more food and a happier life.”

Before ‘back to front’ day, which saw students in the Primary Department pay £1 to wear their clothes back to front, Freya and Satia gave a presentation in assembly.

Satia said: “It was really good. I was a bit nervous and we both had butterflies but after reading the first sentence it was fine.

“When we were in India, most of the children at the charity didn’t have shoes or toys and we would like to take some of our old toys out there so that they can enjoy them.”

Mr Badwal said that he and his wife were extremely proud of their daughters.

He said: “When we were driving around India the girls saw children on the streets and we asked at the hotel where we were staying if there were any charities that we could visit. They suggested the Vatsalya Foundation.

“On the flight back we asked the girls what the best part of the holiday was and they said it was the visit to the foundation. They said they wanted to help and came up with the idea of getting school involved. We are very proud of them and now they have asked if they can volunteer there next year too.”

Michelle Hannaford, Head of Derby High School’s Primary Department, said everyone was supporting Freya and Satia in their fund-raising efforts.

She said: “There were some interesting outfits around school as the children were creative with the ‘back to front’ theme for the day. Freya and Satia have driven this event as they were so moved after their visit to Mumbai and they have managed to inspire the rest of the Primary pupils.”

The girls’ fund-raising web page, including their YouTube video, can be found at:https://gogetfunding.com/project/vatsalya-street-kids-project