Thursday, December 23, 2010

Candle Stall at Sandoz

Hello everyone,

Yesterday (23rd Dec) was the last of the corporate stalls we had planned. The days prior to the stall, the ladies had worked entire day to make two cartons of wonderful candles to be sold and our volunteers had meticulously packed them. 

On the day of the stall, Rupesh, Tamanna, Priyanka, Binjal and I met in the centre and were dropped to Sandoz by our senior volunteer's, Mrs. Chakraborty's, car. We were again allocated space near the canteen area to get maximum crowd. We all got busy setting up the stall anticipating huge rush around the lunch area. Tamanna made a wonderful poster which she colored by sketch pens which got everyone’s attention. All the employees smiled at us as we prodded them to come to the stall but preferred to eat their lunch before they see the candles. We managed to get some people to see the candles first and our first customer itself bought candles worth Rs.160.:)

Just as everyone finished their lunches, there was a continuous stream of people around the stall. But unlike in Reliance, we found it very easy to convince people here about the cause and most of those who visited the counter bought candles.  We were soon getting much interest by the employees and some even were interested to volunteer for us. The next two hours flew by and we were all on our feet, talking, convincing and handling the queries. 

Sandoz management had informed us that after the lunch time, there will hardly be any one present in the canteen and soon enough by 3, we had the entire canteen to ourselves. We thought we will wait till 4 since we had told few ladies that we will be here till 4:30 and many had selected the candles and offered to pay later since they didn’t have cash then. We all needed a break and so were sat and relaxed for a while. The cash register showed Rs. 5710 till then and even though it was a huge amount collected in just 2 hours, I was hoping to go with more than Rs.6000. And soon the ladies who had promised to come back, arrived and brought friends along. They brought many candles and we were rejoicing for their return. The cash register at the end of the day was whopping Rs.6560!! Three cheers for the amazing employees of Sandoz who listened and wanted to support the cause.
We returned with lighter boxes and bigger smiles from this stall.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Candle Stall at Reliance

Hello everyone,

Today was the second stall for the candles at Reliance communications, Koparkhairne. With a good response for our previous stall all of us ( Rupesh, Tamanna, Paraag, Kailash and I) got ready for a busy day . But unlike the Patni stall where they was a continous inflow of people, we were disappointed in Reliance since there was hardly any interest shown by the handful people we managed to stop near the stall.

We thought that today is going to be a slow day as there was still no one till 12:30 or so...but we were informed by the manager of the canteen that around 3000-4000 employees come to the canteen on an average day. Soon around 1:00 there were hordes of people coming in the canteen and many of them looked at the stall but no one stopped and bought any, some of them promised that they will buy while coming back after lunch. Some of them did. Most of them didn't. By this time, we were definitely worried. However there was a group who wanted candles and soon many. Finally there were so many that we had our hands full. Again the flowers sold like hot cakes. Even the mohenjadaro candle was well received. Tamanna was pushing for the Shell candle (rs.150) "her personal favorite" and "tuti fruity one". Rupesh was speaking to one gentleman and by talking and convincing he managed to get him by 400 worth of candles and he left with a thank you to us. We sold many high priced items which helped us bring ourselves back on track. Of course with some help from Tamanna's cousin who bought many candles (read expensive ones) and brought his friends along who bought many more. 

So by then, we were again feeling good and to our surprise, a rough estimate brought us near Rs.5000 mark which had dismissed in the morning. The post tea session was also very good for us and we ended by making around Rs.6490 which was even more than the Patni Stall. Surprising and Satisfying day again for us.

We met really diverse kind of people from our stalls, some who are cynical, some indifferent. But those who really listen and understand what we are doing and aim to do, are impressed and want to help us. There were girls who were managing the stores in the canteen who saw us and wanted to help us on Sundays, the only day they have off. Truly amazing what we can do if all of us have the will.

Thanks for reading,
Swagata.

Do tell me if i need to shorten my reports ;)

Candle Stall at Reliance

Hello everyone,

Today was the second stall for the candles at Reliance communications, Koparkhairne. With a good response for our previous stall all of us ( Rupesh, Tamanna, Paraag, Kailash and I) got ready for a busy day . But unlike the Patni stall where they was a continous inflow of people, we were disappointed in Reliance since there was hardly any interest shown by the handful people we managed to stop near the stall.

We thought that today is going to be a slow day as there was still no one till 12:30 or so...but we were informed by the manager of the canteen that around 3000-4000 employees come to the canteen on an average day. Soon around 1:00 there were hordes of people coming in the canteen and many of them looked at the stall but no one stopped and bought any, some of them promised that they will buy while coming back after lunch. Some of them did. Most of them didn't. By this time, we were definitely worried. However there was a group who wanted candles and soon many. Finally there were so many that we had our hands full. Again the flowers sold like hot cakes. Even the mohenjadaro candle was well received. Tamanna was pushing for the Shell candle (rs.150) "her personal favorite" and "tuti fruity one". Rupesh was speaking to one gentleman and by talking and convincing he managed to get him by 400 worth of candles and he left with a thank you to us. We sold many high priced items which helped us bring ourselves back on track. Of course with some help from Tamanna's cousin who bought many candles (read expensive ones) and brought his friends along who bought many more. 

So by then, we were again feeling good and to our surprise, a rough estimate brought us near Rs.5000 mark which had dismissed in the morning. The post tea session was also very good for us and we ended by making around Rs.6490 which was even more than the Patni Stall. Surprising and Satisfying day again for us.

We met really diverse kind of people from our stalls, some who are cynical, some indifferent. But those who really listen and understand what we are doing and aim to do, are impressed and want to help us. There were girls who were managing the stores in the canteen who saw us and wanted to help us on Sundays, the only day they have off. Truly amazing what we can do if all of us have the will.

Thanks for reading,
Swagata.

Do tell me if i need to shorten my reports ;)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Candle Stall at Patni conducted on 17th Dec 2010

As part of the initiative to empower women, Lead had trained the community women in making candles and we had planned to have stalls at various corporates to sell these. The money collected will be given to the ladies so that they can take care of their families in a better way.

Our interns from SIES Paraag and Jo had been closely working on this project, buying the materials and packing all the candles. The pricing had also done by them.

17th December:
I met Priyanka and Binjal in the centre and were soon joined by Paraag. Karta madam had brought her neighbour along who was kind enough to give us a ride till Patni. We reached Patni by 10. After completing the formalities of the entry we reached the section where we were given the stall.
The stall was not at the location, it was last year ie near the canteen. In fact it was in the ground floor near the parking and we feared no one we would venture this far. Fortunately Rupesh had come by 11 and convinced the Patni people to relocate us to the position we were in, last year.

Once there, we set up the tables once again and arranged the candles. We just hoped we will not mix up the prices. Soon Patni employees were coming to our stall and all of us ( Rupesh, Paraag, Jo, Priyanka, Binjal and I ) got to work. We explained them about the NGO, about who made the candles and the intention behind it.

As priyanka had expected (she had earlier managed two stalls for LEAD) there was lot of crowd between 12-2 and we were continuously working. Everyone was impressed seeing that the candles were scented, the flower candles were a huge success and the rose ones got over within 2 hours. Since our stall was on a Friday, the employees were in a relaxed mood and the crowd near our stall was constant.

Around 2:30 when we took a lunch break, we were pretty happy with how things were going, plenty of people had shown interest in our cause, registered, many more had appreciated our work and brought candles to show their support. The sale picked up once again around the tea break and we realized that all the 25 rupees candles are almost sold out and we need to get the bigger ones going. Soon we put the bigger ones in the front and too our surprise Rs. 150 worth candle was bought in the next five minutes. :) Many other bigger candles were bought and we were pretty excited.

Rupesh and I waited till 6:30 as we knew many bought the candles even while leaving and rightly so, there were people who just picked up the candles and paid the money. We earned more than Rs. 800 in the last hours itself. Finally when the employees were leaving, we decided to pack up and leave.

Total earnings at the end of the day - Rs. 6100 :D and satisfaction!!

Observations from the stall:
The flower candles are super hit and we need more of these.
People like choices so give them as many colors as possible.
Women are the real customers, they see, ask questions, buy many varieties. Men don't buy that much. Men buy faster, women linger, take time choosing the colors. (we already knew these.)
We need to gauge the interest of the customer about the cause, if they are more interested in the candles, then just let them buy. if they show interest tell them more about lead and the activities.
We need to keep a mix of expensive and non expensive candles in the front.
Let those interested in the cause note down their contact details so that we call them even if they forget ;)
In short, it was a lovely experience for me personally to manage the stalls. Another skill which LEAD taught me :)

Swagata

Monday, November 15, 2010

Candles stall at TCE, Vikhroli during Diwali

Hey friends,

Here’s is a short (originally planned to be short, that is!) report on the events leading upto, during and after the stall held at the office of Tata Consulting Engineers Ltd., Vikhroli. on 03-11-2010.

I had obtained an in principle decision from TCE to put up a stall in their office. We thought that some day in the Navratri / preceding Diwali would be ideal. We had initially planned the stall for Monday, November 01, 2010. There are about 400 employees in that office and about 300 in a branch in the next building, so we wanted to have at least 300 to 400 pieces of candles on display. Based on the feedback from the Patni stall held last year, we decided not to have any plain candles, but only the decorative ones.

To kick off the preparations, around the third week of October, we had a joint candle-making session where Shweta and her husband Unmesh came as also the women from our community made candles with various moulds. Ashish Soni got Wax, colours and other raw materials from Masjid.

At the end of the day, Shweta felt that the women would be able to make the requisite number of candles by 01-11-2010. On around 26th or 27th Oct., Shweta was to come to the centre to take stock of the situation, but she couldn’t due to a small health problem. So Rupesh suggested that he and I should go to the Satheynagar community at night and have a look at the status of production. We had a shock! The women had made only about 10 pieces and that too of a very dull colour. Rupesh explained to them about the proposed stall and the need to have at least 150+ pieces ready. I asked them to use brighter colours instead of the dull ones. We immediately took two decisions: (a) We would have a stall at only one office – instead of two and (b) We would postpone the date of the stall to 04-11-2010.

The next day, I requested our office HR department if we could postpone the date to 4th November, but they said that as there were some Diwali celebrations planned for that day, we could have the stall on 3rd. So 3rd it was going to be for, as Rupesh put it, we didn’t have a choice! We were still apprehensive whether we would be able to put up a decently good show.

Our visit to Satheynagar that night seemed to have conveyed the message to the women about the seriousness of the matter, and they had started devoting a couple of hours each day. Ashish Soni had also got small metal containers and special ‘vaat’ for the Diwali diya type candles which were also being made parallely with the decorative ones. Besides, I also struck upon an idea to use the thick plain candle mould available with us to make tutti-fruity candles which would be a mix of decorative and practical and managed to make 40 such candles. Rupesh had also arranged to have some toys from “My Kids Arena” to be displayed – the sales of which would fetch LEAD some revenue. Shweta and Unmesh too paid a visit on the weekend gave valuable tips and motivation to the team. The situation towards the end of Sunday (31-10-2010) was quite positive and we started feeling that there would be quite an acceptable quantity of good quality candles.

On 1st of November when I visited the centre at night, there was a good lot of candles. I had got zip-lock covers in which I packed as many candles as I could till 11-30pm.

Come the 2nd Nov 2010 – this was the D-day (D-night actually! ). The stall was to be held next day! We were also yet to tie up at least two volunteers who would man the stall. While Avishkar had confirmed, there was no second person. Kailash had promised to come that night to help to pack the candles. Rupesh had also sounded out Dipesh who readily agreed to come. We had initially planned to meet around 8.00 pm. But my son Kumaresh had to be taken to the doctor as he had fever. Dipesh and I finally reached the centre after 9.30pm. Kailash was already there. There was a good quantity of candles to be packed. We started rightaway. While Dipesh and I had had dinner, Kailash hadn’t. But that didn’t prevent him from working cheerfully with Dipesh and me. As we went along with our work, time too was passing by. When we had put the packed candles into cardboard cartons and the folded LEAD banner ready for dispatch the next day, it was 12.30am. Seeing that we needed yet another volunteer for the stall, Kailash promised to be there in the morning (though he was also needed at his office to handle the Diwali rush of activities). I dropped Kailash and Dipesh and went home.


On the “stall day”, the 3rd November, 2010, I picked up the packed stuff from the centre and took them to my office. Our office HR department had already sent mails and put up bills on the notice boards announcing the holding of the stall and exhorting the employees to support the cause. The slogans read “Light up your homes! Light up someone’s life!” They also got the tables placed at a vantage location near our canteen. Before long Kailash too reached there. Shweta Desai from our HR department had also arrived to help us. We took an initial stock of the candles and Shweta got plastic trays and helped to keep the candles neatly. Avishkar also reached the spot and swung into action with us right away. We also unpacked the toys. By the time we had the stuff on the counters, it was past 12.15pm and the first of the employees had started trickling into the canteen. While Avishkar was at the toys counter, Kailash took position at the candles counter. I was planning to have our Office Head visit the stall to inaugurate the event – but was disappointed to learn that he was out of town! A few employees came by and glanced at the candles and toys. Some even enquired wheter the candles were scented, etc. but no one had bought any item! Kailash and I looked at each other – was this going to be a flop-show?

Then an employee made a “Muhurat” purchase! It was then that I saw our ex-CEO and now senior director Mr. A. P. Mull walk out of the office towards his car. I rushed over, told him about our stall and requested him to visit. He graciously agreed to do so. We briefly told him about LEAD and o ur activities. He made a token purchase of a beautiful conical candle.

Then started a steady stream of employees at our counters and the buying spree had started! Kailash and Avishkar had a tough time catering to the customers, but were enjoying doing so! I had planned to go back to my desk once Avishkar and Kailash were well set – but the heavy rush of buyers prevented me from doing so. People evinced keen interest in the various designer candles and toys on display.

While all types of candles were being bought, out of the toys, only the cute hand puppets found buyers. A good quantity of candles and toys had been sold, and we had reason to smile! Around 2.30 pm the main lunch time rush of employees had petered out and Kailash informed us that he had to go to his office to attend to a multitude of waiting activities.

There was a brief lull in sales. Shweta Desai again joined us to help out. As part of the company’s Diwali celebrations, there was a housie game organized in the canteen at 4. 00pm. There was some good sales during this period too. It was 4.45pm and we were considering closing shop. Then Shweta suggested that we hold on a little longer as by 5.15pm, people would start coming down for the evening ‘nasta’. Her prediction proved true, there were many employees who had missed on buying during the lunch hours who did so now. It was well past 6.30 pm when we finally decided to call it a day! Shweta helped us to classify and pack the remaining stock. Shweta had really rendered valuable help to us and her persuasion skills won us quite many customers – thanks to her! Avishkar and I put the cartons back into my car and bade each other goodnight.

After coming home, I took final stock and tallied the money – while doing so I made an additional sales of Rs. 100 as my wife bought 4 beautiful candles worth 25 each! It was the end of a satisfying day – We had made about Rs. 3500 from the candle sales and a ‘commission’ of Rs. 420 from the hand puppet sales! Thanks to Avishkar and Kailash for their salesmanship! Thanks to Dipesh and Ashish and Shweta and Unmesh and Kartha madam n her daughter Anu and all others who helped directly and indirectly for their invaluable contribution! Thanks to Rupesh for the leadership! Thanks to TCE for the wholehearted support to LEAD!

Check out the photographs of the stall at:
http://picasaweb.google.com/lead.airoli/CandleStallAtTataConsultingEngrsOn03112010#

Post stall activities:

Kartha madam’s daughter Anu agreed to keep the balance candles at her boutique “Moksha” – and out of these Rupesh and I also handed over a portion to Ashish Soni who proposed to put up a small stall in his society.

On Diwali day, Rupesh and Kailash went and distributed almost the entire profit (Rs. 2000) along with sweets to the four women who made the candles – the employees of TCE had lighted up their homes and helped to light up someone’s life!

Points that we learnt: Many employees (consultants that they are!) asked questions like “Are the candles scented”, “Will they float in water”, “How long will this candle burn”, “Will the full wax burn in this candle”, etc. We should thoroughly test-burn each type of candle and be able to give right answers to such questions to future customers!

Cheers!
Ramesh
LEAD

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Eco-friendly Diwali Celebrations

Hi all,

Thanks to Kartha Madam's husband, who could capture some of these beautiful moments when three of us (I, Kartha Madam and her husband) visited all our communities and the inhabitant families on the Diwali evening to distribute the sweets...We spoke to all the parents personally and discussed about the progress and performances of their wards.....
yes, it was definitely a fulfilling show....

http://picasaweb.google.com/lead.airoli/EcoFriendlyDiwali2010#



Thanks Kailash & Kartha Madam for helping me in the purchase of sweets,,,..
(Total Cost - Rs.1500/-)

--
Thanks & Regards

Rupesh S Gesota
LEAD Foundation
www.lead-foundation.org

"We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in ocean, but the ocean would be less because of that missing drop"..... Mother Teresa

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ganpati gele gaavaalaa

Hello friends….

As we all know, we had organized an eco-friendly ganesha workshop few weeks back, wherein our children had made some short and sweet ganesha idols under the leadership of Mr. Subhash..... We had earnestly hoped that children will take these idols back into their homes, and would celebrate the festival with full zeal with their families....
Unfortunately, our naughty bachcha log couldn't  handle their delicate idols with care and we were ultimately left with all mud :-)

But thank god, we could keep the main idols made by Mr. Subhash himself and the one made by our volunteer Dipesh, away from their reach....

So then as the teaching group volunteers would be aware, our children daily performed the aarti of their ganpati bappa.... and even offered and distributed prasad some times.....

I was in touch with what all is happening, thanks to Kartha madam.....
Our children were literally enjoying doing all this for 10 days....

Our multi-talented volunteer , children's favorite teacher Guddi had further added colors to this celebration by her artistic colors...

Check the snaps.... The one  that is colored red by her is made by Mr. Subhash and the white one is Dipesh's stint :-)

Fortunately, even I could be part of some of the artees....

Yesterday, after sending messages to almost all the volunteers, I reached center at 4pm.. with all the bachcha party waiting for me... for the ganpati-visarjan......
Children first wanted to dance :-0   If not during the procession, at least before it....  Phir kya ?   Music system was turned On and then our children too went Full-ON :-)  This fever lasted for about 20 minutes.... NON-STOP.... Dance numbers one after the another.....

Then we did the arti.. Sukhkarta-Dukhkarta.....
Where is the paat ?  How do we carry our ganpati bappa ?
Vinod pulled out the long wooden seat (meant for the mouse from the computer table) and Tulsiram immediately wiped it out before resting their dear ganesh ji on it.....

The procession began...... Manoj took the lead in carrying the bappa....  We took only the relatively bigger red-colored ganesha idol and kept the white one for the class.....

Ganpati Bappa Morya.... Mangal moorti morya... ek do teen chaar.... and all that......

Public amazed .....  No one would have dreamt of seeing such a procession, completely comprising of children enthusiastically carrying tiny ganpati  bappa with them.......  

They enjoyed the ride... and I enjoyed the faces and smiles around ;-)

But the best part was people around were very happy seeing all these... all the eyes around were simply focussed on our gang.....

The joy left mo bounds when the politicians sitting near the lake saw this bachcha party approaching them... even other people performing aarti and other rituals were simply amazed on seeing all this,......

The police refused to let the children near the lake, but then agreed on my request....We handed over ganpati bappa to a guy (he smiled at me.....  I bet, he will never forget this moment :-) 

"Ghar pe banaaya hai ?"  
I proudly said YES !!! with the harmless materials.....

"Good Good !!!"  came the voices.....

Voices sprang up again in the air as our bappa started leaving us in the water.....

After giving dakshina to the person, we left the place.... people on the way started distributing prasad to our children and applauded them....

"Sir, next time we will have a big murti.... we will collect and gather the funds for murti....... nasik band bhi bulaayenge.... gulaaal udayenge....naach naach ke gaayenge....."

I explained how we avoided noise, water, soil and air pollution.....
How you all though tiny ones, could rise above the elder educated class who feels pride in having the bigger murtis, each passing year, that too made up of harmful PoP.....  And I was glad that I could convince them.....
  
They asked me, why this handful of mitti was given back after immersion...  :-)

We performed aarti again after reaching the center.....Quenched their hunger and thirst with some snacks and finally dispersed......


Here is the link to the snaps:
https://picasaweb.google.com/lead.airoli/GanpatiBappaMorya#


Ganpati Bappa Morya :-)

-- 
Thanks & Regards

Rupesh S Gesota
LEAD Foundation
www.lead-foundation.org

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

LEAD children make Eco-Friendly Ganesha idols

Hey friends,....

When the entire world seems to be joining the Green Bandwagon, then how can our children miss out this train ;-)

Few days back, I visited Eco-friendly Ganesha event organised by TWIGG (of which our volunteer Chaitra is an active member) and Recycle Karo at Airoli..... There are I saw groups of children and even their families involved in making the Ganpati idols out of a special clay called as Saaddu ..  This was led by Mr. Subhash Gowarikar, a retired scientist from BARC and an active volunteer in another NGO DreamIndia , having excellent dexterity in such activities...  So, then what ?  we immediately invited him on our centre on the same day and even he humbly & instantly came down to meet our children despite being utterly exhausted....  Overwhelmed by our cheerful atmosphere and bacchha party he  made up the mind to do something for our children also....

The D-day arrived !! Saturday 8.30am


There was no Saaddu clay.. Chaitra and Rajesh (Recycle Karo) helped us with the whereabouts .. Its in Kalyan..

Our volunteer Sadanand , who stays in Dombivli went to Kalyan in the morning and then even dropped the 4 bags weighing 20KG to our Airoli centre.. Alone !!  Amazing Job !!  This event couldn't have happened on this date if it were not for Sadanand's dedication.... 



2.30pm
Children had already started pouring....32 Children !!  All hyper-excited with their thaalis and 2 chammach .. .Our new volunteer Mansi was already IN...I was expecting some more new volunteers... But found myself alone... Thanks to Reshma and Dipesh, I could then muster some confidence....

Soon Govarikar Sir arrived,... and we started at 3pm.....
He immediately picked up some of our elder n smart children - Maruti, Simran, Sunita and Reshma for making the lumps of the clay ... I still remember, when Gowarikar Sir threw the question - Ghar pe roti kaun banaataa hai ??  Almost all hands went into the air... :-)  We looked and smiled at each other !!
Do check out the fun-filled faces of our 'mitti ka aattaa bananewale bachche ;-)   and even their Reshma teacher ;-)  and even their new Mansi didi....

Meanwhile, Gowarikar Sir smartly kept our children engaged, drew beautiful ganesha's picture on the board, made the children draw the mouse, telling them the special features of ganesha and even some of his childhood stories like that of his brother Karthikeyan.... 

"Both brothers were asked by their father Lord Shiva to encircle the entire world.. What all comes in the world? "

"Mumbai, Pune, Aurangabad, UP, Kashmir, Nanded, ..."
So, this is what our children understand when we ask about 'entire world'  :-)

 
But I was rather having more fun with the giggles and masti of the atta-making team :-)

When few lumps of clay were ready, Gowarikar Sir sat in the centre, facing the children and began the job....
First the central portion, back, then the tummy.... (there came a comment from our hero Rajesh -- Rupesh Sir jitna bada pet hain na :-)   followed by legs, hands....
"ek haath mein laddu...doosre haath mein kya hoga ??"
Mallesh said --"Modak!!" :-)
Maruti gave the right answer -- "Aashirwad denge..."


Slowly the chaos got converted into eager eyes with curious questions, while XX addressing all their concerns and anxieties patiently and smartly....

The way he deftly gave the final finishing to the idol was just amazing....
Each one of us in the class was simply awestruck by seeing this art...

Children were then made to sit in 2 rows... then came the banging and tan-tan of their thaalis and spoons....
Yes, It was difficult !!  Children couldn't properly recollect the way Gowarikar Sir had started... So then volunteers were spread across, while the running commentary from Gowarikar Sir kept everyone on track....

"V shaped legs.. L shaped hands... and so on..."

I was anyways totally out !!!  What can one expect from a person who never scored above C-grade in drawing/craft in his school days :-D  

But Reshma and Dipesh really did well !!

Volunteers took the tea break, and we even got the Frooti for children....

"Sir, mera ddekho... teacher yeh barabar hai kya ? Sir, yeh nahin aataa hai...Teacher,yeh plz kaaan banaake do naa ......"
Phew !!  When will this session end ?   ;-))))

Soon came the relief session....."Sir, mera Ho gaya !!"  yes !! the first voice was from none other than our dear chotte ustaad Rajesh !! then came vinod, musuba..... But then there were some who were totally undisturbed.... least bothered about the chaos and time..... Anil, Maruti.....

They really pulled off an awesome task !!  It would be hard to believe that these children who were doing this for the first time, can attain this level of excellence in such an art-work....
"We will do something more soon... Cartoon characters, animals, etc... " , came the exhausted but confident voice of Govarikar Sir...  ;-)
They proudly flaunted their eco-friendly ganesha idols for the photographs....

Do check them out here --
http://picasaweb.google.co.in/lead.airoli/EcoFriendlyGanesha#

Gowarikar Sir stays in Borivli , so he had to leave... Even other volunteers left... Children took their sweet sips of Frooti....and some of them fled away....

But some of the elder children stayed back with me and realy helped me cleaning the floor that was full of clay .... Powered with 2 brooms, 2 buckets, brush and unflagging enthusiasm,  Mallesh, Maruti, Anil, Suresh, Simran, Anjali, Sanjana swept apart the rubbish from our centre and again made it sitting-worthy ;-))

The ganesha idols are kept for drying now and will be soon given the wonderful colours with the help of their favourite dance-cum-drawing Guddi teacher ;-)

Children are now eagerly waiting for the day when they will take and worship these idols into their homes......

Fun apart, this event is also an attempt by LEAD to make aware the 'educated masses' who bring home the ganesha idols made up of Plaster of Paris.....We can only hope that  they will learn from this... but we are sure, that our children and communities  and volunteers will definitely learn from this ......

Special Thanks to 'TWIGG' and 'Recycle Karo' for inspiring LEAD to take up this step....

Rupesh
LEAD

Monday, August 23, 2010

LEAD children make their own Rakhis for Raksha Bandhan

Dear Friends,

It was my first day to be part of Lead Group at Rakhi Making workshop. I found a little boy Abhishek waiting on door to get the premises open. He was sharpening his pencil and doing homework of Marathi. Within some time Deepak came in with keys and along with 10-12 our own group children. Everyone was very happy along with me to see them smiling and wishing good morning ‘Teacher’.

Slowly all children started gathering. We had divided into 06 groups so that we can help children’s with the process. Snehal explained children’s on process of Rakhi Making. It was really wonderful and simple process. Till now I was really not aware that with craft paper we can really make wonderful items.

Here are some photo’s which you can really enjoy.

Hey, don’t forget to check little Shankar’s Rakhi.

http://picasaweb.google.co.in/lead.airoli/RakhiMaking#



Volunteers who were present -- Rupesh, Deepali, Reshma, Deepak, Shushant, Deepak, Kailash, Jatin, Snehal

Thanks Rupesh, for allowing me to be a part of Lead group. It was really a wonderful day and looking forward for many more to come.

Deepali
LEAD

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Toys Distribution

Hello friends.....

As we all know, we had received a good collection of toys from Pantaloon (CentreOne Mall, Vashi ) and New Horizon Public School, Airoli few weeks back...  But we had to hold on for a while, due to the unavailability of our Sec-17 children.


Finally, we could bring around smiles of their faces with these beautiful items on Sunday 27th June 2010.
No wonder, we could witness seamless curiosities and zeal in the eyes of our children and a consequent total chaos in the class ;-)
So yes, it was a Task !!!  :-)

You can catch their reaction in these snaps....
http://picasaweb.google.co.in/lead.airoli/ToysDistribution#



Special Thanks to the donors for their lovely contribution....

Presentation on Birds/ Bio-Diversity

Hi Everyone !!

Here is a small account of the wonderful time we had this saturday 10th July at the centre..
Sheetal and Amol from Conservation Action Trust were there to educate our children about the wildlife found in thane/airoli creek.. 



The session started.. wasn't sure how it will turn out to be.. If the kids will listen quietly.. but i must say they were wonderful.. It was more like an interactive session with our kids doing quite some talking.. they were interesed and enthusiastic.. I was surprised at how they could relate to all the pictures shown.. They seemed very observant of their surroundings and eager to learn more.. I hve to admit i knew less than them  :).. 
It started with whats a creek.. have we seen it?? then the various microscopic organisms found in water.. the shells.. rodents.. snakes..butterflies.. variety of birds from sparrows, pigeons, flamingoes to eagles.. how to differentiate between them.. the shapes, the colors, the tails n beaks.. Different trees out there in the creeks that have their roots growing out of the ground.. Along with the kids, i was equally fascinated..
Sheetal  drew pictures on the slate along with describing the slides.. She got everyone hooked on to the session and Amol held everyone's attention by sharing very interesting facts, how animals help humans and more..  It is difficult to interact with a smaller age grp but they did a fab job.. Thanks to them both.. It was heart warming to see our kids sing for the guests and thank them in the end.. 
The session ended with summary of how everything in nature is interdependent.. That it is our responsibility to take care of nature and try to preserve the biodiversity..
All the kids were asking when we will be taken out to see all the birds in real.. There will be no match to their exciment when the field trip wil be arranged. I am totally looking forward to it too.. it wud be so much fun :D Rupesh sir jaldi arrange karvao !!!

Regards,
Shwetangi

Saturday, July 10, 2010

First Computer-Class session

Hello friends....

This is with reference to the method that we need to follow as per the new teaching plan...
As said, Amruta had already done the beginning by sharing the details of her 1st session...
These are mine:

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

LEAD kids go to PhonicKids

Yes,

This is something that I wanted to share with you since long....
Since past about 2 weeks, our children are able to, once in a week, get the feel of a similar or infact better classroom environment....with excellent professional teachers....and more important kind-hearted ladies !!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Play-way methods of Teaching/Learning by Vinita

It was a fine Sunday afternoon with clear weather and I reached the LEAD centre with Vandana, Babita & Sindhu (volunteers with my NGO Adarshmay) at 2:15 pm. Bhagyashree was already there with some of the kids. Then some more volunteers come like Mrs Patel, Kartha madam, Saroj teacher, Kailash, Amrutha, Manisha, and others and some more children too joined us slowly. Soon, we heard a count from the children, “Teacher aa gayi!!!” Clearly they remembered her vividly from the Earth Mela at the Maharashtra Nature Park.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Rifle shooting session

It all started with a small idea and ended with a bang and fun filled day…..

15th may 2010

Our riffle-shooting session began at 10am as decide. As a weekend there were a good number of volunteers who gathered to add to the fun and enthusiasm of our kids.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Decorating the walls of the new centre

Yes, do check out the beautiful stint of our beautiful volunteers :-)

Shruti, Nikita, Guddi, Chaitra, Kunal, Shreya, Dipesh ......

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ameetha madam guides volunteers with the Teaching process/ methodologies

Sunday 23rd May 2010

10am


Though I had started shooting the Email and SMS reminders 7 days before the meeting, I was somehow bit skeptical about the actual number of volunteers that would turn up on the D-day. I reached the centre at 9.50am, thinking at least one of them would have reached by then. However, was shocked, though not much, to find myself alone. Anyways, opened up the shutter and started doing some arrangements, keeping the fingers crossed. The clock struck 10 and was relieved to see our ever-smiling new volunteer Kuheli followed by Akshay, then Amruta and then soon the numbers started rising up.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sandoz company visits LEAD for their community week celebrations

Thanks Raveena for drafting this beautiful report and Chaitra for uploading the snaps.

hii friends
Well we were informed by our RUPESH sir that 6 to 7 members fron SANDOZ COMPANY were going to visit LEAD on wednesday 21st april to see the kids.... they were to be at centre by 10:30am so all the kids were asked to be there by 10:00... well !!! all of them were there at time all "dressed up" to welcome members from SANDOZ COMPANY ... the kids sat eagerly waiting for the guests..

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

2 year old boy expires due to severe undernutrition (negligence)

Tuesday

7pm:
Shreya, a Law student from Noida, joins us for the month-long internship during her vacations.

Wednesday

7 pm:
Impressed by her day-long dedication, skills and past experiences, I call her up to assign the specific (& challenging) task of streamlining our 5 girls of Airoli-gaav community- Madhuri, Sheinki, Durpata, Einnetti and Laxmi. One by one, we visit all the houses and finally land up at Einnetti’s door. Her mother stuns us by saying,” Doctor has given his words. There are hardly any chances for the survival of my son now (2 yr old Ganesh)” Further shocked by the highly mal-nutritious state of the child, we ring up our well-wisher pediatrician Dr.Gitanjali immediately for her availability in Airoli Municipal Hospital & then instruct Einnetti’s (i.e. the child’s) mother to be ready on Friday at 10am to go to the hospital for the child’s proper check-up, this time under our supervision.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Origami and Craft Sessions

Greetings to all LEAD’ers.

The Art/Origami workshop for the kids was planned well ahead and all the required materials that were requested by the concerned person were all kept ready. Only thing that was left was the kids to lay their hands in making paper crafts.

4-day Bal-Chetna shibir by Art of Living

Monday, May 3, 2010

Screening of 'Bapu Ne Kaha Tha'

Hello friends....

Plz find below the report sent by Ankita from Public Concern for Governance Trust.
Thanks a lot Ankita and PCGT team for making our children's day.....

The Chief goal of Public Concern For Governance Trust (PCGT) is to be instrumental in molding the thinking process of children so that they develop in themselves a feeling of being more empathetic, brave, affectionate, and at the same time to get a glimpse of the rich cultural heritage and diversity that India possesses.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Trip to Earth Mela ( Nature Park)

“Earth Mela” two words that sound so boring for someone who is just not that into environment, especially for the bachhas who had enjoyed a circus on their last trip and the thought of spending a beautiful Sunday at some place like this...blaaaaaa...well who would know that even such a boring serious event would turn out to be very interesting and fun filled one. But let’s not just yet jump to the Earth Mela. Let’s start from the start....

Monday, March 8, 2010

Fund Raising Events

12th Feb 2010 Friday
Patni Computers Systems, Airoli

The Event we were planning for a few days had finally worked out. We got a chance to organise our first main scale Fund-Raising event. Courtesy of our fellow volunteers from Patni, we put up our stall at the Patni computers, Airoli.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Holi Celebration

Hello Friends, Hope you had a great Holi. Just updating about the small function we organized yesterday at LEAD.

Rupesh, me, Arun, Patel Madam informed all the children about our function at 6 PM & accordingly almost all the children turned up before 6 PM. As sector 3 children were missing Arun & me again went there & bought them.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Killi-Killi Kollo-Kollo

It was yet another eventful day for the LEADs as a bunch of us went to attend the show held on 27th February at Byculla. The event was organized for the kids for whom they had got two clowns from Spain named Kili Kili and Kolo Kolo to entertain them.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Republic Day Celebration

26th January 2010.
Tuesday.

The day started very early with most of the volunteers – Priyanka, Binjal, Chaitra, Gaytri & her mom, Shrija, Arun, Kailash, Rupesh, Dipesh, Shruti, Nikita, Prajakta, Sadanad, Sanjeev, Shilpa, Ramesh, Padaale Sir, Kamlesh & 3 NSS students from Rupesh’s college -- arriving at the centre at 9 am. The children were very excited to come back from their schools after having attended the flag-hoisting ceremony. They changed quickly and were ready.