2007 and Lincs with India was appealing for sponsors. I am not rich by British standards but I decided that £12.50 (£10 in 2007) a month was not a large amount and it would be life changing to a little boy or girl who could not get schooling because of the location of his home in India. I was allocated a little boy called Retheesh and recalled looking at the photo of this little bare foot urchin and placing it in my office where it reminded me how lucky we are to be born in this country. Both his very handsome elder brother and beautiful sister are at SDETland so he wasn’t going there as a very small child on his own.
I get a letter once a year from him (although it is, of course, written in English by a teacher) and a Christmas card which sends greetings and love from my “nephew” Retheesh. I have visited STEDland a couple of times over the last few years and have met my little boy. He was the one who sat at the front and either fell to sleep or fidgeted whilst the speeches were being made! He is well known by the teachers and is very popular with the other children. He definitely was a little character!
Going to SDETland is a mind-blowing experience and one which is so difficult to describe. The children are so polite, grateful and pleased to see you and are an absolute delight. When Retheesh writes to me he tells me how well his is doing at school and also recalls his annual trip out (usually paid for by a Rotary Club) which he thoroughly enjoys. I suspect, knowing his mischievous nature, he probably enjoys the trips and fun more than school! He goes home to his mother and father in the summer and I am sure they are very proud of all their three children.
The latest photo I have of him shows Retheesh as a very handsome teenager with a very beguiling smile and I am so pleased he has continued at STEDland and will hopefully become a very fulfilled individual. Retheesh doesn’t have to become a doctor or lawyer – to me it is enough that he will have had the opportunity to learn to read and write and make his way all the better in his ever changing world.