Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Lalita, our own student from Aarey colony Gaun Devi pada has passed her standard twelfth examinations with flying colors. Considering she hails from a place where women are not encouraged to study, this is a great achievement for her and she can rightly be now called the ambassador of women in that community.
In order to appreciate her efforts, our Mumbai team will be felicitating her this weekend in the Pada itself along with the support of the local community. Please try to attend the function.
There is still a lot that needs to be done in this area. The practice of marriage of girls at a very very young age is still rampant and it is very important that we try to sensitise the community about the evils of the same. Padmaja is following up with an women-welfare NGO and if possible, we will invite someone from there to give a small talk on the topic this weekend.
A small look around the different centers in Bombay would give an idea of how women are treated in our country. The sister of one of our students in another center in Bombay was married off early and lives with her in-laws in a far away place in India. She recently conceived but she was beaten up so badly by her in-laws that the child died in birth. Her parents have now rushed to her aid, but considering that it is almost sure that no legal case will be filed, chances of justice here are slim. We can only take heart from the fact that the remaining two girls in the family are well under our (Dream India's) fold and are studying very well. We have thrust upon the family that under no circumstance should they marry off these daughters early and that they should study as far as they want to.
Once again, request you all to treat this email as an eye-opener. There are these girls that fall in the latter category (beaten up and living a pitiful life) and those that are seeking to be liberated (studying hard, doing computer courses, passing twelfth in flying colors and aiming for higher). We should strive to create more of the former, and that requires hard and tireless work. We have done well so far, let us try to do better.
PS: One last update...Based on my recent conversation with Gawarikar Sir (In which I came to know the above updates), we agreed to try and make a visit to Raigad in Maharashtra, to study the Hole in the Wall project. Maybe even some kids can be taken along for the visit (but very few, considering the distance of the trip).
Monday, June 22, 2009
I'm Aravindhan. I was teaching for the students of anna nagar so far. Since, one of the volunteer from Valasaravakkam had been to Mumbai for his training, I would like to continue my teaching in Valasaravakkam. So, the team members of Valasaravakkam includes Sriram, Arunan and Aravindhan. The DI classes for this academic year is scheduled to commence from today onwards (13.06.2009).
4.00 p.m. - 5.00 p.m - On saturdays
10.00 a.m. - 11.00 a.m. - On sundays
Govt. High School, alapakkam.
We'll update you the daily activities that is taking place during the classes.
Join me in welcoming Saravanan (a student), Ravi & Farooq (both from IBM) into our Chennai team. They have been visiting us for a past few weeks. I should extend my special thanks to Farooq and Ravi - inspite of being non-residents of Chennai and not knowing how the language Tamil works, have been taking the city bus to reach our classes every weekend... well, sometimes have missed the destination too !! :-) that goes to show the commitment they have..
Classes in Anna Nagar have been going on well. With more specialists joining our team, we have many plans to materialise.
Chennai - Anna Nagar classes
Monday, June 8, 2009
Couple of weeks ago, we visited KK Children and old age home and provided dinner for the residents. We had a lot of new volunteers join us for the visit. The children enjoyed a lot by singing songs and playing with volunteers.
Trip to 'Rain Forest'
May 17th was the last day for the Adyar computer classes. We gave the children [ 12 children ] a surprise moment by taking them for lunch to Rain Forest, a theme based Restaurant in Adyar. It was a very nice moment for each of the kid and they enjoyed it thoroughly. Attached a few snaps from the visit. Please note that this particular lunch was NOT done as a project by Dream India. Volunteers shared the complete cost.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
This was planned to be an event by the kids to highlight the evils of Tobacco to the public. We were quite sceptical before this event as neither kids nor we faced public,while rehearsals too kids used to laugh and were never appearing serious.But I made up mind in case everything fails I myself will explain the posters we collected from an other NGO. But while actually performing in front of people everybody was serious and looked like professionals. I was very upset with Sita, Deepak's sister,as she was always laughing while practicing.She however cooly told me once we face audience we will be serious and will not take it lightly,and she proved to be right.
Shashi,my sister-sunanda, Chandrashekhar-Padmaja's brother, Chintan, Sujoy,his mother,Sharvary,her mother,brother,Venkat krishna,Manasi,etc were present. Padmaja was not well but she prompty sent me letters,caps-with DI logo printed on them.
Kids were in full spirits on the 31st of May in the Borivali National Park. Sharvari has taken real pains to go to centre regularly and make them practice their roles. Though original script was mine she modified to suit kids. I took sessions explaining what addiction means. Krishna,Mansi and other volunteers too took part in improvising. On 31, Shashi took full charge of kids he also enjoyed distrbuting posters to and collecting audience.Sujoy's mother distrbuted caps to kids and volunteers.Chintan and Venkat Krishna took out special time and visited and encouraged kids in their task.It was lovely experience,Kids and my sister explained posters to old and young adivasis with equal enthusiasm.
We also collected remarks/opinion from people about our show that was consting of two parts-skit and poster explanation. Breakfast and working lunch was provided to all those present.
Overall, was a great event and hope people turn over a new leaf and quit tobacco.