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In practically every big city, especially those that are known for wealth, glamour, excitement, etc., there are also many destitute kids who have no home except the streets. They are to be found in New York, London, Bombay, and all the other big cities one can think of, as also in places one is not aware of. This is the story of street kids in Casablanca, Morocco, and how the fate of some of them changed when, one day in November 1994, a doctor stopped to talk to their gang.

Dr. M’jid Najat did not believe till then that street kids existed in Casablanca – they were to be found only in big cities like New York – that is what she thought. But that day in November 1994 when she was driving along, she saw a gang of teenagers, sitting amidst garbage and behaving in a rowdy fashion. She was taken aback. She stopped her car, got down and walked to the group. She then said, “I am a doctor. Can I do anything for you?” The boys did not take her seriously, and so one boy, by way of teasing her, said, “Yeah, you can do something for sure. How about giving me a cigarette?” His remark produced laughter amongst the kids. But Dr. Najat was not put off. Instead she continued talking to the boys. Meanwhile, a big pile of garbage descended from the sky falling squarely on the boys – it was a lady in one of the upper floors of the building nearby emptying her trash can into the street below! Dr. Najat had never seen anything like that!

Despite this interruption, the conversation continued and slowly the boys realised that there was love and compassion in the lady. Her compassion melted them and made the boys accept her help. Dr. Najat fetched her bag, cleaned their skin wounds, removing any puss, applying medication and bandages, etc. It was time for Dr. Najat to leave and one of the boys said, “Adieu,” something one says when one does not expect to see the other person again. The boys really thought that that was the last time they would see Dr. Najat. They were mistaken.

Dr. Najat was shocked beyond words; “How could people live like this?” she asked herself. She did not stop thinking about the boys after she left. One thing led to another. Next day she was back there again in the slum and took the boys to a public bath where they enjoyed the luxury of a bath for the first time in years. Next, she took them to her home and gave them clothes she had collected from her husband and friends. Suddenly, the street kids were wearing clean clothes and they began to look quite smart in their T-shirts and jeans!

One thing led to another. Dr. Najat located an abandoned shed. On enquiry she found that it belonged to an orphanage. She made a deal and the orphanage let her use the shed, provided she carried out all the repairs. The repairs were arranged and a place was available for the boys to stay – they no longer needed to sleep in the streets. A hotel heard about all this and donated beds. And so on, the tree of love and kindness grew. An NGO then came along and volunteered to contribute funds if Dr. Najat could raise matching grants from other sources. So she travelled to France, and raised some money from the French Government, Air France, and so on, and in this way she soon had $ 20,000. With this, she started a small school and training programme.

Now, many of the street kids have left her care to go out into the world and live as respectable citizens, even as new street kids are taking the place of those who have left. Of course, the candles that have been lit are trying to light other candles in their own small way.

Swami says LOVE ALL SERVE ALL. A good many of us hear it not just once or twice but so many, many times. Yet, we do not use that Mantra to change our lives, and thereby also that of others. We are sure Dr. Najat of Morocco has never heard of Swami or His advice. And yet she did just that – to love all and serve all. How come? Because most of us devotees listen with our ears the voice coming from outside, while she heard the same message from the Voice within, and she heard with her Heart! That makes all the difference! Think about it!

Jai Sai Ram.
SGH Team.