Even today, women and girls in our country face many social challenges—be it in moving out of the house or seeking equal treatment as their male siblings. At Deepalaya, emphasis on gender equity has been a priority area for us ever since our inception. A team from Manzil Mystics (a a Delhi-based NGO that works on education, music and development) conducted a workshop at Deepalaya Learning Centre Gole Kuan on 20th November on the theme “gender equality”; it was attended by 25 young boys from Gole Kuan VTC and the Learning Centre.
After a brief self-introduction session, the students were divided into four teams and asked to write on small chart papers what comes in their minds when they think about male gender. The participants noted and penned down different traits such as strong, confident, earning member, providing security, etc. The same exercise was now repeated with their perception of the female gender. The idea of the entire exercise was to make the students understand that some perceptions about the females have nothing to do with their biological nature but have been rather imposed upon them by the society. The facilitator also asked all the boys to consider giving equal opportunities for the growth and development of girls and women around them.
Ms. Rashmi, Mr. Aman and Mr. Manik from Manzil Mysitcs made the workshop interesting by singing songs and conducting games in between the sessions. It was felt that conducting one more session will be useful so that the participant boys can have a deeper understanding on gender equality issue.
Puppet shows are a great way to connect with children and teach them to respond appropriately in certain social circumstances. Deepalaya has recently collaborated with “It’s Ok to Talk” (a mental health public engagement initiative by Sangath that runs in partnership with Harvard Medical School) to conduct a series of puppet shows on “mental health awareness” at its various projects on 20th November, 2018 and 22nd November, 2018 at Sanjay Colony and Gole Kuan respectively.
The team from Sangath presented a story of three friends and their encounters with the teacher and parents. One of these children needed help as he was going through a stressed patch of time. It was displayed how his teacher and parents helped him to meet a counselor, talk about his problem and hence move towards resolving the issues.
This was followed by an interactive sessions for students studying in the remedial classes with one of the counsellors Ms. Pallavi. The counselor spoke about the kind of mental stress the students or youngsters usually go through. She urged them to open up in front of parents/teachers and share their problems.
The puppet shows reiterated the message — “the lesser the stress, the longer and happier is the journey of life”. Towards the end, a booklet “Asha aur Ravi ki Man ki Baat” was given to all the participants.
Deepalaya was recently conferred the prestigious Sat Paul Mittal Appreciation Award 2018 in the “Institution” Category for the organization’s “outstanding service to humanity”. The award is instituted by Nehru Sidhant Kender Trust, Ludhiana in the fond memory of its Founder-President, the Late Shri Sat Paul Mittal (visionary parliamentarian, politician and development enthusiast).
Gen. Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff of Indian Army presented the award to Mrs. Jaswant Kaur, Executive Director, Deepalaya (alongside a citation, trophy and a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh) at a grand function held at Sat Paul Mittal Memorial School, Ludhiana on 11th November 2018.
Deepalaya believes in all-round development of children. We always encourage co-curricular activities and provide our children with various platforms to showcase their latent talents in a variety of fields. On 28th October 2018, students from three of our project locations—Deepalaya Sanjay Colony, Deepalaya Gole Kuan, and Deepalaya SQEP Project (SDMC Primary School, near Okhla Water Tank) took part in a children’s carnival called “Navoudit”, organized by not-for-profit organization — Youth For Seva. The carnival was organized at the premises of Maitreyi College in New Delhi, with an objective to furbish the cultural and extracurricular talents of children from underprivileged backgrounds and enhance their self-confidence and creative skills by exposing them to a non-judgmental yet competitive atmosphere.
The logistics arrangement was done by Youth For Seva. The students were picked up from the respective projects; they were accompanied by a total of six teachers. When they reached Maiteryi College, the students were amazed to see a huge gathering of around 2000 children who came from various parts of Delhi-NCR to participate in the carnival. For some of our students, it was first time they were witnessing something this big. They enjoyed the vibrant atmosphere to the fullest.
Deepalaya students participated in four competitions — Group Dance, Rangoli Making, Drawing, and Wealth from Waste. Sneha Das from DLCSC won 3rd Prize in drawing competition, Vidya of VIth standard (student of remedial classes at DLCGK) was highly appreciated on stage for the beautiful painting she made. In the Rangoli competition, Priyanka and Khushi from Gole Kuan jointly won 3rd prize for their unique creativity.
While the prize winners were felicitated with medals, all the students who took part in the competitions were given participation certificates. A shield was also awarded to Deepalaya for encouraging kids to participate in the programme. Hereafter, the students were provided with snacks and dropped back to their homes.
Junoon, is an annual sporting extravaganza event hosted by NSS-Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences-Pilani, aimed at giving a level-playing field to the differently abled kids. Twelve students from Sambhav Project participated in the event held at the BITS-Pilani campus in Rajasthan. The students were excited and won many prizes in the athletic events. The three-day trip ushered a newfound confidence amongst them. Here are the glimpses of this memorable event participation.
A three-day-long district-level art and craft competition was organized by the District Education Department and District Child Welfare Council of Nuh district from 23rd to 26th October 2018 at Sardar Gurmukh Singh Memorial School, Nuh. The students of Deepalaya School, Gusbethi participated in the various competitive activities along with participants from 35 schools and won nine prizes. Shankar, Saroj, and Nandini studying in IXth, VIIth and VIIth standard won the first prize in the Rangoli, Poster making, and Sketching competitions respectively.
The judges appreciated the merit of the students and opined that Deepalaya’s students have indeed left behind all other participants in the competition.
Three students of Deepalaya Learning Centers in North-West Delhi, Goldy, Anuj and Chanchal, won prizes in a painting competition organized by Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) on 25th August 2018. On 5th October, the students received the prizes at a ceremony held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.