Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Impact day- Deloitte volunteers at Borivali schools, 29th November 2013

Deloitte’s impact day was held on 29th November 2013, at Bhimanagar Municipal School and Vidya Vikas School for both Primary and Secondary kids. The Impact day at both the schools started with movie screening. The movies name was Krish, Trish and Baltiboy. It had three stories along with the moral of the story. Students were laughing throughout the movie, after movie Deloitte Volunteers asked students what they had learned from the movie.

The next activity which took place was teaching Abacus to the students, the employees were so enthusiast in teaching abacus, that they had even learned Marathi words to give better understanding to the students. Students were really enjoying the game and were happy when they came to know that abacus device which they were given, was for them to take it home.

Then the next activity was Quilling, English speaking and Origami. Students had fun learning English, making different patterns of quilling and origami. Some of the students came up with good designs.

After the session there was closing ceremony at both the schools, were all the kids were bought together. At Vidya Vikas School, a volunteer from deloitte performed an entertaining skit, all the students were cheering as the performance was so good whereas at Bhimanagar Municipal School, principal spoke about the impact day, congratulated Toybank as well as Deloitte team for serving the purpose perfectly.

In both the schools each kid was given a balloon and a drawing book. Not a single kid left without a smile. Deloitte’s impact day covered 300 students and the event was carried out by 70+ Deloitte volunteers and Toybank team successfully.

For more pictures, click here
- Shirley Patil (Intern)

Toybank celebrated Children's day at Wadia Hospital, 14th November 2013

Toybank celebrated its Children’s day with Wadia Hospital’s cancer patients, on children's day
We couldn't afford to play with the children's sensitivity knowing that they had Cancer, so we bought each of them brand new toys-160 Yoyo’s, 50 Mikado and 110 Brainvita. we spent 10080 rupees, which were donated by Delloitte.

Dr. Laff a Lot (our very own Happy Toybanker) went from bed to bed to all the kids and gave them gifts. The atmosphere was very jovial and the children were really happy.

There were around 165 kids and 8 enthusiastic Toybankers who were part of this wonderful event. We do wish to go back to Wadia Hospital very soon.

For more pictures, click here

- Shirley Patil (Intern)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

New Toy Library at Maulana Azad School, Dharavi- 20th September 2013

20th September, 2013 was a special day because we were setting up a toy library and play centre for a school in Dharavi named –Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Educational Trust.

The scheduled time given to us to reach the school was 12:30 pm. Flooded with toys all four corners it was exciting to set up a new toy library. Searching for the right road, entering into the wrong lane we managed to find the school.

We brought down the toys and placed it into the place we were going to conduct the session. Soon the first batch of teachers arrived (Std. 5th-std 7th). Ruta ma’am introduced them to Toybank while I decided to click some photographs. Then we brought out each toy and explained it to the teachers, answered their questions etc. 

The next batch (std 1st-std 4th) it was the same process of explaining and playing with each toy. Finally, we had the Play center teachers with whom I played several games and it was fun. Meanwhile, ma’am explained to one of the teachers how to maintain a data for the toy library. 

After which we counted the number of toys. The total was 76 toys and not to forget brand new toys .everything went off so well and it was almost 4 pm  We thanked all the teachers for their enthusiasm and support.

For more picture click here

By Anandita (SNDT intern)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Toybank conducts various sensitization workshop in August

I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.- Maya Angelou 

This month, Toybank has been committed to spreading awareness at various schools across Mumbai. The sensitization workshop focused on educating the students on the importance of propagating the Right to Play for all children by collecting, sorting and recycling morally correct toys for these children.
The response from these young adults was overwhelming and reminded us of the purpose of our goal.
To understand the impact we made, take a look at the schools we covered and number of students present:
Tridha International School: 30 students
Bombay International School: 55 students
Aditya Birla World Academy: 30 students
HR college: 60 students
That’s a total of 175 students in August alone!
We would like to thank both the schools and the students, and welcome each and every one of you to the Toybank family!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

New Play center at Project Swati, 29th June 2013

'Toys', the word synonymous with joy and laughter has always been childhood's best friend. With an objective to create a delightful mocktail of these two worlds, Toybankers from GENPACT and FMS, Delhi, set out to provide toys to children of an NGO called 'Project Swati' in Kanak Durga Colony at R.K. Puram. New Delhi. The solace of a toy is heart rending, more so, for children who are devoid of life's such simple pleasures. The mission was simple, the vision, noble and end goal, achievable.

Having had a head start on time, being 15 minutes ahead of schedule, gave us enough time to take stock of all the toys that had been brought and segregate them by age groups. The venue was teeming with cheerful and anxious faces of children between age groups of 3 thru 12. Our first task was to create clusters (by age group) of a max. of 5 kids lead by one volunteer each. That being accomplished, we rolled up our sleeves and sprung into action. The rules were simple, it had to be a new game that the children hadn't played before and we had to teach them how. Sharp and intelligent as they were, the children were quick to learn and soon were deeply immersed in playing those games that they had learnt just a while ago from their volunteer friends, whom they fondly addressed as 'Didi' and 'Bhaiya'. Soon the venue pulsated with their enthusiastic babble and joules of energy!

We hadn't the slightest whiff as to how the hours sped by and before we knew it, the team of 12 volunteers had played a gamut of games like 'Speller', 'Building Blocks', 'Jigsaw puzzles', 'Chess', 'Ludo', 'Clay Modelling' etc. with the group of 40 children. The children were not devoid of a sense of humour and would laugh out loudly at any mistake that their volunteer friends made (intentional or not...:-)). 

We then decided that it would be incomplete without an outdoor game of Kho-Kho in the garden. To our surprise, some children and volunteers gleefully obliged and were soon divided into two teams. We seemed to overcome the heat and sultriness of a hot June afternoon and were completely involved in the kho-kho game, one group reliving childhood and the other living it! After a joyful and event of two hours, it was time to applaud each other's efforts for making it such a great learning and pleasurable experience. This was followed by a photography session of all the 40 children, volunteers and the teachers at 'Project Swati', to capture the vivid memory of a joyful and jubilant Saturday afternoon. With a heavy heart, we waved goodbye to the children but not without the thought and resolve of being there again soon...

To catch up with the real action click here

Monday, July 08, 2013

Toybanks visit to Thane district to set up toy libraries at Gawali Pada and Parali Zilla Parishad School

Today I feel so blessed that I got an opportunity to visit two rural villages in Maharashtra. We had been preparing for the day, the setting up of the toy library and the travel since a week now and today was the day when we were to witness the same. I was accompanied by two more interns and our mentor, Amruta. Honestly, I was a little apprehensive of going due to my poor health for a couple of days, but I am so glad that I made it, else the life lessons that I learnt today at the school probably would have been distant from me.

The journey started at 7:00 A.M. in the morning from Dadar, so that we can cover the more than 100 Kms as early as possible to avoid the traffic and be there on school time. With 5 Cartons filled with more than 130 toys, I was impatiently waiting to reach the place and meet the kids. I did expect the environment and people to be very unprivileged but only the actual field experience can describe it how different it is than usually in words. We did take a short halt for breakfast and resumed to reach the destination only to witness joyous faces of little kids as well as the teachers.
Toys for the day !

 Ahh! Such a warm welcome that was, Gawli Pada. All the kids were so mannered and disciplined that I was ashamed of my own childhood when I felt like a pain to wish a teacher “Good morrrrning, Teacher” with the class. I do remember hiding myself behind the taller ones only to save the effort of standing up. But these kids were way more civilised than us, supposedly. There was a field coordinator from Impact India Foundation, Mr. Manoj Prajapati who accompanied us to this school and actively helped us in explaining the teachers, how to play the games and ways to conduct the play sessions. One by one we unpacked the toys and showed them how to play, and even the teachers were so delighted to see them, as they themselves never really had that kind of a childhood.
The Principal and teachers of Gawli Pada sits for the training

The principal at Gawli Pada Zilla Parishad School signs the agreement with Toybank

The idea was that the teachers understand the games thoroughly and then explain the kids during their play sessions. Meanwhile, Amruta was taking care of the paper work with the principle and soon we were done with all the games for Gawli Pada. Towards the end, we got hand of a Frisbee and started playing in the ground surrounded by classrooms, in the middle of the school. One by one all the kids of the school joined and the thrill on their faces made each of ours’ day! I have never had such a feeling of happiness and accomplishment and will never forget it. The Joy of giving, they say, is indeed the biggest one, and now I understand how so. Its truly a matter of experience.

Firsbee!  All on ground to play
Then we wrapped up and left, with smiling bright faces waving us a good bye and wishing we come back soon. The next stop was a rather very remote village called Parali. The school there was majorly for the tribal kids. This school made me feel ashamed that all of us, every single person, even the person reading this blog, is way too privileged and blessed than we really deserve, where on one hand these people are fighting for their basic survival rights, like access to drinking water, clothes, food and sanitation, we crib each day about things like not so warm food on plate, soiled toilets, unironed clothes, inadequately salty meal or not so chilled drinking water! Many of the children were even victims of domestic violence as told by the teachers on our inquiry. The water that they used for drinking, that they obtained from a 500 meter far away well, was so dirty and filled with algae that not a single person of us would even use it to wash our dirty feet. They drink it each day!
The crowd says it all. They loved the game !

The plate get delicious with their smiles 
The teacher at Parali Zilla Parishad School takes the initiative to teach the children

A group photo at Parali Zilla Parishad School with our BITS interns. SMILE !

Here too we followed the same activities of sensitising the teachers and teaching them the games. Their cheerful and laughing faces was what that saved our teardrops from falling. All in all the events of this day made me think and rethink on many things in life and I am really thankful to Toy Bank that I was chosen for this job.

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” - By Ketul (BITS intern )

Toybank's rural toy libraries in Thane disttict

"Only where children gather is there any real chance of fun."

And the setting up of the rural toy library had loads of it. Each one of us, me and another intern with our mentor, Amruta knew this trip would be a different experience all together, but no one expected it to be so exuberant and inspiring. In the end, we realized, it just weren’t the kids who benefited, but us too.

 We left early in the morning so as to avoid the traffic and also the place we were headed to was about 100kms from where we started. With loads of toys and enthusiasm, we embarked on a journey that we were eagerly waiting for. We then stopped for breakfast and met project coordinator from Impact India Foundation, Mrs. Manoj Prajapati. He was to accompany us to the two schools which were shortlisted for setting up toy libraries. The first place on our itinerary was the Impact India Foundation office in Wada, where we met the Project Director in charge of the Wada region. He briefed us on the projects that they have under-taken and appreciated the initiative taken by toybank in setting up toy libraries in the rural region. Next on our list was a school in Desai taluka that was very soon going to be bustling with activities. We were greeted upon our arrival and Manoj sir introduced us to the principal and the kids. The anxious expression on the faces of the kids while we were unloading the toys was a moment to capture, and one I personally would never forget. Each and every kid had a questionable look, what is hidden in those cartons?
Mr.Manoj from Impact India Foundation introduces Toybank to the children of Desai Zilla Parishad School

The curious faces with a pinch of excitement to know what there in the boxes?

 Very soon they got their answers, and now were restlessly waiting to pounce on them. Before that, we had to explain the rules to the principal and the teacher, so that they could explain it to the kids in the manner they would understand. Amruta took over the formalities part, explaining on how to maintain a toy library, meaning of different color stickers, maintaining a proper log of the toys and some general stuff. After the explanation and the formalities, we got down to what we enjoy the most, playing! The kids were shy in the beginning but got over it after a while. We played some numerical puzzles and board games which the kids thoroughly enjoyed. After spending some time with them, we had to leave for another school. The principal gave a vote of thanks and was a really proud moment for us, especially for the amateur interns! Next stop was a Ashramshala in Kalamba, another taluka in Wada district.
Training the teachers on the maintenance of toy library

And its time to play !

The lush greenery, tranquil weather and the calm made for a breathtaking panorama, and it made our day every more special. After an hour ride in this insane beauty, we reached Kalamba. An over-enthusiastic principal, Mrs. Rajendra Patil greeted us with rose, yes rose!! and gave us an introduction about the school and told us how harsh conditions these kids have to face, and it was really inspiring to see these kids smile when they live through so much difficulties. And to make them smile for real, believe me, it’s the best feeling in the world that no blog or words could ever describe, its godly! It motivated us more and with Amruta doing her routine, we got down to playing with the kids this time. Teachers too joined in and to see them so excited, everything just felt right. We taught and played puzzles, an interesting game of Squap (an outdoor game played in the west), some block games and many more. 
The warm welcome received from the principal at Kalamba Ashramshala

Our interns having a training session for teachers on how to play the games

We asked kids to join in and without any hesitation, they stepped right in. We conducted games between them, played with teachers and on seeing this; the principal finished the formalities early and joined us! It was a delightful sight to see everyone cheering, laughing and joking around. Even the girls, who were extremely shy in the beginning, joined in. It became a festive atmosphere, and we had forgotten how late it was. We had to leave, and again, Manoj sir and the principal applauded our efforts with kids clapping continuously, we thanked them all for their cooperation. We left completely satisfied and wanting for more. Although we were late and had to face Mumbai’s trademark traffic, the smiles that the kids showered us with were more than enough to counter it. In all, this day would be cherished for all the excitement, fun, lessons that we learned and would like to end it with a quote from a famous personality:

“From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.” 

- By Raghav (BITS Intern)