Did you Know?

Media Wiki is a free and open source wiki software, used to power wiki websites such as Wikipedia, Wiktionary and Commons, developed by the Wikimedia Foundation.

Nithin, a lakshyan from Banagalore, has been part of the team which is involved in launching mediawiki for all the projects in Bhumi.

Here’s a what Nithin has to say about it:

“I’m associated with Lakshya Bangalore since August 2013. I’m currently responsible to maintain Media Wiki site for Lakshya. I feel this is a good initiative to put together, all information related to Lakshya into a wiki page and provide access to that information to all existing and new volunteers. This will help them know required information faster.
I feel it is also a good platform for having discussions on issues / topics related to Lakshya.
Currently, it has some information about WOW of Lakshya events and sessions. It needs to be updated with existing list of volunteers, their roles and  responsibilities.”

 

The Journey Begins

Our journey began with a group of 30 members, starting at 5.00 am from Chennai by 2 Mini Vans. Pick up points were scheduled for everyone. This time Volunteers of Bhumi  Lakshya had organised a trek to Nagala West , (150 km from Chennai )on the 15th of December 2013, Sunday. Before reaching the trek start point, we had our breakfast at amma’s shop. Dosas, idlys, vada curry, pooris, vada and pongal – name it and they have it. The lady in that shop fed us all like we were her house members.

NagalaOne among us was an experienced trekker, Major Yogesh, who guided us throughout our journey. Surprisingly we had another guide “A watch dog” that accompanied us throughout the journey showing the right path. We shared eatables and started to trek around 8. We first climbed up a mount and found a beautiful blue lake with hillocks behind. Seemed just like scenic painting with no mistakes amazed the eyes of photographers Santhosh , Gnanambigai , Krithiga Parvathy and Prestha  while this made others wonder what’s in store for us further.  Our first hurdle was to discover POOL1. The walk to the first pool was quite a experience as it had walk ways starting from sandy slippery areas to slushy soils, thorny branches that covered the paths like caves to plain low lands. Few were struggling to move forward and a few were faster than the guide. Fari kept me company. The first pool discovery delighted everyone with a pure source of water far away from a polluted city. A natural mineral that quenched our thirst, regained the energy to discover more pools.

 

A real trekking experience started after the POOL1. We had to jump and climb huge rocks, criss-cross walk from one side of the bank to another side. A few slipped and were hurt, some hurt their legs, some with scratches on their legs and hands by thorny bushes and some as tired as dead but through out a tough journey everyone kept their spirits high to reach the destination. Pool2 was another truly mesmerizing pool. A gentle fall of water down the rocks with sun rays scattered around the greens, a shallow pond of chilled water below the fall just ready for all of them to relax and play but that wasn’t the end. There were more pools ahead. We were all hungry and tired but the thirst to discover the next pool continued our journey.

Steep up the hill, trek with narrow slippery rocks ahead to climb with sloppy areas where we can hardly step. If we one slip, we are down to the stream dead. With great fear, all of us successfully crossed these hurdles.  Now comes the last pool- POOL3. Water rapidly rushing through the deep waters. As soon as we reached this pool few of them jumped into the pool without thinking twice and then I dive, Oh my! That experience really felt like there is no world beyond.  Some swam around relaxed with air tubes while others swam like sharks in the ocean. Most of them spent their time playing in the cool water were temperature was atleast 11C. Few others like Ramkumar , Raghu and few others responsibly got out of the pool, started collecting dry sticks to light the stove and cooked. Noodles, hot and sour soup, kakra, biscuits and fruits were a lot more to fill our stomach in hunger. Yog Anand, Sukash and Arwindh were of great help for everyone to pass through the tough journey.

 

Around 4 in the evening all tired and strained thinking of the long way to return, we started climbing down the hill. Fearing darkness would make us lose the path, we had hurried to the start point just before sunset. Surprisingly we did not find any wild animals, I was hoping to at least see a snake but there was no clue of animals except a few rare birds and insects. All returned safe and van was right outside. On the way all of us had a good treat in a dhaba. Van dropped us all back and we all returned to the polluted city back to our monotonous daily routine work when everyone faced turned pale.

end

~ Brinda, Chennai

Passion for Design

I started designing probably when i was in 5th standard. Being teacher’s pet, i would always be the last person to leave school after the decorations on the board, filling up the board with all my doodles before “The Open house day”. ‘Arts and crafts’ and drawing classes were my favourite. I would be the one to help everyone complete their crafts and drawings; in fact even the guys’ books will be filled by me and submitted. Like all other girls I too fancied for Mehandi. I started drawing Mehandi with black pen. I made a book out of my designs when I was in class 9 or 10.

Soon my interest for designing increased that made me design my own clothes. I started scribbling mannequins and fashion designing was my first ever dream. I went to classes. Sketching, painting, water colouring all soon made a good portfolio into all my stuff.  I was least interested in Studies and more interested in drawing and designing. I wanted to be someone like Manish Malhotra or Sabyasachi. I tried to get into NIFT and unfortunately I couldn’t get into it in the final round. Still, I didn’t want to give up on my dreams.

So, I diverted my dreams towards Graphic designing and Arts; and joined Electronic Media which taught me so much about designing right from costume designing, set designing, Logos,  brochures, banners and what not. Everything revolved around a single suite, Adobe.

Bhumi gave me a perfect platform to exhibit my talents. It all started off with designing calendars in Ripples team, moving to “Caught ’ya “card and then Bhumi invitations and now Reflections…

EchoVME, the place where I work gave me a chance to execute whatever I’ve learnt and made me learn more. In fact I’m still learning; I’m yet a beginner and need much more experience as a designer. I’m looking forward to learn more types of art and designs. 🙂

~ Lakshmi, Chennai

 Featuring some of Lakshmi’s creations:

lakshmi7 Lakshmi1 Lakshmi2 lakshmi3 lakshmi5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out more creations by Lakshmi at http://www.behance.net/LakshmiPadmanabhan and facebook page for Reflections Lakshya – http://goo.gl/SejL59

 

 

Lakshya in 2013 – A recap

As we enter 2014, Lakshya looks back to see & cheer for the significant progress during 2013. Here, we take you through some of the key hits and misses during 2013.

Annual plan: The aftermath of Beacon, a training program organized by Bhumi for the coordinators of various projects / cities, resulted in sleepless nights and endless discussions to sculpt and shape the future plans of Lakshya for the next two years. Probably it was the first time Lakshya did such an attempt to establish stretched targets that was taken head on by its functions with complete ownership and responsibility. With great vigor and support from fellow Lakshyans, it marched greedily towards as many objectives it has set forth. It might not have succeeded in achieving every objective but atleast it has been conscious of the desired outcome, planned the efforts required and has learnt from its failures. It is just a matter of time for Lakshya to realize its objectives.

Chennai Operations: It has been a very bad year for us in terms of our Chennai operations. We started off with 5 centres out of which 4 were new and 2 were based on workshop model. However, within a month we had to discontinue 2 centres and one more centre after 4 months due to lack of support from the centre management. Luckily we happened to add one more centre. Currently we have 2 centres in weekly model and 1 centre in workshop model. The positive side of the story is that we tested and tasted new waters (Police Boys Clubs & Govt. schools) beyond our comfort zone (Residential institutions) and in the process learnt new things. The flip side was that we lost a lot of good volunteers due to instability. We hope to recover from the scenario and bounce back in the coming months. We have to focus on our centre identification process for next year and ensure that we get stable centres with good management support.

Bangalore Operations: Bangalore too, similar to Chennai, faced a lot of issues in operations right from identification of centre. Having discontinued the last year centre on the reasons of lack of students, they started off this year with a new centre (Govt. school). The efforts of the volunteer team to build a rapport with the children and establish the project has been significant. However, due to school administrative constraints the program had to be discontinued in December despite a good support from the school Principal. Efforts are on to discuss with the educational officers from the govt. to ensure a smooth program next year in the same school. We are also in the process of identifying new centres. The only solace for us has been the retention of volunteers who are willing to continue with the project.

Trichy Operations: Trichy, on the other hand, had a relatively good year continuing with the last year centre (Maanavar Illam) and adding one new centre (King Jesus home). Plans are on to expand to 2 more centres within this academic year. The biggest strength has been the energy and enthusiasm of volunteers and the bonding among them. An interesting initiative was conducting a full day workshop at Maanavar Illam foreseeing the non-availability of volunteers during exam period. With the start of mentoring this month, Trichy would have established the key facets of the project successfully.

After care program: Ever since Lakshya was formulated, one of our major objectives was to extend the program beyond the 10th standard. We did not have a concrete plan then. But today, with the support of centre management of Bala Mandir, we have successfully initiated an after care program for the children passed out of the centre. Even though it is a modest start, we are confident that this program will grow leaps and bounds.

Training & Development: Last year, mentoring training was restricted to only Chennai as the other chapters were still in initial phase. This year the training was facilitated in Trichy and Bangalore also.  Almost 75 volunteers got benefited from mentoring training this year. In addition to mentoring training, by the end of this year we plan to facilitate a separate training for “Group Activities through Value Education” which will be facilitated by Vayam Foundation. We believe this training will be yet another milestone and lay a strong foundation in developing a curriculum and class plans for group activities. The only thing that didn’t go well was learning cycles which had been a source of knowledge sharing and value addition to our volunteers.

Group Activities: Group activities have always been our forte. We made an attempt to record and track the performance of children over several sessions. We also attempted to impart values such as anti-bullying, character realisation, self-esteem, appreciating others through group activities. Another interesting attempt is to involve children in the planning and execution of group activities which proved quite successful.

Children Engagement: Like every year, we continued our successful run in Design for Change and Doodle for Google that saw enthusiastic and spirited participation from children of all 3 cities. We also organized events on occasions of festivals such as Diwali and Children’s day. This year also saw the successful introduction of a few new key initiatives. Mobile library provided a platform for the children to improve their reading skills in which 15 books have been subscribed so far and 2 book reviews were conducted by the children. Introduction of suggestion box served as a medium for the children to express their likes, dislikes, requirements, interests etc. Some of the notable suggestions received include spoken English class, general knowledge exposure, tough & interesting GA, additional tutoring support etc. Further plans are on to organize industrial visits, field trips and career guidance workshops for the children in the remaining months.

Volunteer Engagement: Despite instable operations, volunteer engagement activities ensured that the key volunteers are retained in the program with full energy and motivation. The significant of all has been the success of Ripples that has evolved elegantly to embrace not just volunteers but also the children we deal with. Today, Lakshya can proudly claim to be the only project that has sustained a monthly newsletter over two academic years. Children’s day event for volunteers and Secret Santa event has garnered the attention of lot of volunteers not just from Lakshya but also from other projects. While the Chennai team has already completed the volunteer outing, Trichy and Bangalore teams have planned it for the last phase. However, we could have used the ‘Caught Ya!’ cards much more effectively to appreciate volunteers’ contribution in a small way.

~ Ganapathy, Chennai

Puzzle-IVD2013

Did You Know?

 

“To ease one’s heartache is to forget one’s own”-Abraham Lincoln

 

In line with these verses. A few guys and girls (we are a national YOUTH volunteering organization – Pun intended) turn out every weekend which would have been spent just simply otherwise. They choose; volunteer and keep alive a cause. For such people across the world; a day volunteers itself as the international Volunteer day in line with United Nations on December 5th.

 

It is in international observance since 1985. It offers an opportunity for volunteer organizations and individual volunteers to make visible their contributions – at local, national and international levels – to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).The International Volunteer Day is marked by many non-governmental organizations, including Red Cross, scouts and others. It is also marked and supported by United Nations Volunteers.

Source: Wikipedia.Org

puzzle

 

 

Annotations

ACROSS
2   A wave that reflects monthly news (7)-Ripples – A form of wave (“Tagline-Reflections of lakshya”)

3   A project with cash in it (7)-Lakshya-“LAKsHya – LAKH”

7   The rare meeting in an exotic cabin (6) Outing (simple and straight)

8   Following a Greek god who helped his friend (9) Mentoring (Mentor –A greek god who helped in guiding his friend’s son)

10 A project for Young scientists (6, 9) Little Einsteins (Simple and straight)

12 An Eco conscious thought (5, 5) Think Green (“A thought”-“eco consious”)

14 The comment that keeps us alive (8) Feedback (simple and straight)

15 *you are in a fruit; for a project; [a Tamil word in cryptic clue] (6) ka (NI) ni (Ni-You ; Kani- Fruit)

DOWN

1 A project enriching a language (5, 3) Speak out (Simple and straight)

4 City where it all started (7) Chennai (Simple and straight)

5 A meet to align ourselves to Bhumi (11) ORIENTation (“ORIENT”- align )

6 The souls keeping the thoughts alive (9) Volunteer (Simple and straight)

9 A star that shines once in a month (9) Nakshatra (Simple and straight)

11 A time in our life implementing the project (7) Session (Simple and straight)

13 The name that binds us together (5) Bhumi (pretty obvious)

Children’s Day Celebration@Bala Mandir

Just as festival season starts; the cold days are accompanied by watering mouths; delicious sweets; glittering gifts.What not? Here are the accounts of memories for you to sit back and relish. And few colorful moments that glitter..

For Lakshyans, Children’s day celebrations is a favorite festival. And here’s how the celebrations were at Bala Mandir:

The children’s day preparation started off; a week ago with all the volunteers deciding on the games and activities and videos. A huge box full of options was available before us and after considering the pros and cons of them; we decided on a few short films and activities that could excite the kids.

On the day… early in the morning it was raining heavily but the volunteers wouldn’t give up on that. Everybody grabbed a raincoat and hit the centre. The plans were changed when we saw the girls dressed up in traditional dresses; we thought that they wouldn’t be able to run around. They soon surprised us all by buckling up to play Kho-Kho, and the traditional “running and catching” with the volunteers.

We were all awed by the girls’ spirit. Never the less they played a fantastic game against the guys :p . The volunteers mustered up all their energy to match that of the kids. It was a heartfelt happiness to play with them.They helped us go back to our teens, lose everything behind and play the game. Even though we felt quite miserable about the rain, the kids changed our moods instantly with their exuberance and involvement.

This was followed by their favourite part, the short films which was focused on bullying, comedy, etc., The celebrations came to an end with the distribution of certificates for The Doodle for Google winner; of course there is no Children’s day without chocolates. 😉

~ Lakshmi, Chennai

A rewind on Ripples along 2013

“Memory is a great artist. For every man and for every woman it makes the recollection of his or her life a work of art and an unfaithful record.”

As the doom of 2013 is nearing, we are about to have a small sneak peek into the articles that made it to our emails under the name ”Ripples” and the backstage in making it.A few words are lingering in our minds and quite a few articles are left unattended. Doing justice to them is impossible; yet; I’m recollecting a few best moments. (With appropriate inputs). So bear with me; the article might be long but it is worth a read (after all its December and you are free; so what?)

 

Jan 2013: The year started with a discussion to change The design of ripples and it went onto a gossip on the person who suggested it (our beloved rajan anna) and later the idea got submerged in suggestions (it would  be  a collection of light moments for all the members of ripples team now; but during that time?). The way all volunteers bombard into discussions is a great deal to read about and for them it is a good time to blush on re-reading it.And ripples was taking new avatars (very brief ones); it came out as a blog too. Trust me “http://testabcdefghi.blogspot.in/#”  is that blog.All new ideas and efforts are worthy enough to be mentioned even if it didn’t take up a better stand. I have just the word of mouth (typed though :P) which is still awesome. This is a time; we take to reward each other in words. The discussion is still on the design and the delay is still on; yet it is refreshing on such discussions…

 

Feb 2013: Well the dedicated followers of ripples and the ripples team members might ask me a question ”Did we really have Jan 2013 and Feb 2013 editions? ” or a “New year Edition” The subtitles here refer to the happenings in the month and not necessarily on the issue worked upon :P. But trust me I found two archives named in this way that’s why. And the phrase “change is the only thing that never changes” was ultimately true; yeah the suggestions grew; blending and revolutions sparked in Feb to end in fb. ”Fb?” yes ripples took a brief avatar there too (in ideation).It was a short lived avatar. So a lot of memories to revisit. I  also found that a person from my college had volunteered with Bhumi in lakshya after seeing the interview.

March 2013: This month had an official edition in its name in our webpage. It has an article on Tutoring session. And the interview which I mentioned earlier. The article had one simple yet clear line which is stuck in the memory “Last but not the least; don’t give any false promise or appreciation.” You misinterpreted it; it is stuck (Ctrl+V) in the memory (archive). It is a great line for all of us in life; may we remember it.

 

Apr 2013: So what did April have? It wasn’t a good time for the team; articles were dragged about with the help of fb, blog and stuff in parts just to maintain the balance. It was great crisis management. The article is a great one though about the ride As usual a pick up line from the article would be “A great man once told me “It’s not the destination but the path you take that matters”, I’d like to rephrase it by saying “It’s not the destination you go to but whom you go with that matters.” ”. waiting for more such trips.

Jul 2013: I don’t know what people got from the July edition I got a phrase “Super late” into my life. Are you gonna skim through your mail; to find it. You won’t be able to because that was phrased by our infamous HR Sangeetha akka while preparing the edition for publishing. I have been using this in a lot of places; so I thought I’d give a courtesy here 😛

 

Aug 2013: From this month I had been officially inducted into lakshya; yet heard of just the name “ripples”. Didn’t see it or read it. Later on reading the thread I found a “meeting notes” doc that consisted of details of inaugural session of thoraipakkam. It was an inspiring piece of story about a team of 8 enthusiastic volunteers.

 

Sep 2013: This is the first edition of ripples that I read completely. The first line that I read is”…” What that is the trademark line of arshath anna; he only will say it and he will probably say only its I’m not gonna utter it again you know it.Yet the article was having a great innocent touch to it.Just like him. It was great reading it.I had another interview article of Priyanka. That was pretty much inspiring too. I found that “voluntear the mask” section with unidentifiable volunteers (not by image clarity though :p) just in line with its name.

 

Oct 2013: This is the first edition that I co-ordinate to be published. I managed to fulfill the kid’s involvement to some extent with kid’s interview featuring in the section. But since they made huge statements I had to take the interview with three kids instead of one. That posed a question to me: are we volunteers more enthused or is it the kids that overtake us? The question still lies unanswered. Or I haven’t been able to accept the fact that we are lazy compared to those kids. Yet that seems to be true.

 

Nov 2013: ”How to conduct a Flash mob in 2 days” that is the book we are planning to release :P. with all those experiences. We planned for it in the 11th hour yet executed it. Prerequisites: A Small team of dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers; who are determined. The article highlighted this to the max a fews word can express. A tribute article was straight from the hearts of people. And the interview with Yashwanth; was a most informal though.

 

Dec 2013: A lots of celebrations and memories. Are you asking about ripples edition; I hope you can say that. Do you want to? Then ripples is waiting to induct you in the team. Come on you know what to do….

 

~ Harish, Trichy

Volunteer Tribute – Vijayalakshmi

New Picture

Footprints Vijayalaksmi (Viji akka) has left on the sands of time for us.

She has inspired mostly everyone in the first meet thereby standing as an epitome of the anecdote: ” First Impression is always the best impression” ; Just as time wishes to take you a bit farther (Chennai is just 5 hours from here :P) away from us we would like to take a look on the memories that you have left behind with us as a token of love.

Words of a few Volunteers:

Arshath: On The very first day her presence in the home; an hour before schedule showed her true love and interest. Unfortunately on the very same day, I was a quarter hour late….!!  On the very first day, in spite of me being late, she started calling me THAMBI…!!  And then on, whenever I address her, she used to say, SOLLUDA THAMBI….. And the main thing which inspired us a lot was that, she came for PUDHUKOTTAI, travelling an hour and half for session every week.  Her experience with life, has always been a lesson to both volunteers, and the kids…!!  She as a Brave woman, Patriotic Indian, Loving sister, caring friend, Banging initiator and a strong, enthusiastic leading volunteer, has always inspired us…!!! Today, if Lakshya team in Trichy stands strong in volunteer bonding, then, it is only because of this sister of mine…!!!… Sorry… it’s our Sister…!!!… She is not too old….. She has just got her course completion certificate in under graduation….!!!…  Yep….It is our Vijayalakshmi (VIJI – YA LAKSHYAN) akka…!!!…..

Kavitha: She is the best sister I have come across in my life. She is that one determined woman who is firm and confident. That was how I met her; in our first meet I offered her a ride back from session; we went to collect a few parcels on our way. We were made to juggle between two dispatch centers based on misleading information. On losing our temper; we had an argument with the staff; that incident clearly showed her confidence level. I was inspired by her from that moment on. She is just too caring and compassionate a person. Her dedication is simply clear every time she travels such a long distance for every session. She never ceases to inspire me.

Ashwin: A person who is just caring on anybody who is in her circle. Her life experiences shared during various moments just push us to set up more goals in life and struggle to reach them. She has created a benchmark for us to move past not achieve because she has achieved it already. She accommodates on her fellows so much. She is such a sport to be with. We would miss you a lot. Just as her grandfather’s words inspired her; her acts inspire us.