The summer classes were laced with a lot of activities and competitions at all the learning centers. Ramditti J R Narang Deepalaya Learning centre was no exception. Ms. Sangita Sen, Headmistress, conducted several competitive activities every week during the summer classes. It was time to reward them and we had purchased small gifts ranging from crayons to bags. Children were very excited to receive even these small gifts as they showed that they over performed others. A prize Distribution Ceremony was organized on 17th June, 2017 during the assembly. Mrs. Jaswant Kaur, Director – CRM, Deepalaya was present on the occasion. The assembly was conducted by Ms Jyoti Sharma. The programme started with a prayer song. The students of class II and III performed skits on Save the Trees and Boycott Plastics (directed by Mrs. Sukla Das) followed by a group song. While the trees looked a bit glum, the naughty plastic bag (directed by Mrs. Sukla Das) was very cheerful. The participants got a huge applaud from the audience for their wonderful presentation.
Mrs. Jaswant Kaur gave away the prizes to the winners and shook hands with each one of them. There were many who got more than 2 prizes. She delivered a short speech and praised the students. She encouraged them to participate still more enthusiastically.
At the end, Dr. Sangita Sen, the Headmistress, thanked the Director for her support and for her visit to the learning centre. She also thanked the whole team of RJRND, especially the teachers for their hard work. The ceremony came to an end with the National Anthem.
A few artists from Colour bakery, a non-profit organization, put up a live theatre “Babloo” for almost 200 children in the open space of Sanjay Colony Premises on 22ndJune, 2017. The play stimulated the children to sit quietly. They were totally engrossed, as the story of Babloo – the main character of the play — unfolded. Babloo a young student studying in VIth grade loves to draw. He wanted to climb the mountains and draw them. So intense was his passion that he took his piggy bank and left the house. The play showcased both the good and evil that comprise this world. It depicted the difficulties he faced as he had a thrilling encounter with the thieves and he found himself lost in the busy streets. He barely escapes the kidnappers and struggled during night. To override the evil facet, the story also shows a few good people who helped him during the train journey.
The artists beautifully enacted the platform scene, the snack sellers on the train, the beautiful village in the mountain and the people living with nature. It transported the children to the different worlds, giving wings to their imagination. The artists created sounds and dialogues were laced with perfect voice modulations, appropriate music and songs, which captivated the attention. The play was superb and instilled the need for having a goal and strong determination to achieve it.
Children were given paper and sketch pens before the play started, to put their imagination on paper as they saw the play. – This was their feed back
Sudhir of class VIII says, “I liked Babloo’s character- he wanted to see the mountain and draw them and he finally did so.”
Sneha liked the train scene “the person selling snacks on the train sounded so real!”
Every year, fathers’ day is celebrated at our FADA project at Sanjay Colony. It was no exception this year. The unit was jam packed with children, their parents and teachers from Sanjay Colony on 17th June, 2017. On a discrete corner, a stall was organized, where different products made by the girls and their fathers were showcased. The stall represented the union of a father and a daughter that the project wants to promote. There was an empty banner of a white cloth which presented a picture of a girl child in the lap of her mother. Fathers were scribbling their thoughts on the cloth. The testimony reflected what a father would want her daughter to become in future.
The function started with welcome speech by a small girl, Anchal Dharmender, studying in class 6thin government school, Harkesh Nagar. Mr. K L Malhotra, one of our donors and his colleague presided over the function. Ms. Jaswant Kaur, Director CRM, Ms. Shikha Pal, Manager programmes, Ms. Sangita Sen, Headmistress, RJRND learning center, Ms. Kalpana Das, in-charge of special unit and teachers were also present on the occasion.
The students were dressed in colourful dresses as they were in a festival mood. Some of them were excited to showcase their talent. Ms. Sunita, a teacher from FADA did compering and kept the children engaged and motivated so that they attended the function properly and did not create ruckus. After the welcome speech, three girls recited a poem on why it is important to educate the girl child.
This was followed by a dance performance by senior girls. The cultural panorama showcased various dance performances from modern to classical. The girls also presented a beautiful dance on a Rajasthani folk song.
Thereafter, Ms. Jaswant Kaur, Director CRM was called upon the stage to say a few words. She appreciated the children who presented what they have learnt from the project. At the same time, she requested the fathers to help their daughters in achieving their dreams. She spoke about early marriage, which not only stops them in pursuing their aim but also is dangerous for their health.
Thereafter, two teachers presented the testimonials and asked the children to come up stage to read what their fathers think about them. One by one, girls came up stage and read what their father wrote. The fathers were also called and a few fathers spoke highly about the project and the achievements of their daughters.
The function ended with a vote of thanks from Ms. Shikha Pal, the project in-charge.
A group of 38 people including interns and staff from le Passage Travel to India (LPTI) visited the Sambhav project on 25th May 2016. The visitors were briefed about the project. They were informed how special children are identified and parents are counseled to send them to the unit. At the time of admission, the children are assessed and individualized education plans and goals are set for each child. The children are thereafter given special education, physiotherapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy depending upon their needs. The children are helped with learning activities of daily living (ADL). They were also informed about different kind of activities that are conducted for the students for the holistic rehabilitation of the beneficiaries.
After the introduction, the group was divided into 5 sub-groups and each group was given one class so that they can interact with the children and spend some time with them. They also helped the children in accomplishing the task that was given by the special educator. A few also learnt the art of quelling from students engaged in vocational unit. Some students presented a dance performance to engage the visitors. After about an hour the groups were rotated so that everyone got a chance to interact with all students. Towards the end, the visitors distributed some stationery items including, crayons and coloring books. Children were also given chocolates, mixed fruit juice and a packet of wafers. The visitors bought products worth Rs. 4100/- made by the special kids.
The children too enjoyed the presence of visitors and feel pampered when someone from outside bring gifts for them.
While there are several days dedicated to women and girls that are observed worldwide there was nothing to break the cultural taboos associated with menstruation. In light of this, a German NGO, “WASH United”, took the initiative of dedicating a day on menstrual health of women, create awareness and initiate a journey from the so-called “impurity” associated with monthly cycles to health management. The initiative that started during 2012, with a small group of people received the support of 270 countries globally and 28th May came to be known as Menstrual health day (MHD). As Deepalaya has been actively working on menstrual health of women, the day was celebrated amongst adolescent girls studying in Tilak Nagar and Khyala vocational training units.
The idea was to introduce Sangini napkins and to promote healthy practices during menstrual periods. The students were engaged in making informative posters and Three educative interactive sessions were also conducted for spreading knowledge
They were informed by the center heads – Ms. Rubeena and Ms. Pooja — that unhygienic practices in personal hygiene especially during menstrual periods can result into severe health problems ranging from internal allergies & infections to infertility and cervical cancer in extreme cases.
There were talks on how and why the females menstruate. Women shared the kind of problems they face during the periods and also the kind of myths and practices that are prevalent in their communities.
As most of the participants were teenager girls the emphasis was more on creating a mindset of confidence rather than anxiety. It is often seen as a major reason of girls of this age group dropping out of their studies as they feel shy or find it difficult to manage their periods and better menstrual hygiene management can help them in becoming independent. Around 40 students participated in the sessions. Most of the participants found the session very informative and useful.