Saturday, 27 April 2013

We Are All One Family.

The Screen Printed T-shirt with all the water doddles from the children

The above sentence has been used as the topic of the last day for the last 2 camps in New Delhi and Mumbai, and there is no better way of summing up the camp.
Sparsha Trust, Bangalore , Mark Fernandes High School, Goa, Jaaga, IIITB, Revanna & Manjunatha from Dream A Dream, Shabari Rao & Maitri Ramakrishnan, Sairam & Meghraj from Infosys, Digu from Infosys, Samuel Raj, Kumaran School, Bangalore, Fields of View, Shaona Sen, Magic Bus, VASP, Vibha Ramaswami and team, DrumCircle, Siddharth Gaikwad from GaikyGrills, Prof.Sadagopan from IIITB, Prof.Rajagopalan from IIITB, Prof.Prasanna from IIITB, Prof.Jyotsna from IIITB, Mr.Ramachandran from IIITB, Sridhar – Shruti – and students of IIITB, Srinivasa from IIITB, the administration staff, the security…… It is all of us coming together that have made this possible and at the end of it the 12 children have become a family and we are all a part of this family now !
It was a great Day 10, starting with the team of DrumCircle coming in to work on some music exercises using the drums. It was great fun for the children, just that there was a delay in the starting the workshop but all went smoothly.

The kids trying their hands with the drums

The second half was when the kids and students of IIITB painted a mural together. It was a fun exercise, because it involved students who usually only think, talk, walk, sleep, eat, dream computers had to hold a brush and play with colors along with the children, who guided them through the topic of Water and also had fun with them through the exercise.

The students of IIITB and the children working on the canvas

There was exchange of ideas and then just choosing each corner to build the canvas collectively together

Manjunatha engrossed in his brush alongside his older partner

Everyone admiring their work together

A proud bunch !!!

The children also painted a retrospect sheet where they had to paint each day J some really nice results and amazing memory the kids have. It also helps us measure how much was assimilated by them through the camp days.
In the evening we set all their work up around the common foyer area of the main institute block. Since there were still activities, Sophie and Lina worked on the display to help the children quicken the process.
The kids also got their printed T-shirts that they had worked on Sunday at Jaaga.

The retrospect painting from Kumar an Aruna

The collective posters from the kids

The recycled aquarium

The student community keenly admiring the works exhibited

The kids had invited the student community for their presentation and put up a little cultural program, showing them the kathak and movement pieces learn by them through the workshop days.

Kumar & Manjunatha performing a  sog for the group

The children at the start of their Kathak performance

The children all set for the movement dance

Finally they broke into the free style dance mode !

At night we organized for a little Barbeque Party with the help of a good friend and fellow NIDian, Siddharth Gaikwad (GaikyGrills) as a finale to the camp. The kids enjoyed a change from the mess food and it was a totally new experience for them. They also got to make their own pizzas J We ended the evening being a little silly, singing, dancing and laughing a lot !

Gaiky showing the tricks of grilling to Ragavendra
Gaiky showing the kids how to assemble a pizza

Young chefs at work

It was the "if you love me bite ?" for abhi from everywhere 

There was a mini henna party also that happened at the BBQ

Finally it was all of us going crazy 

We shall miss each one of these children – Ramzan, Mahesh, Andrea, Jyoti, Darshan, Ragavendra, Kumar, Manjunatha, Pooja, Deepa, Aruna, Kanaka – we wish them love and luck till the next time we meet atleast the Bangalore group, the Goa group we shall continue the weekly workshops at their school so will see them in June but we know we will see a new person in them.  

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Actions Speak Louder than Words…..

The day begun with us wanting to find out how much the group knew about each other. So, we did a quick "which animal do you think your friend is ? exercise" The challenge was a little tough cause all they got was their paint brushed and paint so that the drawing is more spontaneous. 
Initially after a few giggles we had some interesting outcomes of the exercise, which also helped us know if the kids had really spent time with each other.

Mahesh with his drawing of Darshan, in Darshan's trademark orange T-shirt and then comparing him to a tiger as he believes that Darshan talks loudly.

Manjunath with his drawing of Jyoti, in her polka-dotted skirt, with a representation of a monkey on a tree because Jyoti keeps jumping around the studio

We were then joined by VASP a young theater group of Bangalore comprising of young professionals who are following their passion in theater while trying to keep up with a corporate job and a demanding lifestyle came in to spend an entire day with the children to teach them a little bit of theater.

The entire group in smiles after a good day !

Parthasarthi, Sandeep, Deepika and Harish put in all their energies using various theater exercises to touch upon life topics like importance team-work, need for concentration and good listening skills.

Sandeep working on a concentration exercise through movement

Mahesh and Ramzan using their paper sticks to find each other in the dark only by making a sound with their sticks

A group ready for action with their water theme

They also through just keeping to actions brought out every aspect of water.
If WATER was a person, how would it feel when cold, hot, dropped, splashed, poured, drunk etc, and finally through a story making process of why we need water to exist in our lives today and for all the years to come for the human race and planet earth at large.

Darshan and Pooja enacting their play

Pooja acting as a person lost without Water

The spirits of the children was really elevated, the excitement continued when Vibha Ramaswami, a Kathak artist and a teacher, came in for a Kathak 101 workshop with 3 of her students Nishant, Merzia and Shivani accompanied by her young son Mehul.

Vibha Ramaawami with ther students Merzia, Shivan and Nishant starting with the basics

Vibha began the workshop with a lovely quiz cum presentation of the different classical Indian dance forms and how they are all inter-related. Then starting with the basics Kathak steps, they went on to create a short but beautifully put Katha piece on Water.

The group learning their first steps with the young dancers and Vibha Ramaswami
The children learning the show lightening using a Kathak move

The energetic and very loving Vibha Ramaswami and not to forget graceful

The young dancers - Nishant, Merzia and Shivani put up a short performance for the children

The children loved it! We were concerned that the boys may not enjoy it that much as classical Indian dance is associated more with girls, but, having Nishant as one of their guides they were really interested and also the smiles of Merzia and Shivani blew them away.

The excited dancers !

At the end of the day they also promised to start working on their English skills because it is now becoming more clear to them that most people like and would like to know more are people who know a common language – English. So, they have all promised us to start attempting to talk more English with us, but we also made them realise that the entire day they have spoken about Water as a topic without using words and only actions, so they should first realise that communication can never be a barrier if they know how to explain themselves using actions.

Day 9 ended in a happy note of “Ta Dhin Dhin Ta, Aa Dhin Dhin Ta”

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The Magic of Recycling...Creating Games and Playing Games...

We started the day welcoming Shaona once again. She joined us with some of the children from the Magic Bus project that she works for on campus. The cutest bunch of children - Amuda, Lidya, Nivedita, Shweta, Salman, Akash & Robin.

Shaona, Ragavendra and Robin doing the introduction drill 

The day had been planned by Shaona who got the children to understand the usage of colour to provoke feelings and desires, and explained to them why if one goes to see all mineral water bottles have Blue as a common colour.

Shaona explaining the usage of color to the group
They then played a game of segregation of the bottles into shapes and sizes and in a very interesting manner she divided the children into 3 groups, gave them 15 bottles each and asked them to come up with their own games using the Footballs she had brought along for a later session of the game.

Abhi being his guiding and organising nice self to the kids

Lina thinking about the concept with the next group of children for the game

A game similar to 9 Pins being played

Amuda of Magic Bus trying to tackle the ball through bottles

The groups came up with some interesting ideas and Abhishegh was a great guide into the games.

Shaona and the kids working on the concept for the recycled tree
Post that they began conceptualising and working on a tree made of the discarded mineral water bottles that had been collected. It was a simple process of cutting and moulding the bottles to make them feel like plam leaves which were eventually mounted on a bamboo stick and pitched in a bottle pot full of pebbles. The kids created 2 of the same and a third one in parts for us to carry to Goa.

Everyone is at work with the bottles

Kumar being helped by Abhi to add color to the palm leaves

The Magic Bus girl group 

Assembling the tree together

Shaona Adding the little details for the groups 

A proud group with their plam tree 
Post lunch they gave the finishing touches and moved on to a solid 2 hour football training.

Abhishegh and the kids warming up, while one of the Magic Bus kids getting ready for action
The children of Magic Bus came onto the field like professional football player wearing their football gear and mingled with our children for a simple practice session and then a short game.

The group learning a bit of tackling

Mahesh trying some head shots 

The kids got the experience of a mini football game as well
When they returned to the temporary art studio we have now on campus, the excitement levels and energy of the game filled the room.

The entire gang ! 
Through all this time, Sophie and Lina tirelessly worked on finishing the aquarium for the children. It was our first time of making an aquarium with recycled materials so we had some technical glitches but in the end it looked absolutely fabulous.

The aquarium built with all the aquatic life made by the kids using recycled material
The day ended in a slightly stricter note by Sophie sitting the our children down for a short discipline talk because they had left the art studio in a mess including their own art bags and art materials strewn all over the place, so in a very patient manner she got them all to sit down do an inventory check for their things and then we disperesed for dinner. Where, they were treated with Ice Cream once again by a student on campus.

It is amazing the amount of attention and pampering they are getting from all and that is why we need to also be a little strict at times with them. Its really like getting all your Disneyland rides for free ......