Photos of the event are available here – https://picasaweb.google.com/pankhudi.pictures/PankhudiHyderabadIndependenceDayInUPS2012?authuser=0&feat=directlink]]>
We organized a cloth donation program on 19th February. The clothes were distributed to migrated labors staying near Kothnur dinne, Jp Nagar .There were about 50 sheds housing approximately 200 to 250 people.
Photo courtesy: Mohan Rajendra
Mohan Rajendra came up with this idea when he got about 80-100 winter jackets from his office. This act made all volunteers to come forward in collecting tons of clothes from their friends and relatives.
These clothes were then segregated according to gender and age, packed and distributed by the volunteers with loads of excitement.
Photo courtesy: Mohan Rajendra
Other than clothes, the donation involved cushions, pillows and bags. A prior visit was made to the camp before to know the necessity of clothes. Once the requirements were identified, all the clothes were brought on to the place.
Photo courtesy: Nethra LH
The need for clothes was clearly visible on each of the person’s faces as they patiently awaited their turn for us to approach them. After seeing the number of people in individual houses, the clothes were distributed and in particular sweaters, warm wear clothes, pillows and cushions were given to the aged people.
Photo courtesy: Mohan Rajendra
All the effort and hard work put into the donation was well worth seeing their smiling faces .They let all volunteers know that their hard work and diligence was truly appreciated and that all of us will always be in their prayers.]]>
There were about 20 kids in the first group. One of the volunteer started with a general discussion about Diwali-What is it? Why is it celebrated? What is done on this occasion? How it is enjoyed? We were amazed to know that some of the kids had good knowledge about it and were very enthusiastic while answering. Although we did get some funny answers too. We then introduced the diya decorating activity to the kids as we had planned. They were divided into groups of 4 and each volunteer was assigned one group to help them decorate the diyas. The kids brought out their creative side and painted the diyas in beautiful colors and combinations. It was nice to see them totally engrossed in the activity. The kids seemed pretty ecstatic by the endeavour put in by them and we can safely say that it was a success as we all could see the sense of achievement on their faces which brought the same to ours!
Then it was turn of the older kids for whom we had thought of conducting chart making, rangoli-making and diya-decorating process. Before the commencement of this session, we had a bit of an introductory and educational chat on Diwali with them as well. The older kids were also divided into groups and assigned a volunteer each to help out with the process of diya decoration first. It was pretty interesting. They came up with some amazing designs. In fact the volunteers joined them in the activity and our creations were no where near what those kids came up with.
Then we started with chart making and rangoli making as per the interests of the kids. The theme was obviously Diwali and they made some very beautiful charts with amazing motifs and designs depicting Diwali. We plan on to put these charts on the walls once the room is painted again. The rangoli that was made was also very beautiful. We were joined by a couple of friends of one of the volunteers in this session who helped us in conducting the activities. They were very keen on helping the kids and helped them by suggesting ideas and color the charts. The kids felt proud in their creations. This exercise helped them bring out the creative aspect of their personality which may have been left unexplored otherwise.
After that, we distributed sweets to the kids. Since we did not want to encourage pollution of any kind and at the same time teach a lesson to the kids, we did not distribute any crackers this time. The kids were very pleased towards the end and all had glimmering eyes for they all knew Diwali, the festival of lights was coming.
The experience was enriching for all of us. The kids exhibited great fervour. We all wish that Diwali brings light in form of learning in their and our lives. Happy Diwali!
Place – Upper Primary School (UPS), Gowlidoddy.
~ 350 students of UPS, 10 teachers, School Board Members, two Move The Wheels volunteers
Pankhudi volunteers – Atul, Brinda, Jyoti, Kranthi, Prasanna, Pritam, Ramesh, Satya, Srikanth, Surendra
One gets to experience what must have been the passion & love all our great freedom fihghters had for our motherland when you hear slogans like -”Maataram Maataram, Vande Maataram” & “Bharat Maata Ki …Jai” filling the air when ~ 400 Indians came together to celebrate the 65th Independence day of our beloved motherland.
The day started with a patriotic rally with buzzing slogans, banners & placards through the nearby slum with ~ 120 kids ensuring that the on goers stop & take a notice.
Back to the school, the Principal of the school hoisted the flag following which was our National Anthem. As the Principal stressed on the importance of patriotism along with education in shaping up the future of our nation, it brought back lot of good old school day memories to our minds.
What unfolded next kept us all mesmerized. An awesome display of cultural skills by the students, be it the songs, speech or dance, it was performed to perfection & was indeed a treat.
Filler patriotic slogans charged up the atmosphere. “Once more”, “once more” was used in most apt way, as couple of dance numbers were performed on popular demand.
President of the School Board, the chief guest of the day, inspired the kids by sharing his views on independence.
By far the most inspiring thoughts came from Mr. Srikanth, our beloved fellow Pankhudian, as he addressed the gathering. A self indulged oath to ensure that we will make our Independence count by being responsible citizens, was indeed a special one.
The much awaited prize distribution ceremony saw the winners of the previously conducted sports events viz. sack race, lemon & spoon, relay race, kabaddi winners taking their well deserved goodies. Move The Wheels (another NGO) also distributed prizes to the winners of painting competition conducted previously by them.
All the participants of the cultural programs were also handed over token of appreciation by the President of the school board, Chief Guest of the event, & other dignitaries. The Principal expressed his gratitude to all the participants & contributors as he delivered the vote of thanks. Group photos & few fun filled moments thereafter made the event a memorable one.
Distribution of chocolates along with other food items among all the kids & other participants ended the day on a sweet note.
A special word of gratitude for the efforts by Brinda, Devakee, Sudheer & Surendra.]]>
The activities that were decided upon includedspreading of disinfectants in the houses and lanes in the slum, a drawing competition and general knowledge quiz for the children, a street play about cleanliness and hygiene and the distribution of snacks for the kids. The team from Deloitte comprising of about 20 people reached the slum at around 10 am.
The day started with the spreading of disinfectants in the slum so that the area could be free from flies and mosquitoes. The people from the slum helped with this activity by procuring the material and doing part of the work of spreading the disinfectants before the team arrived. The work of actually going into the houses and spraying the disinfectants was done by the Deloitte team. The result was visible within an hour. The flies andmosquitoes had reduced considerably in the surroundings.
After that a drawing competition was organized for the kids wherein they drew some extraordinary paintings and drawings. Some tips were given to them by the Deloitte volunteerswhich they carefully used in their drawings. The kids were highly enthusiastic and creative. It was great to see their imaginations fly sky high.
Then they were asked to sing some poems or songs or recite a story. All those who did that were given toffees and cookies. It was great to see the sense of competition and at the same time joy, on kids’ faces. They sang poems, (some of which were slightly distorted) they sang songs and danced. The whole atmosphere had become jovial and merry. After this, prizes were given to the kids with the most extraordinary drawings and also consolation prizes were distributed to commendable works. The exhilaration was visible quite explicitly on their faces.
Finally the programme commenced with a wonderful and very hilarious skit prepared by Deloitte. It highlighted the positives and necessity of cleanliness and hygiene. The skit was very educative and at the same time the kids were in fits of laughter. It taught them an important lesson of being clean and keeping the surroundings clean.
The day ended with the distribution of biscuits, juice and other snacks to the children.
The whole programme was highly organized and well planned, courtesy employees of Deloitte who organized, coordinated and controlled the whole event extremely well.
Kudos to the Deloitte employees for organizing such a wonderful event and a fun filled activity.
We look forward to cooperating more with them at different levels and hope to meet them again when they celebrate Impact day again next year.]]>
Blessed were those who could be a part of the MAGIC created by the Kids of UPS on Sunday, March 6th, 2011.
Activity Venue: Trip to Birla Science Museum & Planetarium.
Participants: 53 Kids & 2 teachers from UPS, Abhinav, Atul, Brinda,Deepa, Jasmine, Jyoti, Deepa, Murthy, Pritam, Richa, Satya, Srikanth, Swetha, Varalakshmi & Runeeth.
Otherwise a quiet Sunday morning in the Upper Primary School was buzzing…buzzing with the thrill which was about to unfold. All the kids had assembled in the school by 9:30 AM. To start with attendance was taken & ID cards were distributed among the kids (the co-creators did a perfect job to make it look more like corporate IDs). As agreed, the kids were then grouped into 5 sub groups & two volunteers were assigned to lead each sub group. In the mean time, the Bus arrived the school premise & we were all set to go when clock ticked 11. As we started, attendance was taken & kids were free to be themselves in a game of Antakshri. An unseen line was drawn between two teams for that moment. To our surprise, many so called shy kids came out all guns blazing to compete with the other team. Eventually, it was a win win for all , specially so for few volunteers who made some earnings as coins started pouring !
Couple of volunteers had reached the Birla Science museum early to book the
tickets & arrange the food. All the kids along with the volunteers assembled in the park area of the museum for an attendance cum photo session & later were briefed about the place & the schedule of the day. Before moving on with the trip, we took a pause to fuel up. Lunch was arranged by Pankhudi. Handy yet tasty food was followed by some real fun as the kids entered the Interactive science museum @ 1 PM. All the experiments, be it converting mechanical energy to electric energy or the optic illusions & so on, made the day for the kids. A curious glow in their eyes to know & do it themselves said it all. We could spend almost one & half hour in interactive science museum.
Next we headed to the Archaeological & Birlas’ personal belongings collection museum. Few were trying to calculate how many zeroes would a million have & how come the world existed for sooo many years. We moved on to the Indian Space Program, Under sea Dwarka & Antartica, Indian endeavor by Dept. of Oceanography. It raised many questions, which were answered to the best of our knowledge & briefing. The next level left many mouths wide open & eyes starry as we entered the Dianosorium, having a giant real life skeleton of the big fellow.
As we came out for a break at 3.30 PM before the show at planetarium expecting the energy levels to be bit down, there came another bunch of surprises. Kids started volunteering to groove to the popular Telegu numbers. Few volunteers, were also requested to join, however, they kept it on store for the next time…some claiming to be too hungry & some innocent & too quiet. In the mean while refreshing drink & snacks were provided to all. So, again we were all up & ready to experience the next big thing of the day, the Planetarium @ 5 PM. For those of you who have experienced the kind of uproar the spectators make when the Little master walks in to bat in a cricket
ground, were given the same treat as the lights went out inside the Planetarium & it was a starry night. It was a visual & knowledge treat for most us & much needed rest for a few who were greeted with a “Good morning” at the end of the show! Mission Chandrayan was explained in Telegu which I am sure will be food for thought for many of the kids.
The groups aligned themselves in the park area of museum yet again for the attendance & group photos. We started from the museum by 6:15 PM. The journey back was even more deafening as hidden singers started coming out as more & more coins (this time greater denominations) exchanged hands. By 7:15 PM we reached the UP school, where we had another round of attendance.
By the time we were about to disperse, just asked the kids if they had fun..they for sure said a loud ‘YES’…but for those who said “I never had so much fun ever before in life.” Is what am sure will make you smile as you go through this.
We were indeed…BLESSED.]]>
I entered into the class and saw Aditya writing something on the blackboard,with his T-shirt reading
“We teach children about life,
Children teach us what life is about.”
Soon all the volunteers,children and the guests of the day - the Udaan team from IIT Bombay gathered.
We all went outside, and the children sang the national anthem in front of the flag.
We had plays performed by the kids. “Mulgi shikli, pragati zali”(The learning of the girl child in the family). “Swachha Sundar Suman Nagar”(Clean and beautiful Suman nagar) and “Pani vachwa, jivan vachwa”(Save water,Save life).
A girl had dressed up as Jhansi ki Rani, and we were taught about the legendary queen by the children themselves!!
Three little boys did some of the most awesome hip hop moves in their dance.
Then the Udaan team unleashed their magic. They taught many of the very difficult concepts in physics to the children in a very simple, realistic and animated manner, which the children learned very enthusiastically (I wish I had professors like that…would not have hated physics so much!). They also put up the flight simulator in action so that the children could have the experience of flying an actual aircraft. The children were also showed videos of Indian astronauts, dubbed by our own Pankhudi volunteers from English to Marathi.
The children were given their favorite snacks(read Samosa and laddoos) and also fruits to eat.
The children (and also the volunteers!) played on the flight simulator for hours. No wonder they say,
“You dont quit playing because you grow old,
You grow old because you quit playing.”
Later after the children went home, we all treated ourselves with the left over samosas and kachoris! (What a feast!)
and of course , tea.
This was the most amazing and most patriotic republic day I had, with amazingly common and ordinary people who are led by an extra ordinary desire to give something back to the society.]]>
Place – Upper Primary School (UPS), Gowlidoddy.
“I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives.
I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.”
Pankhudi Hyderabad celebrated Republic day with the kids in UPS School Gowlidoddy this year. The day also coincided with Move the wheel’s founders day, which is another NGO associated with the school’s welfare activities.
The day kicked off with the traditional rally where the volunteers accompanied an enthusiastic lot of children who were shouting out patriotic slogans with full gusto. The flag hoisting ceremony took place soon after that with the school principal hoisting the tricolor. The principal delivered a speech after that where he elaborated on the significance of the day and urged the students to become responsible citizens of the country.
The school children presented a kaleidoscope of cultural events after that which included some patriotic speeches, dances and group songs.
The performance that highlighted the event was a Kuchipudi performance by Ms. Sahiti Reddy, a trained classical dancer who was generous enough to perform for the kids. The children were spellbound throughout the performance and were all excited to learn the dance form when asked by the danseuse if they were interested in learning it.
Sweets and snacks were distributed to the children and their parents and lunch was served to the children soon after that.
All of us assembled at the slum at around 6:45 a.m. It took sometime to organize the kids who were brimming with energy and excitement. We were 10 volunteers, 25 kids(we took the older kids only), 3 teachers from the slum and mothers of two kids. We started from the slum at 7:45 and by 9:30 a.m. we were seated. Kids were made to sit right in front and we were seated few rows behind.
The event commenced with lighting of Amar Jyoti by the Prime Minister, then flag hoisting by the President and singing of the national anthem by all of us. It was such a patriotic moment for the crowd present. A streak of jet planes colored the sky with colourful patterns and showered rose petals on the spectators which was beautiful.
On the occasion of Pankhudi team day, 19th November some Pankhudians decided to go for a trek at Yeoor Hills in Thane. These hills are are located in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park.
On the morning of November 21, ten team members gathered at Thane station and went to the base of the hills. All of us were suspecting that since it is 7:30 AM the sun will be up and by the time we begin the descent, it will be too hot. But we were lucky as the sky was filled with clouds and the fog added to the beauty of our trek route.
Our cameras were out the moment we entered as it was quite an awesome sight for all the people in Mumbai to see so much of greenery and bright, vibrant flowers. We reached the hilltop in 30 odd minutes and decided to explore more. There were mud houses built by the local community living there, known as Varli. There were various types of weapons made of wood designed and kept in the mud houses for protection from the wild at night.
After wandering for a while we did lose our direction but managed to find a place where we could sit and play a few games. It was great fun as all of us went back in time and let ourselves out! We traced our way back as asking some of the villagers and finally came back to the starting point. The landmark was a beautiful lake surrounded by trees.
There was a small museum that had pictures and information about wildlife there and some very old pictures of Thane & Mumbai. We ended our day with an awesome lunch celebrating our team spirit!]]>