Saptarshi Blog I Day

The India Behind The Smiling Faces

‘O My God! I cannot eat this food’, ‘O My God! I cannot go to college everyday’, ‘O My God! How can I live without the AC?’ Sounds familiar? Surely does to many of us because we grew up taking things for granted and why not when we have seen only a very small part of the world and chose to neglect the not so happy realities. Hallelujah! It is time we start appreciating.

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sonas schoolcoming

Sona’s Schoolcoming

“I miss my father. I was about seven when he passed away. And everything kept on getting tougher. My mother would cry a lot. Some days we would eat just once in the whole day. I have four brothers and three sisters. All of us started farming in the small piece of land we had. My mother too goes away for days. She goes to the big nearby cities where she works as a farm labourer. I used to stay at home with my sisters and helped them in the household chores. I was good in studies but had to drop out when I was in second standard.”

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ganesh

Tiny Shoulders, Big Burdens

The day of the community cultural programme was a busy day for all the kids in the Sonari slum area of Jamshedpur. But, the busiest of them all was the lanky teenage boy- Ganesh, who’d masterminded the whole event.

Ever since Adarsh Seva Sansthan (ASES), a grassroots level non-profit supported by CRY had started work in this slum adjoining the city’s airport; things have been taking a turn for the better. ASES aims to provide a fair, healthy world to the underprivileged children and to bring them to the mainstream where they could have a happy childhood. And, the project’s impact on this colony is actually visible, with there being a real difference in the way the community comes together and takes on responsibilities.

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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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anitha

Back on the right track!

At 14 years, when most school kids are obsessed with movies and friends and gossip, Anitha had her head on a completely different set of things – grazing the landlord’s cattle and doing his household chores. And this would have been her life – a story of untapped potential and lost childhood – if the CRY supported project, Association for Social Economical Educational Cultural Health and Environment Development (PEOPLE) hadn’t rescued her from the venomous fangs of child labour.

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missing children julie

Helping Victims of Child Slavery and Giving Them a New Life

A phone call at the dead of the night is seldom good news. However, for the Aimol* family what followed was not only shocking but also something that would change their lives forever. Their daughter Julie* had bagged a job opportunity abroad the month before and the family had been ecstatic. The employment agency had taken her and seven other girls. The family was waiting for good fortune to unfold. Little did they know that the reality would be dark, dangerous and gloomy. Julie and the other girls were taken to Myanmar, where their identity documents were forged and then to Singapore. They realised they had no clue about their final destination. As luck would have it, they were forced to lodge in a hotel in Yangon enroute to Singapore. Luckily, Julie managed to call home from there.

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bipasha_diksha

Protecting the Children from Abuse and Creating a Happy Future

The sessions at Diksha (a CRY partner) are generally a very cheerful affair. The children are usually chirping with excitement and wonder – playing, participating and engaged in activities. But in one corner was Bipasha – an adolescent girl who had been attending the sessions for almost a couple of years on and off, would not talk at all. She listens to and observes each session carefully but when it came to participating, she would hardly open up.

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Child Labour

THE UNDIMINISHING ACT OF CHILD LABOUR IN INDIA

SOCIAL VALUES IN OUR COUNTRY

India, our motherland is a very versatile country. We have different regions with different territorial variations, cultures and values spanning across various regions in thousand different ways, traditions flowing in our blood, customs that are a part of every Indian household.

These customs and values hold us together and bind us in one nutshell; hence we live by the true spirit of being an Indian. Although India is proud of its achievements, we also have major social issues to be addressed in the country.

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Sunita

DECIDE. COMMIT. SUCCEED

“Fall seven times, stand up eight.” – Japanese Proverb
This is the story of a young girl who achieved success through sheer determination and grit. Sunitaben Jeevanbhai Vaghela, a 15 year old girl, lived with her family in Gujarat and was appearing for SSC (Secondary Board Examinations) that year. Sunita was a bright child. Hence her parents had lofty expectations of her faring well in the exams and making a mark for herself. However, destiny had something else in store for Sunita. Not only her, but her parents and family members were shattered to know that Sunita had failed in her exams. Heart-broken and thoroughly disillusioned with life, Sunita dropped out of school. Her parents, who too had lost all hopes, became disinterested about her continuing her education. Often, out of sheer distress, they would question her about her failure despite being a smart and hardworking student. They also taunted her saying it would have been better had she not taken up studies at all. Sunita was distraught because not only did she have to deal with the anguish of failing the exam but also had to go through the agony of dealing with her parents’ harsh demeanour towards her.

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Featured Image_5 friends

5 Friends, 1 Mission – Preventing Child Marriage

A decade into the new millennium, and somewhere in the remote corners of the Satgawan Block in Koderma, Jharkhand, a group of five friends were getting ready to go for a wedding one summer morning. The mood was buoyant and the fun was yet to begin. They arranged for the presents for the bride and reached the venue at the village of Puthodih. But the bride was nowhere to be seen! When it was time for them to leave, upon their insisting, the mother of the groom arrived carrying the three year old bride in her arms. The little one had fallen asleep from the sheer exhaustion of the day’s proceedings.

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CSA

Breaking the Silence Around Child Sexual Abuse with a Non Profit Organisation

Innocence is beautiful; it is sometimes also vulnerable, like a small new bloom. It is indeed disgraceful and inhuman when this innocence is vandalized.

Children personify beautiful hearts which have known nothing but love and liveliness, their giggles which resonate their free spirits and their endless laughter which can make one let go of their worries. They are a treasure and they should only be handled with tenderness and endearment.

It is indeed disheartening that some fail to understand the same and they have no hesitation in harming such happy souls. In a world which encompasses a lot of danger, we aim towards cocooning them into a shell which is safe and invulnerable. It is a cocoon from where they will blossom into beautiful butterflies. All we want for them is to breathe in a safe world, a world where they believe in themselves and they believe in the power within.

To make them aware about one certain societal sin – CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE (CSA), we, volunteers of the IIT Kharagpur chapter of CRY, a non profit organisation conducted numerous workshops under the “Project Baalrakshak”. Not only to make them aware but also to help them fight it, to bring them to talk about it to their close ones and to ultimately make them understand that it was NO fault of theirs if they had faced something of that sort. The workshop on child abuse was carried out amongst students of different age groups. Recently kids from Class V to Class VIII were addressed in different batches at “Hiradi Kesiasole M.S.K” an upper primary school located about 4 kms from IIT Kharagpur campus.

CSA is a sensitive issue to deal with and talk about. To make kids understand about what CSA actually embodies is difficult but Rajarshi Debnath, our energetic volunteer, reached out to the kids very delicately.

It was really warming to see how he started talking about simple words like “Danger” and “Safe” and how he blended those with the different lights of Traffic Signals. Subtlety being of prime importance, he gave examples of the fictitious superheroes of the world and how they save us from villains. He made them agree to the fact that parents and teachers are no less than superheroes (superman/superwoman) in our lives and how we should approach them without any hesitation in case of denial or discomfort.

Rajarshi gradually spoke about the four danger zones of the body with utmost gentleness. He made it very clear to them that NO-one is allowed to ill-touch those four danger zones (except parents and doctors, if required) neither should they touch anyone else’s. He made them shout “NO” and throw their hands forward in objection. He told them to shout, push and run to their superheroes if any situation of that sort ever arises.

53% of children are sexually abused in India in some form or the other every year. It is atrocious and it has to STOP. Under this project till date 6 sessions are being conducted in 3 schools were children from nursery to class VIII participated, also 2 sessions were conducted with the parents of the children.

As Swindoll once said, “Each day of our life we make deposits in the memory banks of our children”. Team ‘Baalrakshak’ will thrive to embellish lives’ of children and we shall not stop till we have the richest banks. After all, it is easier to build strong children than to repair broken adults!

And in the process you come into the picture. Yes, you! You can donate to a reckoning Non profit organization in India like CRY. By a large magnitude, you can help in the mission. Now is the time! Donate!

Sneha Mukherjee Volunteer, CRY