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My Dream Anniversary Event - 15 Aug 2011

posted Aug 18, 2011, 9:09 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Aug 19, 2011, 6:48 PM by Vivek Shivaprabhu ]

There is this saying - He who waits to do a great deal of good at once, will never do anything. A little more than a year ago, a bunch of people decided to celebrate Independence day a little different. They wanted to put to use the product of their creativity and passion. Then there was this another bunch of friends that was interested in reaching out to the needy. These 2 groups (by2coffeefilms and Nirantara Foundation) came together to celebrate India’s 64th Independence day on August 15, 2010 at Sri Venkateshwara Government School. Thus was born “My Dream”, an initiative to educate children through Short Films. It was a realization of a long nurtured dream to give back to the society and reach out to the underprivileged children. This team with a will to do a great deal of good work were set out by doing their little bit of good work.

 

My Dream Anniversary Event

On the auspicious occasion of India’s 65th Independence day My Dream celebrated its first anniversary with the children & staff of ‘Makkala Dhama’. Located on the outskirts of Bangalore Makkala Dhama is nestled amid orchards and fields. It has sheltered child laborers, orphans, single parented children, street children and drop-outs. Few of them attend regular schools and the other younger children are being prepared by the staff to get enrolled into school. It was a sultry day and a long drive up to the location. I cannot explain the effect the last few kilometers had on us. The lush green fields, the silent landscape, the good roads and the school children returning from IDay celebrations; one moment we were in the hustle n bustle of the capital city and bam the next we were in nature’s soothing lap. We joined the 50 odd inmates of Makkal Dhama for a typical lunch of the region – Ragi mudde, saaru, anna, rasam n pappad; thankfully the Champakali that we took made its way onto the plates. The peaceful surroundings and a sumptuous meal - What do you expect next? Ah you lazy bones, we did not sleep. Thanks to team Nirantara the stage or rather the carpet and the projector was set for the event to roll. To get everyone of us out of sleep we started the event by making the kids sing songs. We all enjoyed the songs; we clapped and sang along.

 

The formal event started with me welcoming all and a beautiful rendition of Vande Mataram by Shruthi Balemane. Wow, she sang superbly and there was pin drop silence. Amar & Shivu took over the short film screening. We were happy that the short films were successful in driving them the message and igniting a thought process in them. After the screening we asked each of them as to what the dream to become – we met a lot of future CBI officers, police n doctors. One answer that really stood apart was a child saying he wants to make and sweep the roads. He was a very young boy, just about 7-8 years ! I just hope he grows up to be a constructive and responsible citizen. Not that I do not wish the same for the other children. But this child had the courage and the thought to say what he said. For me, it was the highlight of the day.

 

We followed this with some outdoor activities – Drawing competition, games, mimicry, Vachana-Shloka recital. It was heartening to see the group enthusiastically join Chidanand in a simple but interesting game of organizing numbers. I can say Chidanand and the volunteers enjoyed the game more than the kids.

 

A classmate and one of our biggest moral and financial supporters – Natasha & Venugopal joined us in this event. They were overwhelmed with what the event had to offer them. Apart from their contributions they’d bought sketch pens and chocolates for all the children. The children enjoyed receiving the sketch pens and used them during the drawing competition.

 

Irfan and Ramchandra Shinde spoke a few words about their first hand experience of participating in My Dream event. They said they were very glad to’ve been a part of the event and thanked the children for this opportunity to celebrate this Independence day in this unique way.

Nirantara Foundation had purchased School bags and distributed the same along with books to all the children. Another highlight of this event was the participation of many our dear friends. A special acknowledgment to these supporting hands - Vanajakka, Natasha, Venugopal, Deepu, Shruthi, Irfan, Shinde, Suma, Pallavi, Gajanan.

 

As usual the Nirantara team were full of energy and quick in arranging the event. By2coffee films team was also in full attendance sporting Khadi kurtas. The staff and volunteers at Makkala Dhama were very cooperative. Thank you all for making the Fifth edition of My Dream and its anniversary celebrations worthwhile. Thanks to all our contributors, supporters, friends and families.

 

We collectively believe that there is no finer investment than investing in the children’s all round education and care. We hope we are walking along the rightful track. I want to remind all of us that the children are not always good at listening to their elders but ever ready to imitate them. So in this process of engaging with the children we are without doubt shaping ourselves better. Jai Hind.

 

Statistics: We reached 48 childre; Distributed 48 bags and 45 books (3 children around the age of 4-5 years were not given books)

 

~ Ashwini Shivanand

 

MakkaLa Dhama is run by Sparsha Trust and is a home for 50 children who were child laborers, orphans, single parented children, street children and drop-outs. It is located at Kuduregere in the outskirts of Bengaluru and is surrounded by fertile land verdant with Guava, Mango and Sapota trees. Organic vegetables are grown in the patch of land next to Makkala Dhama and a Goshala has been established with three cows which helps to provide nutritious food to children. Among the 50 children, 25 are attending regular school now and the rest are being prepared by in-house teachers to attend regular school. 30 more children who were drug addicts, beggars, street dwellers now rehabilitated from Sparsha will join us in the event.
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