Human Santa Claus
Growing up in the capital city of India amidst the very cosmopolitan yet Hindu dominated surroundings in the 60s and 70s Christmas hadn’t meant much except a public holiday that came during the school’s winter vacations. We heard tales of Santa Claus and poems referring to Jingles Bells and I wondered about the significance when there was hardly much mention about Jesus Christ. My young curious mind had known from all family festivities that each festival was associated with some Devi/ Devta/Incarnation of the Almighty. Perhaps I wasn’t exposed to the Christian way of doing things so viewed everything with my limited perspective.
Having grown up and having had little kids the Santa Claus fascination slowly crept into our lives. It was a trend, so we followed it as a fad. In the semi cosmopolitan society of Bangalore, my little children had to be made aware of the trend and hence the secret gifts started making way into their lives. In the absence of affluence, bringing in a Christmas tree was unthinkable but the sweet little gifts entered their young lives as presents brought by Santa Claus. The secret had to be maintained: the make believe factor had to sound like real and my innocent daughter would swear that she actually saw Santa entering through that small window in the dead of the night to place the presents near her pillow.
Time flew past and the move to Kenya brought us away from the density of South Indian cultural traits and gradually the Christmas tree made its way into the house with a boastful display of presents. Everyone is grown up, everyone understands that there is no Santa Claus that pays a visit to the household, everyone has outgrown taking pictures with Santa dummies at the malls and halls yet his absent presence is prevalent and I wonder why not discard this fad and focus the real life Santa’s of our society.
There are several members of society who have outdone anything a Santa Claus would have done.
They come on their two feet – not on any sled, not led by any reindeers yet they read the secret letters written in the minds of many and gift them with their very basics time and again.
They wear no red suits – they have no bulky tummies – they are people like you and me but with hearts bigger than yours and mine.
They might not pose to click – they might not give you hugs – but their love is unconditional and from helping they do not shrug.
The Human Santa Claus’ are present in each segment of the society. Not just for a day, not just for a month – they give out their time, their effort, their voluntary services and their financial aid throughout the year – irrespective of any season, irrespective of any religion or gender.
It is strange that Santa Claus has majorly been depicted as a male figure yet never considered a fatherly figure. In my opinion women are the biggest unconditional givers then why is the Santa theory gender biased?
I look into the society I live in and find many a Human Santa Claus’ moving around without their traditional gear and would like to name a few though there are so many organizations, communities and individuals that to mention them all will be an expansive task:
Kamal Tolia and her group of healers known as Lotus Healing Seva Group
We take so much from the Earth! The foods we eat, the water we drink, even the air we breathe all come from Mother Earth. For eons these systems have been kept ever fresh and filled with Life sustaining energy for our continued existence by Her. We owe her our Birth and our Life! It is therefore only fitting that we give back in gratitude to the Earth. And what better way to do this than by healing her with beautiful Spiritual Energy!
With this in mind, every discipline she teaches – Reiki, Kundalini Reiki, Crystal Healing, Magnified Healing, Violet Flame and The Soul’s Journey Home – includes Healing the Earth.
Dr. (Mrs.) Prabha Choksey and her foundation known as Dr. Choksey’s Albinism Foundation
The foundation runs a school sponsorship program for children with Albinism from low socio-economic backgrounds. The foundation supports the education of over 80 Albino children in East Africa
The Help Ever, Hurt Never initiative of the foundation reaches out to assist financially unstable people with Albinism. The money goes towards things like higher education, new businesses, courses and equipment needed to develop life skills such as IT and communication.
THE GIFT OF SIGHT
The foundation is addressing the visual challenges in people with Albinism by providing free ophthalmic services and photo chromatic glasses to all people with Albinism and has reached over 1000 people
Humanitarian Rani Ramchandani for her dedicated philanthropy
Rani an investment banker has remarkably worked towards benefitting many lives and has made great efforts at providing support to the people with disabilities.
Edith Murogo is the project Leader of Talia Agler Girls Shelter and Centre for Domestic Training and Development
Talia Agler Girl’s Shelter is a project of CDTD which was established in January 2012 within the Nairobi Metropolitan to offer direct assistance to girls aged between 10-24 years and who are victims of human trafficking, child labor, forced migration and sexual abuse. To realize its Objectives, the shelter works through 4Rs to: Reach, Rescue, Rehabilitate and Reintegrate “one girl at a time”. The Shelter accepts girls not only from Kenya but also those trafficked from across borders.
Shariffa Keshavjee and her project of empowering girls every year under the name Hawker’s Market Girls’ Center
Hawkers Market Girls Centre (HMGC) is a community based organization that works in partnership with other organizations to enable girls and young women to develop their fullest potential by providing them with both vocational and life skills.
The girls who come to the center are from the slums surrounding the city of Nairobi. In the slums there is no fresh water, no space and no sanitation. HMGC is there home away from home. HMGC provides safe water, free food and free education. HMGC has dedicated mentors who love, care and support the girls.
Martina Lordan founded the Mukuru Sinai slum project known as Mukuru Outreach
Mukuru Outreach Kenya’s objective is to provide support for the empowerment of the vulnerable, youth and children of Mukuru slum, in order that they may live lives that they are proud of through vocational training in Tailoring and IT.
Mama Margaret the brave police woman turned to an orphanage mother of Makimei Children’s Home, Kenya
Makimei Children’s Home accommodates 79 children with the youngest being 2 weeks old and the oldest 19 years. Most of these children were abandoned in the forest, dark alleys, dust bins and sewer systems. They were left to die only for them to be miraculously rescued and taken to Makimei Children’s home.
Aruna Varsani and her foundation known as Together for Better
Creating change, together for better
Together For Better Foundation is on a mission to empower girls and women in less privileged communities with better opportunities in life by providing access to sustainable pads, learning resources and educational materials.