In a country like India where cricket is worshipped as a religion, not very often do we see this sport as a tool for community engagement, motivation, and bonding. In view of this, on March 1, 2018, a cricket match was arranged at Bada Park, Kakrola Village, New Delhi by VTC staff and members of Deepalaya. The idea of arranging this match was to stay connected with the youth group members and alumni, motivate them to enhance their talent and use it in the right direction, besides promoting their overall development. Around 55 to 60 youngsters, including youth from nearby areas, were present during the match.
Sixteen players were divided into 2 teams with an innings comprising of eight overs. The match was played in the presence of Ms Anita Rana and Ms Kulwant Kaur while Mr. Pradeep acted as the umpire and score handling was done by Ms Sakshi.
The match kicked off in a traditional manner with the “toss” in the presence of the umpire and two captains; hereafter, both teams stood in parallel lines and shook hands with the players from the opponent team. The first team (Team A) played for 8 overs and was successful in scoring 86 runs with the loss of five wickets. Sourav Rana scored 23 runs and became the best scorer from the team. The second team (Team B) chased the score successfully in 7.5 overs; they reached 88 runs after losing six wickets. Akash was the best scorer (26 runs) from Team B; his brilliant knock helped Team B to win the match. He was also adjudged as the “man of the match”.
After the match, a short meeting was conducted among the staff and community youth at our VTC centre. Everyone present in the meeting agreed to formulate a regular cricket team at Dwarka. The players shared that they really enjoyed playing the cricket match, and some of them proposed that the next match should be played very soon. It was decided that the next match will be between VTC Dwarka and VTC Patel Garden, and practice can be done on Saturdays or during activity classes.
All this could happen because of our well-wishers from NETENT and NAGGARO, who gave funds for promoting sports amongst the youth.
When we spoke to the parents, they were so happy. Mrs. Maya Devi and Mrs. Meera, parents of two students at our VTC said, “I am happy to see that our children are kept engaged in an effective manner. Otherwise they may mix up with the wrong crowd and go astray.”
With an aim to prepare students ahead of the job interview season, Deepalaya recently organized career guidance and counseling sessions for students at Deepalaya VTC Patel Garden, Dwarka Mor, in collaboration with N-Reach, a program under the aegis of NIIT Foundation (a not-for-profit education society) on 16th January 2018, from 10.30 AM to 1 PM. NIIT Foundation has collaboration with Deepalaya VTC at Dwarka for the courses of CCIB & CCAEW. NIIT Foundation’s N Reach NGO accreditation program partners with NGOs focusing on education and training of underprivileged youth, and offers training and certification to both students and faculty. Ms Divya and Mr. Pawan from NIIT conducted the counseling session, which was attended by 29 students.
There was a self-introduction session followed by discussion on various topics like value of timing (punctuality on an interview), how to give introduction for interviews, dress code, body language, skill improvement and experience, importance of hard work and patience, and so on. Students were told to make your goals and move towards them gradually, they were also told not to waste time or career opportunities. The students were also groomed to introduce themselves, present their career goals, answer questions related to their strengths, positively answer or avoid questions regarding their weaknesses, and most importantly, taught how to make the employer convinced about choosing them for the job.
During and after the session, students shared their feelings and feedback. Most of the students the counseling session was informative and exhaustive, and made them feel confident. Some said they had learnt about how to start their career and gain job experience. Others even said that they are interested to take job in any field, because it is after all being self-reliant that matters.
A first-of-its-kind youth group meeting was conducted on 16th January, 2018 at Deepalaya’s VTC Centre in Kakrola. 63 youth volunteers, including registered members from VTC Kakrola and VTC Patel Garden, and youngsters from neighboring communities participated in the meeting. From Deepalaya, Ms. Anita Rana (Assistant Manager); Mr. Pradeep Chauhan, Computer Teacher; Ms. Sakshi Gaba, Instructor- English, and Ms. Manju, Community Mobilizer were present as the curators and supervisors of the session. The objectives of the meeting were to ensure the following:
The meeting kicked off with an interactive session, where the youth present introduced themselves. Deepalaya conducted an icebreaker Ball round to engage them all. They felt comfortable with each other and the facilitators, and shared their names, qualification, work and goals one by one. This was followed by a brief introduction and vision & mission of the organization. After that, Mr. Pradeep Kumar explained in detail about the purpose, and short-term and long term goals that we want to achieve via the youth group.
A presentation on Leadership was shown to make them understand the importance of leadership qualities, and what will happen in the absence of leaders. It was an interactive presentation, explaining the meaning and need of leadership skills in youth. It aimed to bring their attention towards the necessity to build young leaders, qualities and attributes of a good leader and how can they develop leadership qualities in themselves through this platform. We also showcased 3 short films on leadership, which were enjoyed by all. In the end, certificates were distributed to students who passed out from our VTC courses by Ms Anita Rana. One of local boys, Gautam, also a student of VTC Kakrola, performed a rap song to conclude the programme.
The meeting was highly fruitful and effective, as everyone agreed to formulate Deepalaya Youth Group at Dwarka. The next meeting will be held on 9th of February. Choosing a name of the youth group was the given home work to participants, and their suggestions will be taken into account in the next meeting.
At Deepalaya, we do not believe in the “all study and no play” policy. Rather, we lay immense importance on each child’s art, expression, pattern of development, and latent talent, and always go an extra mile to enrich childhood experience, by organizing periodic co-curricular activities at our schools and learning centers.
On 17th and 18th January, Soubhagya Nirmalam Foundation (SNF) conducted drawing and recitation competitions at Ramditti J R Narang Deepalaya Learning Centre, commemorating the Birth Centenary of their founder-father late Sri Nirmalam (Ajjarapu Venkata Rao). The foundation has been set up to pursue certain social objectives including girl child education, the cause to which late Sri Nirmalam devoted his life from 1918-1991. He advocated that every person should contribute to the society, and authored many books to inculcate moral values among readers.
The drawing competition was held on 17th January in several units (LKG, UKG, Class I, II, VTC computer, Remedial morning and afternoon, ASHA and FADA) of Deepalaya participated. Mrs. Shanta Sastri and Dr. Faye from SNF visited our classes in the morning, while the drawing competition was being conducted. Hereafter, the poem recitation competition was held on the same day in Class I, II and ASHA NFE units. It was extended up to 18th January in other units, in presence of Mrs. Shanta Sastri and others. Mr. Maheswari and Mrs. Sweta were present during recitation competition in the afternoon as judges. Approximately 282 children participated in both the competitions, most of them showing unprecedented enthusiasm. The prize distribution ceremony will be held on 23rd January.
A weekly eye camp began on 5th January, 2018 at the Deepalaya HRC office at Janakpuri, New Delhi. This is a free community service in collaboration with the prestigious Ophthalmology Department of AIIMS. Those who need medicines were given on the spot, and those who need cataract operation were referred to the AIIMS, where they are assured of bed and food till they are discharged. The blood sugar and BP of every patient was measured as part of the eye check-up. Those who undergo operation will also be given spectacles free of cost.
The very first day the clinic at the ground floor had over 60 patients with four patients suffering from cataract. They have been asked to visit the community ophthalmology department on different dates.
As the saying goes precaution is better than cure, these community check-up camps are a step forward to prevent eye problem/diseases at any age. The sessions with veteran doctors from AIIMS will help in identifying any vision problem or eye-related infection or disorders due to pre-diabetic conditions. After all, eye is the most essential part of our body and to see this beautiful world one needs to have an effective vision!
Deepalaya has been already organizing such camps on every Wednesday at Gusbethi rural health clinic in Haryana. Other similar eye camps are planned to be implemented in Trilokpuri and Sanjay Colony. In short, Deepalaya will be having eye camps on four days of the week at one of our centers. The service is meant for the poor and underprivileged who cannot afford costly eye-care.