Painting a future

Painting a Future

It is quite common to hear adults wanting to relive their childhood- to enjoy those days filled with leisure, lost in the dreamland and free from any tension about future. People universally tend to associate this phase to be driven by unprompted and unplanned events. Until very recently, I too held the same view. The story of Rancy from one of CRY’s Gurugram PAG, however, changed my perception. Hearing her story from her teacher and a fellow volunteer, Rahul, I realized that dreaming is an art, the inspiration of which one draws from their surroundings.

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sabina

Of Rough Hands and Dreamy Eyes…

May was challenging for the young CRY volunteers. Ignoring the scorching and sultry Kolkata summer, they were to be found in the urban slums of the city, and not in the air conditioned malls their peers were frequenting during their holidays. The volunteers were busy conducting summer camps for the children of the Kolkata slums. In one such, a bunch of them met Sabina*. This little girl lives in the interiors of Ballygunj (otherwise known as one of the posh parts of the city). No! where Sabina lives, there are no jazzy shops or eateries, nor palatial mansions. She lives in a shanty, much like her friends.

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Dharmendra

On a Mission to Eradicate Child Labour

They say childhood is the most important and fun-filled phase of our lives – the age when you are free of responsibilities, not bound by boundaries and showered with endless affection. A lot of you may agree with this, but more than half of our population won’t. Living in our protected environments cushioned with all sorts of comforts, we forget to acknowledge the harsh reality most people live in.

Let me take you a little closer. As per the National Census, there are close to 10.1 million child labourers in India, in the age group of 5 to 14 years.

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Phoenix mall

Books, bricks and a lot more…

 

One of the hardest things to do is break the truth to a child about how the world isn’t as rosy as they are told it is. These words often come from loved ones, parents, family and friends, but when it comes to harsh realities that these very individuals would never wish upon children, they risk raising them in an environment of ignorance. In matters like this, it is up to total strangers to do the needful, often at the expense of seeming purely informative and emotionally removed from the equation.

In an attempt akin to the above, members of the Intern team, here at CRY West, set off to Phoenix Marketcity Kurla, a major shopping centre in east Mumbai to engage with visitors through a few interesting interactions on the occasion of World Against Child Labour Day.

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MH Day

Breaking the Silence

I still remember the day I got my period. I was in the sixth grade and I came back home to a stained underwear. I remember being so scared that I locked myself up in the bathroom and cried.

I cried because I didn’t know what was happening. While each woman’s menstrual experience is unique, there definitely are aspects which we can prepare young girls for; and that’s what I hoped to achieve. Knowing about our bodies and the changes we go through can relieve us of the stress we’re likely to face when something unexpected happens.

I’m glad I approached CRY. To my surprise, Tanya had already started a program with a similar end goal. Thus, I must begin by thanking Menstrupedia for providing us with the most amazing video.

I must also thank UCB for making my vision of providing good quality cotton pads possible. As mentioned earlier, most women are still using cloth during their periods. Thus, it was important for me to give them a safer, yet familiar alternative.

Finally, I must thank the CRY JMC team for coming onboard and giving it their very best. The relentless effort put in by these 16 girls has set an example for the rest of us.

 

Devika Chopra, Facilitator

BKR

The Colours of Childhood

Bachpan ke Rang is a small function that is held in Rajabajar, Kolkata by CRY – Child Rights and You. It is organised for the kids from different schools in the Rajabajar community who come and participate in this event. They play  certain games prepared by CRY volunteers and participate in sessions on art and craft. A bit of dancing, singing and play acting is also roped in that eventually gives a message. The main aim of this event is to ensure that the kids have a lot of fun. All the volunteers give in their 100% to make this event a success. This year as an intern I got the opportunity to be a part of the event and I experienced how in spite of a lot of difficult situations the kids who came to the event really enjoyed themselves.

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Purbita

The More You Give, The More You Get

I always wanted to do as much as I could to give back to the society I live in. So when the opportunity of volunteering first presented itself to me, I  jumped at it immediately. But one can never really know what volunteering is actually like until one involves oneself into it. Even though I am a newcomer to this activity and only have just close to two months of experience, I would like to share my thoughts on my journey so far.

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tutoring the teachers

Tutoring the teacher

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
― William Arthur Ward

Teaching is the noblest profession of all. It is thus, unfortunate, that monetary covetousness has begun to tinge it. However, there still are few people who teach out of passion, and out of sheer dedication. They do it out of the goodness of their hearts and empathy towards the kids. They are a rarity though- and CRY volunteers step up to take up this mantle of the good Samaritans.

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Zeeshan

Crossing Over!

It’s 10 already and the volunteer intervention area at Razabazaar is gearing up for the weekend sessions. In some time the energy of the whole place will change. The children will start chirping, their excitement will mix with the volunteers’ enthusiasm. There will be fun and frolic for which  the children wait eagerly all week.

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IMG_6207

Menstruation – A Taboo No More. Period.

A schoolgirl once stained her uniform whilst on her period. The boys in her class looked on and laughed. She laughed too, at how very naive they were…

Menstrual blood is typically the only source of blood that isn’t induced traumatically. Why then is it such a sensitive issue in a society like ours where child abuse is talked about freely but god forbid someone brings up menstruation during conversation!

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Anwesha

I Volunteered For A Journey…

I am a survivor of clinical depression. I confess.

I screamed at my parents, every day, every hour. I confess.

I blacked out during my first year college exams. I confess.

Shaggy hair. Unchanged clothes. Ugly crying through the night. Pills swallowed and a blade hidden under my mattress. I confess.

It was scary. It was grotesque. It was madness. I confess.

Though that changed. Not over a day. Not over a single mail. Not over a single orientation. It took a week, a few months and a couple of years.

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