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The Story of Kat Yatra

Jag se Dosti..
On 23rd June, 2015, the Kat family embarked on a yatra to a beautiful haven in
Ahmedabad for friendship, self-discovery and reflection. In the weeks leading up to this,
the volunteers planted seeds of excitement in the minds of the children. The kids
planned for a long time in advance, and made certain to pack the essentials, including
money for shopping and clothes for swimming. The kids, didis and volunteers excitedly
prepared for their break away from the hustle-bustle of Delhi, for many it was the first
time they had left GB Road. Their pockets jangling and their heads were filled with hope
as they anticipated what was to come.

The journey to Ahmedabad began on a train, in which the family was able to travel
without judgement, and enjoyed the feeling of freedom. Time flew by as the kids played
games, sang songs, and talked of the exciting few days ahead. Gitanjali confiscated all the
childrens phones, which enabled the children, volunteers and didis to fully immerse
themselves in the moment. The train arrived in the evening, and they boarded the
khushibus, which transported them over night to the retreat. The kids were told they
would pass a desert during the trip, and so excitedly packed torches to investigate for
themselves. They remained soundly asleep, but in the morning still boasted about seeing
the desert (even though it may have only been in a dream).

On the morning of 24TH June, they arrived at the haven known as Sugadh.The
Sugadh family welcomed them by playing musical instruments. The rules were set: there
was to be no making fun of each other, not too much noise, no interrupting, only shanti.

Sugadh retreat was a huge oasis, with not a thing nearby no roads, no shops, just the
Sugadh family and the retreat. This meant there were no surrounding noises, just pindrop silence and the company of the Kat family. The grounds were a huge paradise with
a beautiful garden, and although there was a river nearby this were not of interest to the
children, who only had eyes for the swimming pool. There was also the maitri hall,
which in normal circumstances was only for adults, however, on this special occasion,
the kids were invited in to help decorate it.

The first session in itself was about being aware of our inner beauty. From an
unplanned rain dance to a movie session which made each one of realise the value of gift
economy and gratitude was sheer blessing. The days at Sugadh were filled with learning
and reflection; beginning with PrabhatFeri, the morning walks. Such walks were
accompanied by the playing of instruments, singing of songs and dances of worship.
These walks were followed by an early breakfast where the two chefs shared their
stories of the spiritual journey that brought them to Sugadh. As they ate breakfast more
instruments were played, and unable to contain their excitement, the kids danced.
Lunch was a fine affair of Gujrati style food, in which the kids, didis and volunteers ate

The kids highlights of the trip included waking up early for the morning walks,
as they were so eager to get the day started. The rain also played an important factor,
and one day it even rained for the whole day in which the kids, volunteers and didis all
danced in the rain for hours on end. Swimming was also a favourite activity the kids
were in their swimming clothes hours early in anticipation. The girls and boys had
separate floors which contained bedrooms that were almost too clean! These rooms
were a source of great happiness; they became personal retreats for the four nights
spent at Sugadh. Furthermore, the kitchen and restaurant were sites of great enjoyment,
as food always is in the Kat family.

Visiting Gandhi aashram, Manav Sadhna, and Rudra Centre were great learning
experiences for both kids and didis. Art from heart, Make a friend, and Riverside school
visit were also some of the amazing sessions in the journey.
Kids also went out for a movie at Screen and Spice where they also performed in foyer
of the mall on their favourite songs. Kids discovered the joy in themselves, Didis could
sense that happiness and love still exists somewhere deep down in their hearts, and
volunteers too learned about selfless service through various talks by Jayesh Bhai and
Mukesh Bhai. On the last night, everyone promised Jayesh Bhai about five values that
theyd follow in their lives. Each Kid, volunteer, and Didi placed their hand on his heart
and closed their eyes while promising. They danced again and lit the lamps of new
dreams and prayers.

Katyatra was a journey of love, and such beautiful journeys begin.. continue.. but never
end! It concluded with Seven steps and a bow which allowed each one of us to the pay
the love forward that we have received during the Yatra. Tears of joy and hugs of
contentment filled the campus of Sugadh with happiness and love. The lessons learnt on
Kat Yatrahave created lasting joy and fond memories for all involved. Their bodies were
able to fight physical tirednesswith newfound peace and happiness. While they were sad
to leave, the family now have greater bonds, and even greater faith for the future.

The kids had favourite activities and learnt many lessons

Pari loved swimming and bathing in the rain. She learnt how to give love and accept
everyones love and to give one hour each day to meditation. She also learnt to be
friends with everyone.

Sonu really liked roaming around the garden, and also loved dancing in particular the
special dance that was prepared for Ahmedabad. He also made a friend at Manav

Fizareally enjoyed also swimming and the rain and learnt how to make new friends.

Kunalloved swimming and also loved the food, especially being able to eat a lot.
Kunalalso enjoyed the cleaning every morning.

Nimish liked bathing and swimming and the heavy rain. He also enjoyed cooking for

Akash also loved bathing and swimming in the rain, and also enjoyed watching the
movie ABCD2. He learnt how to meditate, sit quietly in a circle, get to bed early and get

Rishi enjoyeds wimming in the rain and watching ABCD2. He learnt to make friends, sit
in silence and to share love. He is now trying to follow his goals to change his life. Rishi
also cooked for the first time and his cooking received a lot of praise.

Bhola loved swimming the rain, and partaking in the 7 steps of gratitude. Learnt to use
his quiet voice and not to overreact. He also learnt to be on time as well as be friends
with everyone.

Komal also enjoyed the 7 steps of gratitude, particularly enjoying when Getanjali,
Jayesh and Ritu washed their feet, as she felt this was a very emotionally connecting
moment. She learnt the reality of love, prior to this she had only known the theory of
love. She now shares love in her life.

Abbas loved the dancing and he also learnt to swim! He also enjoyed listening to Jayesh
Bhai speak, as he was mesmerised by the caring nature of his voice. He learnt to sit
straight and to sit with peace, to not throw rubbish on the road, to love and show
affection towards people, to always keep smiling, to keep all the places clean (especially
the washroom). He also learnt to tell other people not to throw rubbish around.

Palak loved swimming in the rain and eating the ice cream on the terrace. She learnt to
sit in silence and not to speak much.