Thursday, January 28, 2010

A young Toybanker's musings

This was written by a young Toybanker named Nishant

My views on poverty:
   'When I see a poor child knocking at my car window it really arouses a lot of sentimental feelings. It makes me wonder why these children are in their positions. Along with sadness I also feel a lot of gratitude for all the various things I have that I take for granted and do not appreciate enough.
           Poverty in India is escalating every day and not much is being done about it. Everyday we hear about several Indians going abroad and succeeding in their professions. It is not very often that we hear about Indians who actually prefer to work for the benefit of India. It makes me feel that we could be a far more prosperous nation if more of our own resources were used for our own betterment.
          Speaking of the government, I do not think it is doing enough to cure the plight of the poorer classes of India. One probable step for the government would be to make primary education compulsory. This will at least ensure a strong mental base for all children in the country.
           Education can even be imparted through toys as all children will learn quickly if they enjoy the learning process. Toys which teach toddlers the alphabet or the numbers from 1 to 10 and other such informational toys can be very useful in imparting useful information to children at the right age.
       The future of India is looking bright as new youngsters are entering politics wanting to make a change.Ideas like unemployment benefits which exists in the united kingdom presently whereby every unemployed person gets 50 pounds a month as  compensation. It may be surprising but it is a fact that terrorism arises from poverty. Poor people do anything as long as they get paid. Thus the eradication of poverty can cause a drastic reduction in terrorism.
These are a few ideas that should be pondered over for a while.'

Nishant Jhaveri
14 years, Cathedral School

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Toybank knows no borders - A day out with Borderless World Foundation!

Toybank had an awesome start to 2010! We had a toy distribution event with children from Borderless World Foundation (BWF).

Nimesh Sumati is one of our mentors and he invited BWF and organized their stay and travel in Maharashtra.He is also involved in activities at the Caring Friends. Here's what Nimesh had to say after our event -

"The event on Sunday 3rd Jan went very well, thanks to Mr Pravin Tulpule , the amazing magician cum entertainer who was kind enough to do the show. The event was organized by Toybank which was here to distribute games and toys to the girls at BWF.

The TISS students and Toybank volunteers played wonderful hosts too. The children were glued to Mr Pravin's every word and had a great time. A big THANK YOU to Shweta and Vikram of Toybank and Pravin. We also saw some performances from the BWF girls. Though they sang in their mother tongue we could see the happiness on their faces.

Our friends from 'Caring Friends' who attended the event - Mrs and Mr Ashok Tamnhe, Rama and Dharini, Narendra , Dhiren, Dhanesh, Prashant, Dharmendra, Naresh and Meena, Samir, Amul, Smita, Nikunj and others  also interacted with the girls over dinner. Over all it was an event which touched us all. The volunteers got a chance to speak briefly with Mr Adhik and Gaurav who are the trustees of BWF.

On 4th Jan we had a  Bazaar where a sale of some products was arranged and the girls were allowed to buy from the pocket money given to them. This was an oppurtunity given to the girls to inculcate a practice to learn how to make transactions and involve themselves in decision making.

This event was also an oppurtunity for the girls to learn a thing or two about saving the unspent money in their individual Money Boxes. Since the event went really well it was a very good thing to notice thatalmost all the girls got a chance to save a major amount. One girl bought a small bracelet and gifted it to Satya, a TISS student who had visited them earlier. Satya was was moved by this gesture.

It was an event which left us with many mixed emotions which were touching, moving, entertaining and inspiring. "

Children's Day in Waki & Dabhon Schools, Dahanu!

This Children's Day we had a blast!

14th Nov 2009, while some of our volunteers teamed up with TCS in Mumbai, few others were visiting the children in Waki & Dabhon Schools in Dahanu, Maharashtra. The Waki School (10 km from Dahanu) is a day school with 60 children and the Dabhon School (33 km from Dahanu) is a residential school with 140 children. The schools have recently completed two years of functioning.

Find all the smiles here  !!









Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Perfect Day!

Event: Toy Distribution with TCS
Date: Saturday, November 14th, 2009
NGO Partner: Kotak Education Foundation
Number of Children: 350
Location: Milind Vidhyalaya, Powai

Catch all the action from the event here.

Here's what one of our volunteers from TCS - Gaurav Karwal had to say after the event.

“Koi bhi gana gao sir, ye to andar se ata hai” – And so exclaimed Nilesh when we asked him to give a dance performance.

This was just one of the many confidence exuding, mind boggling repartees we were audience to by the charged student coterie of Milind Vidyalaya, Powai. All of us from the Fun Committee at TCS BOA-ML ADC together, as if in a mental chorus, realized as to why Pandit Nehru was so fond of kids. Believe me – it’s not difficult at all. Satisfaction ball-danced in our heads to realize that we were where we should have been on the occasion - with the children on the day dedicated to them, Children’s Day.

The atmosphere was sublime, the occasion, austere. No matter how much everyone from the Fun Committee at TCS BOA-ML ADC had planned it out, they ended up pleasantly surprised by the energy that the toddler’s reverberated.

The drive was carried out in collaboration with an independent NGO, Toybank and we realized its ambition when all our volunteering associates saw “pepsodent” smiles all around after the toy distribution ended – no points for guessing that the smiles broadened after we distributed snacks too! Perfect start to a perfect day!

Gaurav Karwal
Tata Consultancy Services

Monday, January 18, 2010

Toybank features on Slumdog Secret Millionaire on Channel 4, UK !!

We have some awesome news to start this new year with!

Toybank was featured on Slumdog Secret Millionaire on Channel 4, UK on Sunday 17th January at 9 PM and the programme will be repeated on Monday 18th January at 10.45 PM.




In each episode a millionaire takes on a secret identity and immerses themselves in a deprived area.They become part of the community, working and volunteering with locals, while they consider who they would most like to help with gifts of thousands of pounds of their own fortune.

Through their experiences the millionaires meet some extraordinary people trying to beat the odds inside deprived communities. As well as highlighting the positive financial and emotional impact of modern-day philanthropy, the series offers an insight into the social problems in modern Britain.

Slumdog Secret Millionaire is a show where Millionaire benefactors say goodbye to their luxury lifestyles and go undercover in deprived areas to find out who needs their help.

We will be receiving the actual video from the producers, RDF Television production in few weeks and we'll keep you posted on the link as soon as we upload it!

Till then take a look at the links where the Millionaire dentist Seema Sharma worked with various organizations including Toybank in Mumbai.

Please feel free to share this awesome news with everyone and volunteers in UK can watch and record the repeat telecast today!

Related Links:

Channel 4 - http://tinyurl.com/yc9j5q6
Mail Online - http://tinyurl.com/ydzgphk
The Guardian - http://tinyurl.com/y9bcd6q
Digiguide - http://library.digiguide.com/lib/uk-tv-highlight/Slumdog+Secret+Millionaire-9029/Documentary/
World Countries - http://world-countries.net/archives/6255