A Planned visit – planetarium it was…

“There are few things that we have done in my life which makes us happy. Joining BHUMI tops that list.”
On 11th January 2015, we had an amazing time with the kids from two centers – Maduravayol & YMCA in B. M. Birla
Planetarium. The smile on kids’ faces, it made everything, all the hard work,completely worth it. It is a colossal planetarium in Chennai providing a virtual tour of the night sky and holding cosmic shows on a specially perforated hemispherical aluminium inner dome. The planetarium has assorted shows which appends the solar system, 3D animation etc. The subject matter of the programmes are changed every 3 months to escort in some variety. They
are conducted in both in Tamil and English so that people don’t find it strenuous to comprehend.
“Since we are in 10th grade, it was really helpful for us to get to know more about science and the subject related to
it. I feel happy that I could be a part of this tour,” said Madhushan, one of the kids from the Maduravayol center. The Aircraft and the vehicle prototypes were very alluring for the kids.
“The kids are amazing to be with. They were lost in their own world of joy. As a member of this family It was cock-a-hoop that I could do something to some young souls in order to bring some shine on their face said, Mr Hari a volunteer.
“I really liked the DRDO Pavilion where they showcased various models of gun, there developments, constructions etc said Gowtham who dreams to become a police officer.”
The selfies and the group picture session kept going among them. As they all were divided into a group of 4 each with a volunteer to guide them, the kids found it easy to find the way to divergent subsections and hence
comprehend whatever was projected in the planetarium. It was a indelible day for each one of us present there and we thank god who made us connect with each other in some or the other way and hence produce and spread
a lot of contentment around us. They say you don’t get to choose your family. But “they” don’t know anything. We chose our family. We chose BHUMI.

Kids’ Day out

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop”—Mother Teresa
Recently something so beautiful happened in Bangalore chapter which would really suit the best for the above saying. No effort done with true heart can ever be a small one. We just began with the part of social responsibility module but we never knew it would open up such great dimensions.
Abhayashram kids took up this little initiative to make their one hour to bring happiness to someone’s life. These are two beautiful acts of love demonstrated by them:
1)First group came up with helping a poor construction girl. She was having a small bro with her too. Kids felt what they could actually do for her. Then they came up with playing basket ball with her as she might have never done that before. We then went inside the small tent of hers after playing basket ball and sat and played Chinese whisper. The Construction girl had left her studies as she had no money. Kids then have planned to make her study with them every time they come back from School. It might be a very small act of love but kids have amazed us with the sense of sensitivity and taking all steps to make that girl happy till she is with them. They told us Akka “we feel so nice to make her laugh finally”

2)Second group –These set of kids went ahead to pick up the glass pieces in the surroundings. They were so worried that it would hurt people and they wanted to help the construction people out there. So one hour these little hands without any fear went ahead to pick up these glass pieces without even caring that they would be hurt

Game changers

A session based on “I AM THE CHANGE” theme was planned for the kids at abhayasharam , Bangalore on the 11th of Jan 2015 .
The first part of the session kick started with a discussion on various social problems the intensity of the discussion went on from lighter talks like planting more trees to protest against child marriage.
The kids blew away our minds with depth of knowledge they had.
They were comments like , ” being independent is important than getting married ” to funnier comments like ” marriage is a very boring part of life “.
In the session topics such as dowry , save girl child , child abuse were stressed upon and discussed at length . At the end of the session every child in that room took an oath that they
would step up and question if they ever come across the discussed issues , as they believe in the theme I AM THE CHANGE .
The second part of the session was an activity session , where the kids we’re divided into two groups of four and were given the liberty to take up any one social issue discussed in the class and come up with an innovative board game to spread their knowledge to others.
Initially everyone in the class were taken back , they had no idea how they could implement these issues to design a game ,a bit of motivation from the volunteers side gave them that initial push they needed.
IMG-20150111-WA0003 IMG-20150111-WA0004

The first group decided to work on SAVE GIRL CHILD whereas the second group chose DOWRY. They were given one hour , chart paper , colour pencils and other stationery items for designing the game. They were instructed to make a draft copy before finalising a design , the kids for the first few minutes were lacking in ideas and wanted to give up , one of the child commented ” only scientists could invent things and they were not one ” , it was time for the
volunteers to spring back in action and motivated them to think about how much fun a game would be to play they invented rather than thinking about how difficult it was to create them .In the last 45 minutes , both the groups were busy and jotting points and designs on their rough paper . At the end of it all , both the teams had come up with two Mind blowing games .The first team who had taken up SAVE GIRL CHILD ,had designed a game on the basis of how important a director is for a movie the same way a girl child is important for a family , impressive right ?
The game was designed in a circular pattern where you had to rotate the pin and the place the pin stops is the points you get, the circle was divided into various boxes based on three messages:
KILLING A GIRL CHILD 100 POINTS
AWARENESS ABOUT IMPORTANCE OF GIRL CHILD 700 POINTS
SAVING A GIRL CHILD 1000 POINTS
the player with the most points wins the game , the winner gets a hand made thank you card with the message “THANK YOU FOR SAVING A GIRL CHILD” .The second group who had taken up DOWRY had made a game on the basis that only gifts given by parents with love are accepted and not gifts given forcefully which is titled dowry .So the game was roll the dice , they had made 28 boxes numbered , and you had to roll the dice to move your pawn to the number corresponding to the dice. If you landed on a box
stating dowry you immediately are thrown into the jail and hence are outta the game. The person who safely overcomes all dowry boxes would be declared winner . The volunteers were speechless seeing these kids design such wonderful apt games based on the theme . All the volunteers did was motivate and these kids had turned that motivation into a beautiful creative idea. At the end of it all each child had a huge smile on there face realising they were the CHANGE.
A small initiative but this can go on to make a huge difference to each child , their family and ultimately the society. The CHANGE you want to see around you starts from YOU.
I AM THE CHANGE.

Lakshya’s Day out

It was a sunday; the day of vacation… when a few guys were getting acquainted in the ride in Chennai and reached the venue in an exactly planned fashion to skip breakfast (‘coz brunch was traded for early lunch 😛 ) a few were playing antakshari in Hindi, Kannad, Tamil,and Punjabi songs on the way in Bangalore. As a team on-time after a traditional south-Indian breakfast volunteers got the energy for a paintball session; on the contrary, our all time energy packages went out fetching bats, balls, nets to start with games of cricket, Frisbee,Tennikoit, handball etc…
IMG_4799

In Munchinbelle after paintball the ground was set for adventure with activities like tight rope walk, shaky bridge walk and Burma bridge trail in which ramalakshmi ended up proving most athletic person in the team by doing the activities twice.

The special delicacy, Pepper Chicken was enjoyed by all. To relax, volunteers got the opportunity to canoe in the big reservoir. Everything from the scenic beauty to the still water touched their soul. Occasionally guys on the other shore chilled out on the beach after fari-stastic dumb-charades in chennai, and Some of them had a dip in Rock-on style jumping from the edge into the lake in bangalore.  After that began the round of serious discussion over tea about issues like street children, it inspired the volunteers to carry on the things in bangalore but namma pasanga oru kuthaatam potu mudichaanga .Then, a journey back to home. Byju’s jokes, an integral part of the whole journey were both irritating and enjoyable at the same time. As the day came to an end, everyone had some memories from it that they would cherish for a long long time.

 

Mentors’ Notes

Just a note to experiment in your sessions…

This week was our first session after the ice-breakers on the module ‘social responsibility’. The children took part actively. They were enjoying in the cul-de-sac of happiness. And finally the closure was given by winnie; the kids were moved so much by it ; we collected (their individual feedbacks) what the session actually meant to them shortly written in sticky notes and gave it to her stuck on a chart (with a small note of appreciation from volunteers) which the kids presented to winnie . Briefly put this was a wonderful session with just a simple yet meaningful appreciation. {p.s. It was ashwin’s idea: instead of waiting for a caught ya card; this was an instantaneous gesture of gratitude }

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           – Santhosh, Trichy

Trust the trust in you…

The usual maduravoyal workshop session was about to be cancelled since a criminally accused was housed in that school premises and authorities have requested the session be cancelled and once we were about to move out of school premises; an inspector who happened to enter in enquired as in why we were leaving early; on learning the details he supported explaining what we are doing and he extended to take responsibility of the session and offered us a separate room to conduct the session peacefully.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            -Uday,Chennai

Cracking the show open – Sivakasi

              The session started a little late at around 10:15 since students from nearby towns, villages had to come all the way by bus (fare provided by udhavum ullangal). Initially there was a prayer song after which there was short discussion on importance of studies and mentoring from the perspective of udhavum ullangal which was academic centric and they brought out previous student experiences where students have scored high marks with their help. Then it was Bhumi’s turn to work on some activities to play with the children and have some learning part along with fun.
DSC_2209Continue reading

Benchmarks for 2014-15

With a belief that bench-marks are not created rather extended; we have been re-defining the way we work by setting up benchmarks for us by analysing various other sets of instances that are possibly existing around us. Similarly small yet efficient layers of study which focuses on external organisations that are working on similar terms and internally analysing other bhumi projects. An additional trial out in this year, would be an extension for the internet generation which takes the the advantage of facilities like video-calling environments to conduct a session facilitated across tough geographical terrains under “E-Lakshya” program which is under process and it can be an worthwhile expectation for all of us.

Herunmayee from Chennai Lakshaya Team Says,” In the past we had been methodically trying out a lot of things to cover the planned modules in sessions. Yet at a particular point when we stop by to analyse or try to understand what we have done; we don’t have a proper mechanism for that. When even new volunteers ask us about the procedures which we have done earlier through the session we don’t have something to show them. More important than that we don’t get to look back what have we done to the kids; this is very important because only this indicator helps us to refine our methodologies. On a personal note we would also clearly demarcate an objective for the project.Which i feel has not been so clearly put till date;as in the conflicts with the necessity and parts of mentoring that are handled by volunteers which would help prioritized efforts. So working on assessments this time by studying instances and organisations shall help us. As with my personal expectations we might expect a result oriented approach from the present teams and their plans and progress in 2014-15. “

Plans spanning 2014-15

Just as history reminds you; the buzzword in Lakshya is always strategic planning; the word out in town is about “the style of pedagogy”, which is to design a learning classroom environment; apart from that various additions and procedures are to be tested this year. On board this year; ripples gets in to you a few perceptions from the brains behind on all possible charted plans for this academic year.

Srinivasan from Trichy Lakshya team says,” The aim this year is to benefit more children by extending the project in more centres this year. We are also about to start a workshop module in Deeksha home for the first time in Trichy. The mentoring will be started soon with the help of trained mentors; unlike last year. To improve internal volunteers’ coordination many activities are to be planned. Lakshya Inductions won’t go like seminar classes any more; instead it shall be more of a discussion session with interesting activities. As usual, Lakshyans are always ready to prepare the kids to appear in global competitions like DFC etc… Moreover the syllabus prescribed by the syllabus development team shall be followed. “

Mathpal from Chennai Lakshya Team says,” Unlike in the past; where we used to work on modules on just on a random run, now clear demarcations of modules and sub-module categorization by the syllabus development team will help us better the work in the forthcoming academic year. Since the categorization also has also incorporated the logical flow implicitly; I think this year shall be more efficient.”

Ground rules for 2014-15

Ground Rules for Students

  • Be Punctual. All kids should be present by 10 A.M. {Might vary with centres}
  • Avoid Usage of foul language.
  • Avoid doing homework or studying during sessions.
  • Avoid shouting and creating chaos.
  • No kids should be physically harmed by other fellow kids
  • Inform the volunteers in case of your absence.
  • Avoid bringing unnecessary things to session unless informed by the volunteers

Ground Rules For Volunteers

During Sessions:

  • All respective volunteers should be at the centre by 9.30 AM {Might vary with centre}
  • Avoid usage of foul languages in sessions
  • Avoid using mobiles during sessions (In case of emergency use outside session area)
  • Avoid giving mobiles to kids
  • Dress appropriately for sessions (Avoid shorts and tracks)
  • Donot physically assault or touch which makes the kid uncomfortable.
  • The kids should always be in session area; in vicinity of all volunteers and kids.
  • Never shout or scold the kids; treat all kids equally.
  • Never share everything about oneself to kids {Maintain boundaries; especially personal problems and stuff}
  • Dont make promises that one cannot keep
  • must actively participate in activities to motivate kids to come forward.
    General Rules:
  • Prepare for every session and well in advance.
  • Inform the centre coordinator in case of absence
  • Never tag a kid
  •  Safety of kids is your prime importance.
  • do not entertain giving gifts or money to kids.{all gifts should be through centre coordinator.}
  • Do not visit centre apart from session timings. {If so, Inform the centre coordinators}
  • Do not bring persons not associated with bhumi to sessions
  • No activity (communication, jokes etc…) should be sexual in nature.
  • In case of any help or to make clarifications, centre coordinator is your point of contact.

Notable request for volunteers: Make sure the kids SMILE whenever they see you 😀