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July 18, 2018

Mum’s The Word: Raveena Tandon Believes Adopting Children Was The Best Decision She Has Ever Made

Text by Meghna Pant. Illustration By Dhruv Tyagi

The actor encourages others to do the same, even if they are single, like she was when she adopted

Room In The Heart

Raveena Tandon, 45, Actor

India may know her as the mast mast actor with a face that could launch a thousand ships, but what they don’t know is that Raveena adopted two girls in 1994 when she was just 21 years old.

“This was before Mohra (1994). My mother and I used to visit orphanages like Asha Sadan on our weekends. When my cousin passed away he left behind two young daughters, Chaya and Pooja. I didn’t like the way their guardian was treating them so I took them home with me. I didn’t think much of it. It came naturally to me. I wanted to give the girls the life they deserved. I’m not a multibillionaire but I do what I can to help.”

“Some people wondered what would happen to the two children once I got married. They said no one would marry me as I came with excess baggage. But I said I come in a package deal: my children, my dogs and me. Take it or leave it. Fortunately my husband (Anil Thadani) and in-laws dote on the girls.”

Raveena says she hasn’t once regretted her decision. “From the time I held the girls’ hands when we were taking our first flight, to walking them down the aisle, to holding my first grandchild in my arms, every moment has been priceless. They love my biological children, Rasha and Ranbirvardhan. They pay it forward by being kind to others. Every Mother’s Day the girls send me cards and letters saying how much they love me. What more can any mother ask for?”

And that’s all that children crave for as well: the love of a parent, no matter in what shape, form or size. Raveena says that adopting children was one of the best decisions she ever took and encourages others to do the same, even if they are single, like she was when she adopted. “It was tough earlier but the process is simpler now. Remember that adoption agencies are responsible for a child’s safety. They want to make sure that the child is going to the right home, especially in light of the horrific cases of human trafficking. Consider their long-winding red tape as labour pains!”

But the actor warns, “If you’re thinking of adopting a child, don’t start with apprehensions. Don’t have negative thoughts. Be sure of your own self, be sure that you can do justice. When you get your child, you will be swamped by natural parental feelings because blood is not thicker than water. If you’re strong, brave, compassionate and have it in you to love a child, then you’ll love that adopted child through everything, even tantrums. You don’t deserve to adopt if you have apprehensions.”

“If you can’t adopt,” Raveena adds, “do your two bits. Even if you have one hundred rupees, give it to an orphanage and sponsor a child’s education or their midday meal which comes to five rupees a day. When there’s room in your heart there’s always space for people. Reach out and do something.”

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