Continuing their Royal Tour of India, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been making the rounds on red carpets, at charity events, and even paid their respects at Ghandi’s home. Their visit to India aims to highlight both the beauty and opulence of the country as well as the devastating issues that need the world’s attention.
Their most touching and personal appearance so far came earlier today, on the third day of their visit, as they met with homeless children and women who survived domestic abuse and acid attacks.
First, the royal couple stopped at the Salaam Baalak Trust in New Delhi, a charity that “rescues and supports children arriving in the city alone or living on the streets, often in the railways,” according to PEOPLE magazine.
Princess Kate wasted no time bonding with the children, plopping down on the floor to draw, color, and speak one-on-one with them — specifically 12-year-old Shansad Abdul.
After being presented with one of Abdul’s drawings, Kate reportedly asked, “Did you do this? It’s beautiful, well done. Shall I do a drawing for you?” And right there on the floor of a homeless shelter in India, The Duchess of Cambridge drew a sketch of a home — a home little Abdul can only dream of living in one day.
The boy, explaining why at only 12 years old he is already on his own in the world, said, “I ran away from home because my family are very poor and couldn’t look after me.” He then lived at a railway station and was finally brought to the charity.
“Their Royal Highnesses were interested to see children’s mental health being treated as a key priority in helping children to seek physical healthcare, shelter, and eventually education,” the couple’s office said in a statement released to PEOPLE.
Later in the day, Their Royal Highnesses met privately with women and girls who were survivors of domestic abuse and acid attacks. Apparently it was extremely important to William that he and Kate speak directly to women affected by these issues who are actively working to improve conditions for others in their position.
One of those women was acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal who was attacked when she was only 15 by a 32-year-old man who was angry that she had rejected his marriage proposal. Laxmi is now a TV host and director of the Chhanv Foundation, a charity that helps survivors of acid attacks in India.
Another woman was Sunita Jaiswal, a survivor of domestic abuse who, with help from the Azad Foundation, was able to train as a driver and establish an income to support her and her children. Apparently she and Kate “discussed the importance of mothers helping their daughters to develop strategies to become independent women.”
While it has only been three short days, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have touched so many hearts — both in India and around the world. And though it’s easy to look at this as an opportunity to fawn over Kate’s enviable wardrobe, it’s important to remember why they are really there: to shed light on very real, very important issues that are facing millions of people every day.
And they’re not the only members of The Royal Family giving back, either. Back home in England, Prince Harry visited Westminster Abbey’s Innocent Victim’s Memorial to lay a wreath and speak in memory of the victims of the 2015 Tunisia terrorist attacks.More On