Sunday, November 16, 2008

Children's Day celebrations

Hi friends,
After the Diwali celebrations, we had just thought of doing ‘some’ event with our Airoli kids on the Children’s day but little did we know that it would turn out to be so big!!
The kids here really had a huge splash & then TOYBANK with us this time, it could not be better than this.

It all started gearing from 14th evening when 2 cartons overloaded with toys & cake packets & biscuits arrived from IndiaGames, Vashi at New Era, the venue for the celebration on 15th. Shweta & Vikram reached the venue at 1.30 with the toy wrapping materials & one more Big Box of toys!! We had planned for around 50 kids but Toybank was prepared with almost 100 it seems ;-)

Our student volunteers Manjusha, Prajakta, Samidha, Sujata, Jyoti, Madhuri & Narendra were superfast in wrapping up the toys neatly & then segregating them in 3 different boxes for girls, boys & very small kids.
Wrapping up the toys, cleaning the place, sitting arrangement for everyone, toys distribution, snacks distribution.......the supercharged enthusiasm levels of this bunch could be easily witnessed… No doubt, that this working team for us is our lifeblood!! Whatever LEAD is today is mostly because of this lot …

Our sector-17 kids maruti, anjali, musoba, sunil, anil usual turned out to be the most punctual, reached at sharp 4 & were surprised to see so many new faces around. Roopali, one of our sector-17 kids has shifted to Sathe nagar, a place @ 5 kms away from airoli. She immediately rushed from school at 3.30 to her home, got her 2 sisters neatly dressed & then again came back to airoli for the event. This girl has literally stolen our heart by showcasing her excellent discipline & regularity for her school & tuitions. I fought with her mother & convinced the girl but then very worried now about her daily commuting expenses for the school.
No sooner did Arun arrive than I had to rush with him to get our Airoli gaav kids to the venue. As these kids had not been to this place earlier, we had asked them to be ready at 4pm after their school & I will be there to pick them up. Arun then realised the need for bike that day & so went back, borrowed it from his friend & then picked up Manisha (Kailash’s daughter) from sector-20. Meanwhile I got the kids ready & we all (16 kids + me) ‘sat’ in the auto-ricksaw for the place ;-)
The moment we reached, the kids got down & gushed into the room, beautifully decorated by our student volunteers by then. It was 4.30 but still sector-20 & some of the sec-17 kids were missing. Hiren, a very humble guy & an all-time Toybank photographer, insisted for his car to get them. We zoomed in there, got the girls laxmi, anjali, geeta ready & left the field.
By now the room was completely pack with all our kids & other friends & senior people.
Roopali, my cousin, with her mom & cute daughter, reached there with lots of biscuit packets, lolly-pops & chocolates. Her husband Rajesh is an eye-surgeon & it was so kind of him to not charge a single penny for the checkup of Laxman, the 5-yr old child for whom we are struggling almost daily with his parents to send him to a Blind school.

Beena too had invited our school teacher Chandrika madam for the event whose presence really graced the occasion.

Shweta explained the kids about the importance of Children’s day & Pandit Nehru.
Then came the show of the day… The Magic Show…the event that literally rocked the party.. A super fantastic performance by our magician Pravin, invited by ToyBank. While he played many pranks with our kids, some of his tricks even left us totally puzzled....his actions, expressions, body language, …. anything that he did made the children burst into loads of giggles & hence took them for a crazy ride,,,...
Kids still remember the way he introduced himself to them….in fact few of them tried to imitate him when I visited them the next day….
“araika monishi pleroku donika PINTO !!!” (ya.. the only thing that sounded normal & not french was Pinto ;-)

The magic stayed for @ an hour while I & Arun had to again run for the samosas, frootis & cold-drinks. Superb support from Arun as usual, despite beign over-stretched that day. (before coming to the event he played for the cricket tournament…. after 1 year ;-)

Toybank members Shreelata, Tejal & her husband Imtiaz made upto the time & put their fantastic efforts during the entire event.
The volunteers made the kids sit in a nice big circle for the snacks.. Our magician it seems had made them laugh a lot; the dishes turned empty in just few minutes ;-)

Now when their tummies were full, it was the turn for their hearts. We opened up the 3 boxes of toys & made the kids sit in three single lines. Girls were given the dolls, kitchen sets & the soft toys whereas the boys were gifted the colorful cars, jeeps & superman.
I wanted the kids to open up their toys there itself but then we better went with shweta’s previous experiences ;-) However some of them couldn’t resist their temptations & then began the great insurmountable chaos…. We had witnessed their crazy expressions during Diwali celebrations while seeing their own snaps. So to add some more zing to the fun we showed them their Diwali snaps this time….No doubt we missed our friend Kailash & his projector team, Arun’s laptop came to the rescue this time.

The event was getting bit stretched & so we decided to let the kids leave before it gets too dark. Each kid was given a gift-hamper containing a fancy scale, pencil & eraser while leaving. Vikram & other volunteers smartly inserted a lolly-lop too in each packet ;-)

Thanks a lot to Ameeta & her husband Ramesh for giving us their beautiful place for this event. Its proximity to the station proved to be the biggest advantage for all our invitees & new volunteers Nazia, Rahul & Harshada. The indomitable spirit of everyone in this show inspired them so much that they wanted to start the teaching activity from next day (Sunday) onwards!! Nazia had also brought in some soft toys for the kids & Rahul insisted on doing something in his college too to get more students involved in this project.
The whole team of LEAD & DreamIndia thanks all the kind hearted IndiaGames employees & over-energetic ToyBank gang from the deepest corner of our heart for all the beautiful toys & snacks sent for our kids. I have personally visited each & every kid & they are really having a wonderful time with all set of toys—cars, jeeps, dolls, teddy bear, tiny kitchen set & the most interesting one -- Krisshh ;-)
Delighted mother of Madhuri (6yrs) says, “usne oos din anita(2 yrs) ko khaana oosi bartan(kitchen set utensils) mein khilaya!!!”
Vinod adds , ”meri jeep ne raja ki car ko ooda diya!!!!”
& then Sangeeta comes running & starts flaunting her new set of apple, mango & banana.
Anjali’s mother smiles ”Gudiya ko paas mein rakhkar hi soti hai!”

All these may seem very common to many of us…
But believe me the feelings, the expressions I have seen & felt in the eyes & hearts of the these kids & even their parents after this toy distribution, it seems this fever is going to stay here for some more time for sure!!!!

Photos :


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