Monday, 26 January 2015
we call ourselves a republic?
Republic Day was celebrated across our country today. Today we are supposed to be proud Indians living in a democratic, free environment having the choice to elect our leaders and exercise our rights.
It was with this thought that the day begun with Mrs.Priya Murli starting her workshop today not to continue to just teach more mudras and steps of the dance but by introducing the importance of working and learning together, emphasising that it was even more important today being Republic Day and made each one realise that before they are Chennaites or Goans, they are all Indians, and it is the beauty of this variety that makes India so special.
She then started her class asking each one to be proud of herself, and hold her posture and mudra with confidence because good posture makes for good body language which helps in building oneself holistically.
Once the rhythm was set, she then taught started working on a small dance piece with them using a tamil patriotic peom written by Subramanya Bharati called Bharata Samoodayam Valgaway. The poen is really simple but beautiful piece talking about the diversity of India being the beauty and pride of the country. Priya made the steps and sequence seems so effortless for the girls that they learnt the first half of the dance in no time.
Priya then spent some time giving them a little theoretical knowledge about the dance, ending the session with stretches and silent meditation, to help them understand the need for physical exercise to keep our bodies agile and healthy.
Since, we had observed that the two groups of girls were just not warming up with each other, we changed our workshop plan from print development to working on trust exercises and team-exercises to imbibe more group dynamics amongst them.
Apart from the fun they all had it really helped in making them communicate with each other to complete a task and work further and find solutions.
We then once again put them with their partners and worked on an outdoor sculpting exercise where they pairs had to collect materials from the surroundings and build an structure together.
It was challenging for many who had not worked together before but once again since the task compelled them to work together they found a way. Many of them were very proud of their creation once done.
We ended the day with an interaction with two friends of Tara Trust from Chennai, Anjali Krishnan and Karpagam Maya coming to participate in the activities and then interacting with the girls but telling them their stories of growing up as girls and finding a path to fulfil their dreams and professional ambition.
Anjali Krishnan, advertising and styling professional actually got to explain her work first hand, as Kaushik Jay brought along a model to teach subject based photography. Anjali took a short session of how space, lighting is chosen and how one helps a model to fit into a particular mood etc with Kaushik guiding them to work on a subject and see it from all angles. Of course, the most interesting part for most of the girls was to meet a model.
The day was really good and all of us facilitators could start seeing some more interaction and communication between the girls, and all of it was lost in no time because there were families of 4 of the girls from Chennai who came to visit them. These girls have been let out of their homes for the first time, so the anxiety of the parents in understandable but somehow they are so protective that they are coming to check on them every day and it just breaks the momentum built in the group. We have, our partner organisation Nalamdana has and so has the principal of the Chennai school explained to the parents the importance of letting them be alone for the camp days but they don’t want to respect the rules at all. It is quite upsetting because somehow all what one works for is washed off in a moment but we don’t give up but also realise through these experiences that it is not the children but the parents need education. This is a story prevalent in every part of India … and we call ourselves a “REPUBLIC”