The Story of the Little Yogi Project, by Tshering Chödron

Project for lighting the Hopes of the Unfortunates!

It all started when my son Tshewang was five years old.  We were in Kathmandu, Nepal to visit the famous Boudhanath Stupa. One day, while were were going around the stupa we came across a little boy. He was in rags and had no shoes. The little boy appeared destitute. When Tshewang saw the boy he was moved and touched to the core of his being. He started asking me questions like, “Why did this boy look so dirty? Why is he in tattered filthy clothes and why are his feet bare without any shoes? Why is the boy alone in the street?” I was taken by surprise and had no immediate answers to his questions. My five year old son saw what many of us adults failed to see. His questions brought me back to reality. The reality of our own lives.

Assuming that he was too young to comprehend the reality of our life, I just remarked that the boy in tattered filthy clothes is an UNFORTUNATE CHILD. Actually I wanted to cut short our conversation and continue our circumambulation of the stupa. Easier said than done, my son pleaded that we buy him new clothes and shoes, which we did immediately from a nearby shop.

Then we were back in Europe. I thought he might have forgotten all about the unfortunate child we came across in Kathmandu. But I was wrong. One day he saw an advertisement for the UNICEF TV, an Indian boy, who had a similar look of that Nepalese boy, appeared on the screen .He was so excited and came rushing toward me talking about the boy we met in Kathmandu. He was surprised when I explained that there are many other children like the one we met in Kathmandu. Then he bombarded me with his questions; What can we do to help those unfortunate children? Can we do anything to help them? I replied that we can send some money to help them. He gave me a smile and said that he will no longer spend on collecting Pokémon Cards (that was his passion at the time). Instead he would save the money to be sent to help these less fortunate children.

Now Tshewang is 9 years old. He has changed a lot but he has never forgotten that Kathmandu, the thought of a grown up adult. He still carries those memories which seem to have made an impact in his tiny life. He is more conscious about life and is getting more serious as the days go by. He tells me now and then that he wants to dedicate his life to help the less fortunate ones. On his insistence, we have been helping a few children in our own small ways. However, our small contributions in our smaller ways seem too small for our big world. There are hundreds of such children, maybe millions, living on the streets with tattered clothes, torn or no shoes on their feet, with unkempt hair. Their tiny hearts, longing and waiting for someone to wave a magic wand to create smiles on their innocent faces.