Wednesday, 29 February 2012
A Mumbai “School” and “The Mumbai” City!
Our project was mentioned by the Hindustan Times, in Mumbai today –
It was another KIDS DAY OUT !
But the morning began, with a little painting exercise, with Seema Enand, a marketing professional but a ardent art lover and practitioner!
Once again, just using fingers and acrylic painted, each child painted his/her own canvas. We made them believe they were painters, and feel as if they are making their first professional painting.
Seema led them thru a little story about nature and its beauty, and each of them interpreted thru their own eyes!
It was a simple as brushing your teeth, and everyone was happy with their results.
We then set out to the Cathedral & John Conon School, in Colaba. The school, is supporting The 1000 Crane Project, as they believe deeply in the area of community and social development, which is a very important part of each student’s learning at the school. The bus was sponsored by the school, which picked us up from the TISS campus, and dropped us back.
So, it was a day for the children with the students of the school. The students, Riddhima, Jay, Naira, Aashna, Karishma, Upasana, Agni, Sangeeta and Mallika acted as their Mumbai buddies and took them to some of the key spots of Mumbai.
We began with Mani Bhavan, where they went thru the life history of Mahatma Gandhi thru the model gallery.
They were then taken to The Gateway of India, and of course, shown the famous Taj Mahal Palace hotel. The students were really great, as they had done their homework perfectly, with all the information from history, to structural details upto the current situations on each spot.
They also had fun, when we met with Uma Kadam, a photographer of The Times of India, Mumbai, who wanted to capture the children having fun with each other at the gateway. The kids started having so much fun amongst themselves, and with the photographer that in that confusion, I forgot to click a group photo of them in front of the Gateway of India !
Then we made some quick stops the Jehangir Art Gallery, Rajabhai Clock Tower and the Flora Fountain. Since, we could only get the students of the school after their school timings, we managed to see most of South Mumbai.
The best part of the day was to witness the interaction between the two groups. When we played a little name game before starting from the school, there was an air of discomfort and unfamiliarity, but by the end of the 4 hours we were driving across town, the buddies actually bonded. When we left, I actually heard, one of the students tell his buddy “ I will call you on your birthday!” and one of our children telling them that he wishes to leave Goa and come study at their school, and the students were very welcoming to the idea.
The objective of the day was for the children of The 1000 Crane Project to meet and interact with a group of young students like them from a different background, but realize that they are all the same, and feel empowered to try and work towards a better life.
On our way back, I was questioned by one “What do I need to do to study at TISS? I really wish to come to Mumbai and study more and then work here.” My answer to him was “ Study hard ! Believe in yourself and you can get a scholarship, which will enable you to study anywhere in India and the world.”