Cottonian Hope Foundation event held at BCS Shimla

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Shimla: Bishop Cotton School (BCS) Shimla welcomed 100 local cancer patients, orphans and elderly folk to the school as part of the ‘Cottonian Hope Foundation’ celebration event at the school on Sunday June 9, 2024.

Local Sikh charity worker Sarbjeet Singh ‘Bobby’ was instrumental in working together with the senior Cottonians in school and bringing in the visitors for the day. Bobby has devoted his life to helping the most vulnerable people in Himachal Pradesh.

The event is now turning into a bi-yearly gathering where vulnerable people in the local community visit school to forget their troubles by being entertained by the children with dance, music, prayers, and lunch – all served by the ‘big hearted’ Cottonian boys who started their own charity ‘The Cottonian Hope Foundation’.

Cottonians entertain the vulnerable   

The visitors included a number of terminally ill cancer patients; boys and girls of two local orphanages (many of whom have previously been subjected to traumatic sexual assaults); a double leg amputee who has found a way to move around using his arms on two carved pieces of wood, and several senior citizens who have been abandoned by their families.

Simon Weale, BCS Director, said, “Thanks must go to all involved in this joyful occasion, especially Sarbjeet Bobby, our BCS musicians. Also to the driving force behind the day – Abhimanyu (Class 11) and his Cottonian Foundation Committee.”

He added, “I am not sure if I have ever come across a person who has done as much good for others as Bobby. Someone who has done so much to show others that they are not alone and that someone cares about them. Our BCS school motto challenges our students ‘to overcome evil with good’. I am hopeful that Bobby’s visit today will inspire our whole school community to respond to St Paul’s message and ‘to ensure today is just the beginning of what we can do’.”

The event, which has been organised by the BCS school boys themselves, started with a multi-faith chapel service – in Hindi and English – which had the boys singing and reading prayers they had written themselves. The school chaplain oversaw the service along with BCS Director, Headmaster and Sarbjeet Singh ‘Bobby’.

Local hero Sarbjeet Singh Bobby had challenged the Cottonians to put on an event that would bring some joy to those suffering in the community.  He already runs the local ‘Roti bank’ for the day schools, but the Bishop Cotton boys wanted to help in their own way.  

Cultural dance, music show and games

After the service the visitors went onto the Irwin concert Hall where a cultural programme had been arranged by the Cottonians – the children danced and sung together. The girls danced with skill and joy as they had a chance to express themselves.

After lunch the visitors played some games and won some very sought after prizes and treats before leaving.

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