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Summer camp

posted May 11, 2012, 9:21 AM by Vivek Shivaprabhu   [ updated May 16, 2012, 2:44 PM ]
  • Do we need a Government to ‘govern’ us, when the CMs and chosen representatives of the state make a bee line to the prison?
  • The government is supposed to encourage and motivate the citizens to be productive; but the rampant use of money, alcohol and goodies to lure the voters during elections sends out a very wrong message.
  • People in the village have fallen prey to easy money. These elections and the government is making the citizens lazy, corrupt and ruining households.
  • Is it right for a nation and a democracy which embodies equality for all its citizens to have reservations? What is the logic behind reservations? Is it not high time to modify the rules of reservation to serve the real needy?
  • Rules are said to be made to help us, but everywhere we see no one abiding by them. Why create rules in the first place?
  • Has freedom from the British really done us any good?
  • It was the kings, then the British and now these hooligans called politicians who have always sucked common man’s blood. Who has given them this right and advantage? What happens if the common man, the farmer, the jawans went on strike?
  • Are we not good enough to govern ourselves? Why need this tamasha called politics and government?

These are not questions and issues raised in a tv sitcom, but very powerful and genuine concerns of 13 to 14 year olds. And mind, these were not pre meditated or taught questions. These were spontaneous outpours of children who are aware and vocal about what they have seen and experienced in their day to day activities. The voice was loud and clear, the understanding spot on, the innocence in its place. These were the ‘tamachas’ for the ‘tamashas’, quite like the ending scene in our short film ‘Demoncracy’, even before we’d screened it to this audience. The only missing element in few of the responses was a lack of responsibility, a clear indication of ‘holier than thou’ attitude, mostly instilled by the loose conversation of parents and elders. This very much sums up the current national scenario.

Being the host and moderator, I was, for a split second, taken aback by the raw anger, helplessness and prejudices evident in these questions. I could not but help appreciate their vocal and clear thoughts. I loved the challenge these questions posed. With the help of appaji and Mr. Sharanabasava sir we helped the campers unearth the answers to their questions. Equating the nation to a classroom they realized the advantages of democracy, the need for a government, the role of citizens, the responsibilities of elected representatives etc. They found out blame games and name calling will take us nowhere and that each of us has to be contributing and conscious participants in nation building. It gives me solace that ‘DemoNcracy’, ‘the (un)civilized’, ‘Signal’ helped them find answers and ways to tackle the issues in their questions.

On the other hand before screening ‘My Shadow’ when we asked them about animals and how they related to them it was heartwarming to listen to a young kid narrated very innocently and simply how he loved scrubbing and bathing his bullocks, feeding and petting them. When asked if he ever loved pulling the bull’s or a dog’s tail or pelt a stone at them, he was quick enough to reprimand me that they were innocent speechless animals; it did us no good harming those creatures. He concluded asking me weren’t those animals like us, created by the same creator?

This second edition of  My Dream has strengthened our faith in our motto “Education through Visuals”. It has also proved that the clarity of thoughts, the convictions and the concern for society of the children from the villages and smaller cities is much greater than their urban counterparts. They have made our attempt a success and taught us many lessons. It is them who have made this a worthwhile effort and the satisfaction of time and resource well invested. We look forward to do more justice to such young and aspiring minds to better our lives a bit more.

The event started with the Quiz competition where the kids participated enthusiastically. They were divided into 4 teams ‘Genius Chalukyas, Kalpana Chawla, Abdul Kalam and Basavanna’. Team Basavanna were the winners. Prior to the screening and discussion in a very poignant event the Swamiji distributed books as prize to the kids. We were much appreciated for our socially inclined mindset and the urge to give back to the society through such novel means. In a very touching note of appreciation Dr.Shivanand pointed out to that if the kids ever thought to take someone as role models then it should be the  My Dream team. All of us literally twisted in our chairs, this was a call for much more responsibility and a credit that rests heavy on our shoulders.

On behalf of the entire By2coffee team, My Dream and Nirantara foundation I thank the Swamiji and the organizers of the ‘Arivu Achara Vyaktitva Vikasana Shibira’ for giving the  My Dream team an opportunity to mingle with the kids and feature our short films. We look forward to being there in their next camp and facing many more inquisitive minds.

We immensely thank Mr. Prakash Rao, Publisher, Asha Graphics, Kumarapattanam for the generous discount in the purchase of books and Smt.Rajeshwari M Kooli for introducing us to Mr.Prakash Rao.

A big shout-out to the rock solid support from our family, friends, volunteers, well-wishers and the generous donors.

Statistics: We reached out to 70 children and distributed 135 books worth Rs.2370.