Friday, April 21, 2017

Cycle Story at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2017


The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is a community festival in Mumbai, held within the Kala Ghoda Art District. The festival celebrates music, dance, literature, food, street stalls, cinema, workshops, visual arts, urban design and architecture. The theme for the 2017 Kala Ghoda festival was ‘Speed of Light’, and ran from the 4th to the 12th of February.

The 'Cycle Story' installation at the festival
Toybank had the opportunity to have an installation at this year’s festival. The students of Rachana Sansad College of Interior Design (Mumbai) created an installation for Toybank- The ‘Cycle Story’- an installation representative of childhood going by at the speed of light. The team comprised of Anushka Jariwala, Tithi Mange, Krishika Gandhi, Anubhav Khadka, Sunny Mistry and led by Pratik Somaiya. Each one of them put in meticulous efforts to create the eye-catching installation. 


Dhaval Roy, content editor at Toybank beautifully described the installation, “Wheels of life keep turning, no matter how hard we wish against it. Especially for children, it’s no less than a hyperdrive that propels them to adulthood. For a phase already moving at supersonic speed, adding lessons to play makes playtime hurried and childhood move faster. The installation is depictive of setting children free from cyclical activities in lieu of play, letting them measure the vastness of the skies. Happy as a lark, high as a kite.”


Festival attendees writing down their cycle story
The ‘Cycle Story’ attracted a large number of people, inquisitive to understand what it symbolized. Toybank also had solid support from volunteers to represent us at the festival. Dividing themselves into time slots, the volunteers were present to talk about the installation, answer queries, spread awareness about our work and encourage people to donate toys and volunteer with us. Volunteers engaged with the spectators at the festival and asked them to pen down their favourite childhood memory.

In all, the festival was a great platform for Toybank to spread awareness on the importance and value of play and eventually bring back memories of their childhood.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Play2Smile- Toybank in Hospitals and Palliative Care Centres


As an organization that promotes the Right to Play for every child, Toybank firmly believes that collaboration is the key to creating the maximum impact for the children we work with. In the month of February 2016, Toybank launched a new project- Play2Smile. The project is modelled on collaborating with hospitals and palliative care centres to set up Toybank game libraries. The intention of this new project is to provide the power of play to children who are undergoing treatment at these hospitals.


Toybank at Romila Palliative Care Centre
In the month of February 2017, Toybank opened a game library at the Romila Palliative Centre (an organization under SNEHA NGO). The centre, located in Mumbai, aims to address the cares of patients with life limiting and debilitating conditions, primarily those with cancer. The essence of palliative care is to improve the quality of life of patients, not focusing on “the days they have to live, but rather on how they live those days’, comfortably and without pain and to help the care givers and families face, with knowledge and confidence, the problems associated with a life -threatening illness. The Toybank library toys and games are used by the children who visit this centre.


Games at the SRCC Hospital
In March 2017, we set-up another library in collaboration with SRCC Hospital in Mahalaxmi, Mumbai. This children’s specialty hospital provides pediatric medical experience with world class facilities to ensure affordable, quality medical care for infants, children and adolescents. Toybank had the opportunity to partner with the centre and provide the access to games and toys to all the child patients of the hospital. By setting up the library, we aim to help in creating a happy environment where children can immerse in play and enjoy the variety of games and toys stocked at the centre. Through play therapy, we aim to help the children towards better trauma resolution, social integration, growth and development and emotional modulation.

As we collaborate with more hospitals across Mumbai, we aim to make the lives of the children happier, provide them positive experiences and help them in feeling less anxious.


Teaching kids skill, stamina and speed through Ultimate Frisbee


What started off as a brief interaction with Craig at a Toybank board game session, has now been escalated to a full-fledged sports program at Toybank, with Craig volunteering to take complete leadership of this initiative.

Craig Fonseca captains the Storm Chaser Dos, a Mumbai based team that actively plays Ultimate Frisbee or Ultimate, in short. Practicing every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at Juhu beach in Mumbai, Craig has now mastered the sport.

Every Friday, Craig has an Ultimate session with the children of Maulana Abdul Kalam School in Dharavi. With the assistance of Toybank field officers, he teaches the children this fast-paced game, which demands throwing skills, stamina and speed.


On asking Craig to share his experience, here’s what he had to say, “It’s been real fun introducing Ultimate Frisbee to the kids at the Maulana Abul Kalam School in Dharavi.
Right from the first session, the kids were hooked and picked up the skills needed to play the game really quickly. As we conducted more sessions, it was great and fulfilling to see some kids assume leadership roles and help in teaching their friends how to throw the Frisbee.
With Ultimate Frisbee, being a mixed gender sport, it was amazing to see the boys and girls mixing up, coordinating and working as a team a lot more as the sessions went on.

I’m truly grateful to Toybank and the team for the opportunity and support for the sessions.”



It’s volunteers like Craig that are truly inspirational and help Toybank deepen our work with the children. We’re grateful to have such a committed volunteer to spearhead this program for us and show us the true power of volunteering.