In urban slums where earning two square meals a day is a challenge, aspects like personal health and hygiene take a back seat. To throw some light on health and hygiene, a series of awareness sessions were conducted with the mothers at Ramditti J. R. Narang Deepalaya Learning Centre on 31st August, 7th September, 10th September, 13th September, and 14th September.
The teachers explained that a majority of infections happen because of dirty hands. They demonstrated different steps of washing hands before eating, after visiting toilets and after handling dirty substances. With the help of hand-made charts, the whole concept was lucidly conveyed to students and parents. Some of our students voluntarily took up the responsibility to tell about the importance of bathing, cleaning of hairs, nails, teeth and hand washing in our daily lives. Light refreshments and items like soaps, towels and shampoo pouches were distributed towards the end of the session.
In India, an estimated 12 million people have glaucoma, accounting for almost one-fifth of the global burdens. Unlike, other eye related problems, where vision can be restored, Glaucoma causes permanent blindness unless it is detected early and treated accordingly. Deepalaya in collaboration with AIIMS initiated a community survey to find out the exact situation of glaucoma amongst people from the lower income group, their awareness about the disease, frequency of visits they make to the doctor etc.
The week long survey covered around 100 from 24th September to 28th September 2018. Apart from special screening, 18 types of tests were conducted. Towards the end, 28 patients were found to be suffering from Glaucoma and were referred to AIIMS for treatment.
In this age of competition, it is important to create awareness on mental health and wellbeing of adolescents. The students find it difficult to match the expectations of their parents and teachers while their own aspirations and dreams get a back seat, thereby increasing the probability of a child getting into depression or even suicidal tendencies. Deepalaya recently collaborated with “It’s Ok to Talk” (a mental health public engagement initiative of Sangath that runs in partnership with the Harvard Medical School and globally-renowned mental health experts) to conduct an interesting puppet show on “mental health awareness” at Deepalaya SQEP Project, i.e. SDMC Primary School, Near Okhla Water Sewage Treatment Plant.
As it was conducted on Teacher’s Day (5th September), the facilitators gave an interesting twist to the storyline. The 40-minute-long show focused on various reasons of depression amongst adolescents, potential emotional and behavioral problems they may face, and the role that a teacher can play in dealing with mental health issues affecting them. Around 55 students studying in the 4th and 5th standard of the school attended the show. They were delighted and amazed to see the human-like puppets talking to them and telling a story to which they could relate easily.
Considering the fact that calcium deficiency is a growing problem among middle-aged women, a nutrition camp was conducted on 25th October 2018 at Project STEADY with an aim to educate the mothers about calcium-rich diet. The camp was held at Government Primary School, Salempur Gujjar and was attended by 40 mothers. They were informed about ingredients readily available at home. Our consultants prepared nutritious Upma and Makhane ki Khir.
The women who attended the session came to know about the importance of calcium-rich food and the potential harm that may be caused due to its deficiency. Everyone relished the nutritious dishes and agreed that these recipes are neither costly nor difficult to make. Paper handouts of the recipe were also distributed to the attendees towards the end of the program.
Deepalaya Photographic Club, was inaugurated on 1st September 2018 at Deepalaya School, Kalkaji Extension. The objective of the Club is to encourage, guide, and mentor those who are immensely passionate about photography.
At the outset, Shri A J Philip, Secretary & Chief Executive, Deepalaya, and Manager, Deepalaya Schools, informed the audience about the objectives of the Photographic Club and introduced the resource persons —Shri Vijayan Punnathur, Shri Shome Basu, and Shri Ravi Pahuja.
Shri Vijayan Punnathur, an award-winning amateur photographer, showed some of his photographs and spoke about his experience while clicking them. Shri Shome Basu, Professional Photographer and Editor, Thewire.in, also shared his experience with photography. Shri Ravi Pahuja, an alumnus of the school, shared valuable tips on the art of photography and how to conceive a story out of a click. The resource persons encouraged the students to come up with a series of photo-stories, which can later on form a photo-journal.
Shri Koshy Koshy, retired from IPS service and an expert in “Bird Photography”, was the chief guest. He told the audience that he had invested more than 10 lac rupees out of his retirement benefits to purchase a new camera and equipment for photography. He also narrated about his recent visit to Bhutan ignoring spine-chilling cold to capture one photograph of a rare bird species. He further emphasized on the point that brilliant photographs only emerge as a result of immense perseverance and dedication. Shri Sakhi John, Board Member, Deepalaya and Shri C P Davis, Principal, DSKE were also present in the function. Thirty students of the school who attended the ceremony interacted with the veterans, and were awarded certificates of participation at the end of the function.
On 15th August 2018, India celebrated 72 years of achieving Independence. For every Indian, it is the day when we acknowledge contribution of our country’s freedom fighters, and observe the glory of the motherland.
To commemorate the occasion, all the project locations of Deepalaya celebrated Independence Day 2018 with zeal and patriotic fervor. Tricolours flaunted everywhere, and in the hearts of the child and staff members. At most of the locations, students presented some patriotic poems and songs, speech, etc. to suit the occasion. While different types of activities were conducted at different locations, one thing was common—a never-ending spirit of patriotism.
We present you the glimpses of the celebrations through the picture collage below.
August 14th was not just another day at Deepalaya School campus situated in Deepalaya Gram, Gusbethi. A group of nine students from Keio University, Japan paid a courtesy visit to the school on the day.
A small “earth breaking ceremony” was arranged at DSG premises to start construction of the remaining portion of the new school building. Mr. A J Philip, Secretary and CE, Deepalaya; Mr. John Verghese, Director Finance; and Mr. Kuriyan Behanan, Manager Administration, was present on the occasion. The presence the Japanese students added colour to function. All the guests and dignitaries as well as the principal DSG dug the shovel into the ground as a ceremonial gesture on this auspicious occasion. This was followed by a prayer and short speeches by the guests. Sweets were distributed to all at the end of the function.
The Japanese students, who had reached India the same day in the morning and travelled to our Gusbethi School, were given a very warm welcome by the staff and students of Deepalaya. They interacted with the students of DSG and Deepalaya Children’s Home (DCH) throughout the day and mingled with them in various types of activities. They were very happy to learn about Indian culture, festivals, and how the school students actively participated in celebrations throughout the year.
Hariyali Teej, also known as Sharvan Teej, was being celebrated on August 13th and 14th this year. To mark the occasion, Deepalaya School, Gusbethi had organized various competitions/activities that included kite making, card-making, mehandi designing, swing decoration, and poster-making. The school premises were indeed abuzz with activities. Students in four groups participated in the poster making competition and showcased their artwork around the theme “sacrifices towards Independence’ (as India’s Independence Day was also approaching). Around 104 students participated in the competition from which best posters were selected by the Japanese students visiting the campus and Mr. A J Philip. Students also made beautiful kites, cards and mehandi designs. The aim of the competitions was to validate and foster creativity of the students. The best kites, mehandi designs and cards were selected and awarded.