The name titeli comes from Hindi translation of the word “BUTTERFLY”. The message behind this name is related to the butterfly effect also know as chaos theory; the phenomenon whereby a minute localised change in a complex system can have a large effect elsewhere; just as a small flutter of a butterfly can cause a huge typhoon elsewhere.
We believe that our small step towards the care and protection of orphan children will have larger positive impact on society someday, somewhere.
The origin of titeli has its roots connected to Kristin Hasner Goswami. After a decade of police service in youth criminology/ gang crime and living under a secret identity for a period in life, never in her dreams did she think that the “Butterfly Effect” would completely change her life. It’s a popular saying “Lost and found in India”, but for my part it was ‘found, then lost and now I am on my way to be found again’, says the women who believes that humanity has no face, caste, colour, religion and gender, but is intrinsic in humans, yet so rare.
Kristin was born in Norway where she lived with her family (mother, father, brother and sister). She always wanted to become a police officer. She absolutely loved her job. Her passion is travelling and photography, which she describes as her way to freeze the moment for eternal memories. A travel to India was in her bucket list for quite some time. In December 2010 she took a leave from her police work to teach poor children in Rajasthan where she served for three months. Travelling can leave you speechless. You see the world with different eyes. Little did Kristin know that life was going to take a roller coaster ride, full of ups and downs, horizontal and vertical swirls, but in end, absolutely worthwhile.
The story of titeli by Kristin:
Initially, I started working as a volunteer in Rajasthan. I came across many children who were surviving in very harsh conditions and were in need of care and nurture. They were abandoned, neglected and left to struggle and beg. It deeply hurt me to see them so helpless. I got opportunity to teach them for a while. I started questioning myself, can I do something for such children in India? At that time a very strong urge to do something for children took birth deep inside my heart. In meantime, I met Vishal who was working on social project for unprivileged societies. We shared the compassion to serve “the dream of doing something for others”. Vishal and I got married in 2011 and after a little while we started to shape the dream of titeli. I believe that my compassion for vulnerable children was my driving force to open this home for such souls.
After many years of planning, work, construction, communication, letters writing, applications writing, despair, waiting, waiting and waiting, titeli – Home for Children was finally ready to welcome these kindred spirits in January 2107.
My journey from being a police officer in Norway to moving to India and opening of titeli home has been a quite big cultural shock to absorb, but I feel that I have found the purpose of life in serving the children, therefore I feel satisfied by doing what I do. There has been a lot to understand about human behaviour, the governance system of India and about the cultural differences which lead to different attitudes and behaviours. I never thought of so far ahead before coming here. I knew it was the right choice for me. In reality, in many parts of India,it feels to be the emphasis of difference rather than equality. In Norway equality is a fundamental value whereas in India culture, dominance dominates in the form of caste system and differences between the people. A sort of ranking. It is not easy for me to understand that not all people are worth the same, no matter the colour of the skin, the background, surname or the caste.
I believe that there is a lot to be done yet and we all should do at least something for some good in our lives. I would like to share a quote from Gandhi ji ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’.