Monday, August 1, 2011

Admitting Airoli Sec-14 Kids In the School !!

Thanks Shefali.. You could finally pull off with this report ;-))

I too can write at extreme lengths about these children and their parents and all.. But I guess, that's not needed now... you have already beautifully summarized the most essential part till now...

I feel Rahul needs to chip-in with some of the new admission process that happened after admitting these sec-14 kids... This will actually speak about our big achievement.....

Thanks to my cousin Roopali who sponsored all the stationary material for all these kids... Kids ( even & their parents ) were smartly & purposely charged up one day prior to their 1st school day with these beautiful attractive gifts ;-)) I still remember that late evening day when parents had expressed their gratitude to us and instructed their wards to be regular in the schooling !!

It was tough convincing Aishwarya's mom for sending her child to balwadi.. but finally thanks to the auto-wala , we could persuade her and today we could see and feel the sense of fulfillment and satisfaction & pride in her eyes when she sees all her 3 children going to school nicely decked up with their uniforms and school bags ;-)

So & so much more to tell.... but may be later.,..Till then, we may have fun seeing these 99 beautiful snaps..Here is the link ;-)


PS: For those, who want to know, how sec-14 community was adopted, plz read the most trailing email...

On Mon, Aug 1, 2011 at 10:35 AM, shefali hegde wrote:

Hello to all my dear and lovely friends,

I hope most of my volunteer friends know me,still i would ls like to introduce my myself,i have joined LEAD AT 2009 with great dedication to do some thing for our slum kids and here goes the journey.......achieved lot of things,memories,love,etc.........(as Rupesh always says..nobody can run away from LEAD..... he/she has to come again here itself....and that's really true)...

Further because of mi higher studies, I was in Pune in 2010 carrying all the memories of LEAD and i was happy when i came back now.......n started my journey again in 2011 June......where i attended the workshop at our Airoli sec-19 center on child sexual abuse awareness..,by Arpan NGO......

I really felt happy meeting Kartha aunty, Rupesh, friends..Snehal, Amrutha, n many more......I really felt happy that day.....


Firstly thanks to people of Gurudwara in sec-14 for giving shelter to teach our sec-14 kids..we all the future leaders of sec-14 volunteers........namely myself, Rahul, Pooja, Sandhya,our smarty and intelligent Padale sir, Akash.......has taken a responsibility to make them as sec 19 kids..

There are around 10-12 kids who come to our Gurudwara center and happy thing is that they too have been admitted to the municipal school at sec-14 and 8.and we too faced little some problem with admissions of all the Balwadi,1st and 2nd std kids...I took all the kids along with their parents to school for admission....all were very happy to an auto rickshaw.....mainly father of our 1st kid..Yashoda whose father got burnt in his leg..still he wanted to come to the school in sec-8 for the admission of his kid..which made me really feel good...i met 2 beautiful teachers there named Waghmare teacher and Padwal teacher....Both were very very co-operative and actually thanking me for bringing theses the school....thereby one of the teacher completed the formalities of al the kids....n best part wwas that our lovely kids wanted to attend the school the same day.....and by this...the life of sec-14 kids changed....

Again I dropped the parents back home by auto...and it was happy to see that sweet and beautiful smiles of the parents...i felt a bit of satisfaction that...from next day me and Rahul drop children till bus stop and wait till the bus goes.....

The kids are so so excited to go. as they have school bus facilities (pick and drop) and its been 1 month now..the kids have lot of things now.... enjoying the journey of school

Here is the list of kids...

4ths std: Sagar

2nd std: Maruti, Akash, Sahil, Rahul, Suraj, Pinky, Mahesh

1st std: Yashoda, Raveena, Rakesh

Balwadi:  Aishwarya, Komal, Ashwini, Bhoomika (These 4 dolls/ angels dont have bus facilities but somehow with the help of Rupesh, we have arranged an auto for the kids as they are safe to go and come..It will cost us Rs. 750/- per month for their to & fro)

So here are our intelligent kids....Its hardly been 1 month now....and kids have learned lot of things like learned alphabets from A-Z,NUMBERS, hindi barakadi......and it as only possible with our volunteers....taking extra them..

Special thanks to Sandhya and Pooja our sunday volunteers,.....for teaching them with beautiful drawings and crafts ............with lovely colours....and entertaining them with movies (also thanks to Rahul for bringing chillar party movie for our kids.....which they enjoyed a lot..)

In the way......our journey is goin on......and we are now planning to have a heealth check up and hameoglobin test for our adoloscent soon as possible ......

Soon I will attach the beautiful pics of our sec-14 of pc is not allowing me to do so....anywaz...i am too feeling happy by sharing these thingse with u al.....

Meet u all again with future..updates ...till then bi.....take care all......have a good day..... ;-)

Thanks & Regards

Shefali Hegde

How did sec-14 work start ?

Not many of us are aware that LEAD has also adopted one more small slum community in Sec-14 Airoli. Around 4-5 months back, one fine sunday, I had gone to a Gurudwara over there to motivate the gathered devotees to volunteer with us; at least couple of hours in a week. I was informed that most of the people who came for the Sunday Langar over there were house-wives and senior citizens and hence I was very optimistic about the results. After their babaji's pravachan finished, I was offered a mike and given 5mins to broadcast our appeal. I did my best to stimulate the audience in 10mins !! As usual, lots of claps and appreciation but i was waiting for something else. People started getting downstairs for the lunch and I had still not lost the hope. I too started marching down and smartly placed myself near the main gate. I was requested like a special guest to sit and have the prasad but i wanted to be seen by everyone and hence preferred to stand. Couple of inquiries arrived and we exchanged the good words and contact numbers. I was content with this response from the crowd of 100-150. Its normal !! I started moving out, after thanking the person who gave us the platform to speak and while I started wearing my foot-wear, I saw a bunch of kids rushing inside the gurudwara. Anyone could understand about their background from their clothes and body language & the on-going Langar. What next? I had to wait for them to finish. And then followed them to know about their whereabouts. They all got spread into an adjacent small 10-12 family community - all shanties in an open ground -- exactly similar to our existing adopted ones. I soon found myself speaking to these children, their parents, schooling and all... This went on for about an hour and I walked out with a solid matter on black and white & some dreams with children waving their hands and loud taa-taas to me ;-) Work started. Went into a nearby D.Ed & B.Ed college. Principal got inspired. He allowed us to speak to his students, after about 15 days of paper-work and follow-up I gave an excellent motivational speech to these youngsters who have chosen this noble-profession! 25 hands-up among D.Ed and around 23 in B.Ed.. Amazing !! But I was more cautious !! We had a very bad experience of one of the degree colleges in Airoli, when LEAD took off... (All that's a longg story...some time later..) I had talked about the normal volunteering....what we do at our center with our kids......but they were shocked when I told them about the 'within-the-community teaching'....I thought this would excite them like anything.... But I was more shocked seeing the expressions and response of these 'to-be-teachers'.... They told me I cheated them.....I had to literally give them my piece of mind to shake them off!! They apologized and requested for the field visit. Meanwhile I had also entered into one of the BIG slum communities near Airoli D-mart store, when I had been for the shopping there ;-) around 32 children in this community were already going to the municipal school despite the PATHETIC living conditions.. A girl had managed to reach grade-9 while staying in an environment, where we 'civilized' people would not be able to sit for an hour!! B.Ed people were allotted this community and D.Ed people the sec-14 community. It was actually, this time when I had packed my bag for my 7-day NSS camp to Lavhali village (and came back to Mumbai with the 3rd community ;-) Proper time-table, schedules, each others' cell numbers, coordination guidelines - everything was handed over and explained !! When I came back after 7 days, almost everything had fallen flat !! All the high spirits, kind words, praises, promises to me and even kids ---- god knows kahan evaporate ho gaye....!! 10 different silly excuses for 10 people... Anyways, all this is diverting 4m our main topic !! Gradually, this number of volunteers from 50 came down to 30, 20, 10, 4, 2, 1 and soon zero .. all these within a month and repeated follow-ups !! Thankfully, we got two volunters Deepika and Akash who started the sessions for sec-14 kids on sat and sun. And we could some-how save our face before these kids. But we miserably disappointed the sec-10 (near D-mart) community... I remember, these kids used to gather before their teachers,super-excited... unwinding the chattaai, cleaning the floor of the open ground, even the non-school going ones.... I dont dare to face these sec-10 kids & their parents now..... 25 B.Ed pursuing students behaved like stupid silly casual new college going students and shamelessly did not even bother to inform that they cant continue !! How will they become responsible teachers ??? Grossly disappointed....!! Even their principal apologized to me on their behalf...... So we started with the regular weekend sessions in sec-14 with the help of Deepika and Akash and sometimes even me.. slowly we started shifting some of our teaching/learning resources there...keeping them in 3-4 big plastic bags in one of the kids' jhopdis ;-).. After some time, we could mobilize couple of people for volunteering there on weekdays to fill up the gap.. but that did not work well on commitment part !! And hence the struggle continues in this community... and it is in this situation that Shefali enters into this community as our savior -- all alone 5 days a week --daily 2hrs -- handling 13 children (all non-school going yet)...

Rupesh Gesota

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