Dr Kiran Practising Servanthood in Leadership with the Elderlies from Asha’s Dr Ambedkar Basti slum community.

Hello folks, I had a light bulb moment as I sat one afternoon reflecting on the elderly and the untouchables in the slums who have suffered so much all their lives. Asha has been a place where we have had all manner of wonderful friends and visitors over the past many years. We have shared hospitality with our Indian and global friends, with ministers and ambassadors, with our Asha family, our young Asha students and warriors, and so many others.

I suddenly felt how wonderful it would be if I could invite the elderly from an Asha community made up of untouchables (Dalits) for a banquet.

Last week, I had the great joy of receiving them with much love and warmth. Some were severely disabled, others were too old to work and had to beg because their children had abandoned them. Some told me that their children ate before their eyes while they just looked on. My team and I served them a delicious meal made up of numerous dishes that they enjoyed thoroughly. Thereafter Freddy and I washed the feet of a couple, while other team members followed. This ceremony was marked by silence, candles, and feeling the presence of love and tenderness. In the end, they gave us many blessings, we embraced each other, and they made their way home. It was truly an evening to remember. I decided we would have many more such meals together, inviting and honoring the very poorest in our communities with much love. Acts that bring alive the fraternity of our common humanity purify our hearts, break down all barriers, and keep us humble while lifting up those who are weak.

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