Tuesday, 15 May 2012
The 1000 Crane Project in North India - 13th April to 18th April, 2012
The north workshops of The 1000 Crane Project, started in New Delhi, went to Jodhpur in Rajasthan and then finally Varanasi, in Uttar Pradesh.
This time around, we did not travel with any children from Goa, as we were visiting partner and support schools to build a relationship for future workshops and projects together. This is also a way of sharing ideas and learning from various other children’s projects around the country.
The first stop was New Delhi, at the Udayan Ghar in Greater Noida, which is amongst one of the 6 homes run by the Udayan Care project of New Delhi. Here, we worked with the 26 girls of the home from age 6 to 17. The workshop began with a short presentation of the story of The 1000 Crane Project, how and why we started it, what is the main purpose and also telling them about the story of Sadako Sasaki, the young girl who tried to fight her cancer by wishing for peace in world.
The older girls of the home were well informed and knew a lot about Japan and the nuclear bombing in Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
We then painted the crane T-shirts with them to be sent to Fukushima, Japan. Some of them painted universal peace T-shirts as well.
From New Delhi, we travelled to Jodhpur, to the Sucheta Kriplani Shiksha Niketan ( SKSN ) school for the physically handicapped children of the area. This school was set up in 1992, to help mainly the polio stricken children of the area, as the awareness of polio was very weak at that time. The school got a good response. It is now a residential cum day school for both both handicap boys and girls. The total number being around 550.
We spent 2 days there, and in those two days, first conducted a creative writing workshop based on the books donated to the school and the next day we carried out the Crane T-shirt painting workshop.
The creative writing or creative thinking workshop was conducted as an introduction to Tara Trust and the work we do, also for the children to know us, where we come from, and to see if they were aware of Goa and its geographical placement in the Indian sub-continent, as it our endeavor also to try and connect with the children so they learn something new about their environment and their country. It is also a way of setting a curious bug into them to start finding about new places and people around them, and not get stuck in their little cocoon of their school.
A great many of the children from this school are participants at the para Olympics so they all know London and England etc as their main sponsors come from there but are not much aware of the states within India.
The first day, as mentioned was a introduction session, we distributed the books that had been sent by a friend for them and the school library. Then we conducted a story-telling session and we gave them some basic tools on creative thinking. We did this in two sessions as the number of boys and girls was a little disproportionate – 140 boys and 45 girls.
On the second day though, due to lack of time, the girls and boys were brought together to complete the T-shirt painting task. We were also in a fix as we had planned to work on the T-shirt painting exercise only with the older boys and girls, but the younger children were also there and we did not want to disappoint them, so, had to divide them in 4 groups and then distributed the T-shirts amongst them and let them all paint together. Here as well, taking the story telling session forward, we told them the story of Sadako Sasaki and the thousand paper cranes, and about the current situation of Fukushima in Japan and are wish to help the children of Japan thru the children of India. Some of the boys were very proud about painting the T-shirts as they were going to be sent to Japan and did some good art works.
The SKSN school is a great educational center for these special children, because not only does it provide good academic learning but also takes care of the overall development and motivation for future goals for each child studying and living in the school. A really good example of a residential school for special children.