Friday, November 27, 2009

Ek Saral Bhaasha

14th September 2009, a new initiative was born.

"Saral". Simple. Powerful.

The background or the force behind this initiative was as simple and evident as its name.

Institute of Management, Nirma University has many sites within the university campus which are under construction. Workers who work there, hence, tend to form settlements around the campus. These construction workers have been here for a long time now and as the construction work continues, it is definite that they will be here for quite sometime.

These construction workers have children who are seen playing around the campus. These kids are deprived of the basic facilities, leave alone basic education and most of them have never even seen school. Many of them do not even know of the name of the city they live in. The girls in the house majorly take care of the housework and do not have anything else to do. These kids thronged the tennis courts and the basketball courts during games and always showed interest for involvement.It was clearly seen that these kids needed to be provided basic education but they had never had a gateway for entrance.

To facilitate this entrance, ‘Saral’ was born.

The initiative took its first steps by talking to the family members and convincing them to involve their children in education. A good response wasn’t received in the start but as there was no restrictions on the kids and with persistent efforts from the Saral members, the kids were brought under the arm.

The sessions commenced with simple games which focussed on both the physical and mental development of the kids. For example, the kids were made to form circles and count alternatively in Hindi and English – ‘Ek Two Teen Four’. This not only added the ‘fun’ element but also helped increase their concentration.

Later, as the rapport between the kids and the Saral members built up, studies were introduced. Oral recitations were begun with information given on the nation’s name, the city’s name, counting on fingers, poems. General etiquette such as greeting the elders every morning was also incorporated in the study schedule. Basic cleanliness such as washing hands before every meal was advised.

Due to this, many children have become regular students, and they also have improved exponentially from not knowing anything to reciting poems, to being able to count and speak days of the week.

The classes are held every day for one to one and half hours (from 1745 hrs to 1915 hrs) everyday with Sundays being fun days when cartoons are shown on laptops to the children. Saral is now implementing the formal way of teaching with proper boards, distributing notebooks etc. It plans to continue this well charted out plan and implement its objective.

As the prayer that is said at the end of every session goes:

“Hey bhagwaan, do vardaan, padh likhke, hum bane mahan !”

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Fun and Games....

12th November 2009, it was time for fun and play for the mess workers.

Sankalp organized a session for the mess workers wherein instead of the usual sessions of studying, a game was played. The game was simple and enjoyable. Paper balls were provided to the workers and they were supposed to throw the balls into a vessel kept at some distance. They were supposed to make teams of two each, out of whom one would throw the balls and the other would assist in giving the balls.

The game turned out to be a lot of fun and it increased the camaraderie between the workers and even between the workers and the Sankalp participants. Cheers for their team, shouting, laughing resounded throughout the mess. The session turned out to be very enjoyable indeed. It also broke the ice for new workers and got them involved into the Sankalp initiative.

Another session, successful and many more to come….

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Revive and rejuvenate: Mess workers take lessons of Art of Living

Sankalp took a step further towards its goal to improve and rejuvenate the life of poor people by arranging an Art of Living workshop (sessions) between 14th Sep09 to 18th Sep, 09 for mess staff from both the messes technology and management for one and half hour.Under the guidance and cooperation of Art of living Teachers, a special customized course has been designed to beast suit the need of workers. This course was conducted by Mr.Praful Gangal with Mr.Kantilal Amin and Mrs Madhukanta k. Amin, two volunteers. From Sankalp, Ekta Shah, Nandini, Gagan and Dinesh helped in organizing the program, motivating workers to join it and explaining to them the significance of this course. The course was a success as it took off with 16 students on 14th Sep and by the end 19 mess workers had devoted their time and agreed to adopt meditation and yoga as a part of their daily routine.

The course included pranayam, meditation and yoga which would help to develop physical and mental well being. This was a self-development and stress reduction program that empowered mess worker to face life’s challenges gracefully. These workshops equipped the workers with skills and techniques that would help enhance the quality of their lives. This session helped the mess workers to start to live a stress free and happy life with a calm and peaceful mind.

It is said that food includes all “Bhaav” (quality) the person making food has. Thus, the workers would actually be able to make healthier food if their minds were calm and peaceful. The workers were also made aware about their addiction to tambaku; cigarettes. Other topics covered in the course were effectiveness of meditation and yoga to gain control over common diseases, to increase self control and stamina and to help get inner peace which would help them achieve success in their life. Workers also learnt the eternal sense of spirituality that is beyond bodily senses, time and world. The workers also sang songs in these “Satsang” sessions, which proved to be a showcase for their talent.

All this would not be have been possible without the support from the institute and administration department.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sankalp activities continue

24th July 2009, the activities and ice breaking sessions continued. At 22 hrs, the mess was filled with people; A mixed bag of enthusiastic students from sankalp committee of Nirma and the chirpy mess workers. After a long and tiring day for them this was an excellent stress buster. The activity of the day was “Passing the Parcel”. The workers were shying away initially, little nervous about the participation. Tables were joined to break the barrier and start with the game. The team comprised of mess workers and sankalp volunteers for the initial start up. it was more of a musical game with one of the students playing the music traditional way i.e. with the dish and a spoon. The game started with lots of spirit. Whosoever has the duster when music stops was asked to perform something – could be like anything like dancing, singing their favourite song. In fact some of the workers sung their folk songs with a vigour that was commendable after a hard day. The sankalp students were participating with zeal strengthening the bond between students and workers Lots of humours, story and jokes were exchanged. Some of the students as well as workers danced on the latest bollywood songs. As the game started heating up, the team size was increased and more workers were pouring in. At one point of time, the game was solely played by workers. The special moments were captured on camera. In between the session, the students kept on encouraging, applauding and motivating the workers. It was almost the closing the time, but no one wanted to leave the mess. People who were present during the session were left with a feeling content and bliss. The activity was entirely designed and carried out by the junior sankalp members and a glance at them was conclusive enough of a change that is brought in. It’s a beautiful feeling to help someone, and even more satisfying when you put a smile on people’s face. This is actually what everyone felt.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Friendship day special

Hi all and a happy friendship day to all
Today the members of YUVA and sankalp celebrated friendship day in a very unique and satisfying way. We tied friendship bands gave sweets to all people who by doing even small works are bringing a lot of changes in our life like construction workers,mess workers,watchmans etc. The happiness they felt was also evident from their faces. Really a very good friendship day for all.hope to see more events in future.

Ye Sankalp Bana Rahe

With the start of the new term, came the arrival of new students for MBA 2009-11. And yes, new additions to the team of Sankalp. Enthusiastic students with ideas as to how to take this forward. After the initial introductions, came the first session with the mess workers on 23rd July 2009. The evening started off with a game of 'balloon basketball' in which two teams were formed (mixed teams consisting of both the mess workers as well as students) and the 'basket' was also one of the participants. The players were supposed to put the balloon in the basket without getting up from their chairs and just by pushing the balloon in the right direction. The game was enjoyed by one and all. It also turned out to be a great ice breaker ! This game was played in the mess.

Balloon Basketball

Next the mess workers were taken outside where they played cat in the middle, in which a handkerchief was kept in the centre and two teams were formed and one player from each team had to confront the other team's player, snatch the handkerchief and run before the other team's player could touch him. This again led to a good bonding between the players and the students.

Cat in the middle

So much so that they exclaimed that they looked forward to the next session. A few photographs were clicked at the end of the session along with the mess workers.

The whole group

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sankalp ki Kaksha

Its not been too long that i have joined Sankalp here in IMNU but i can feel the difference its making in my life.My vision,perception of things have changed and it's beautiful.

Yesterday I had the first of my class with all those lovely people who work day and night to fulfil one our basic requirements-Food.

Got to met all of them and could see the zeal,the enthusiasm in them to learn and carve a niche for themseleves.

While teaching them i felt that how education can make a difference in one's life.They wanted to start from the very place where they had left and they were ready to put in all efforts.

What touched me the most was -when i was leavin ,the said,"Goodnight maam" and I could feel the choked ME..They were thanking me with their eyes and I was speechless..

In this entire activity ,I realised that a time must come in everyone's life when they should give back to society what they owe and yes the time has come for all of us..

"Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go’"