Author Archives: cryeast
SAMSA organized ‘Udaan’: a health camp for the deprived kids in a slum near Rajabazaar and Ballygunge area, Kolkata in association with Child Rights and You. 200 children from the surrounding slum areas attended the camp. SAMSA volunteers did a basic health checkup including visual and hearing tests followed by anthropometry and counseling regarding hygiene, diet and prevention of some common diseases. Interns attended to their specific health ailments. The follow up of those needing further interventions will also be done by the CRY volunteers and the doctors from SAMSA.
I am T.A.Nagalakshmi doing Political Science Honours (1st year) under the Department of International Relations in Jadavpur University. My journey with CRY started when I completed my class 12 exams this year. While I was looking for some kind of part time job, I got the opportunity to do internship in CRY. I did surveys regarding child labour, took exams of children in Dhakuria PAG, and was part of the Aashayein event. Those experiences were so pleasant that I didn’t want to leave working with this organization and those lovely kids.
That’s when I decided to do volunteering. I started volunteering in Kalighat-Chetla PAG from the month of June. Being almost the younger member of the core group was something very special and I realized the trust that Anindita Ma’am had on me. Even though not a professional teacher, I started to provide the children with that knowledge that I had received. The number of children at the beginning was around 10. Going to the PAG on Sunday morning 9:45, children coming to learn, leaving the PAG at 12- this became a part of my weekly routine.
Even though I was committed to other priorities too, I did not want to miss that one class in which I got a chance to see so many children together. Each and every child had a talent, one could sing, the other could dance, while some could paint so beautifully that I myself got inspired from them. There have been days when I had thought that even I had got an opportunity to learn several things but why did I waste them. These children could not afford paying in other activities but they had such immense talent within them. That day, I got to learn a lesson from them that every chance should be utilised to its fullest because every chance is a golden opportunity.
The journey with CRY has been quite good that it cannot be described in just few words. From being a teacher to a good friend, CRY and those children are an important part of my life. Their smile is something valuable that easily brings happiness to others life. There have been several inspiring and beautiful moments of which I would like to share2 of them. There is a boy named Manab who is 6 years old. Every week he turn up to the session with punctuality only to learn ‘A B C D….’ .I have always admired his sincerity. These children always look up for something that they can learn and enrich themselves in that field. One of those kids is Sushobon who draws so beautiful. It’s hard to believe but yes, he doesn’t goes to a drawing class and it’s purely his natural talent.
Volunteer- Kalighat Public Action Group.
We, the volunteers at CRY Howrah had the pleasure to interact with Ravi, a little soccer genius and the lead of the local “Howrah Band”. Ravi could make music with just the help of used bottles and sticks, which made him pretty popular in his locality. But for his entire musical prowess, Ravi had problems in speaking properly. So, we tried interacting with him, in an effort to see what exactly was ailing little Ravi. Initially he was hesitant to attend sessions at CRY Howrah. However, after repeated persuasion, Ravi started to attend the sessions where we discovered his insecurities and problem that Ravi was unable to hear properly, at least for the last 6 to 7 years, and that in turn affected his power of speech.
So, we decided to consult many hospitals and find out what medical examinations were required to help diagnose Ravi’s condition. After the checkups, it was concluded that Ravi would be fine with the help of hearing aids. Since hearing aids were beyond the means of the family, we started corresponding with the National Institute of Hearing Handicapped (NIHH). We made several visits in alternate groups and each time we felt that we are close to get the hearing aid but each time we returned disappointed. There were even times when his parents could not accompany us but we were determined to get the hearing aid for the child who creates magical music with the waste drums.
After one and a half year of struggle we finally were able to get a handicapped certificate issued for Ravi with other necessary documents, Mr. Vajpayee of NIHH helped in providing Ravi with his new set of hearing aids.
All of us were really happy when Ravi finally got his hearing aids. Hopefully, the lead of “Howrah Band” can sing along to the tune of his bottles and sticks.
“Ravi’s life instils my belief in the fact- Smile, because you are designed to and the WORLD waits for you!!”
Gunjan Agarwal, a proud volunteer from CRY Howrah.
On the eve of World Day against Child Labour, CRY celebrated its 3rd edition of Aashayein, the day long fun filled event for children, in association with Indian Museum, at Ashutosh Birth Centenary Hall, this Sunday.
‘Aashayein’ was all about activities and workshop on self-defence, life skills, museum tours and performances by the children from the action areas taken care of by the CRY volunteers. More than 80 children and 120 Volunteers and CRY officials turned up for this daylong event, this year.
Self- defense workshop kick started with black belt trainers Ankush, Abha and Nishant who conducted taekwondo training. They were eager to interact with the kids and appreciated their love for learning.
This was followed by a session on life skill conducted by psychologist Ruchi Bakhai from Edupsych. She conducted an engaging and interactive session raising the spirits of the children with fun activities like drawing, singing where the children showcased their talent and appreciated each other with joyous claps and smiles.
Up next, was the inauguration of the initiative against Child Labour, by eminent guests, Prosenjit Chatterjee and Parno Mitra. The day concluded with cultural performances from kids belonging to the Volunteer Intervention action areas. Kids from Dhakuria performed a dance on Rabindra Sangeet – Alo Amar Alo, kids from Rajabazar performed an act raising awareness on child labour, kids from Howrah surprised us with synchronized drum and song performances, wherein the instruments were made by the kids themselves, from material readily available to them. This was followed by poetry recitation & song performances by kids from Dhapa.
Eminent actors, Prosenjit Chatterjee and Parno Mitra, graced the event with their presence, and spent quality time appreciating the performances of the children.
A month long awareness campaign on Child Labour, to be driven by Kolkata police, was launched by Mohua Chatterjee, Head of Programmes at CRY, East region, which comes as a part of CRY’s campaign in Delhi and Mumbai.
She motivated all to take a pledge to eradicate child labour and allow the latent individual qualities each child has, and thanked Kolkata Police for their support for the initiative
Regarding this, Parno mentioned, “We often say that children are the future of our nation, however, it breaks my heart to read about issues related to child labour everyday in newspapers. I really appreciate CRYs effort to bring a positive change in the same“. Prosenjit too, thanked CRY for taking up such an initiative, and said, “My appeal to all is to come together and ensure that all children get equal opportunity to live, learn, grow and play, and not to be within the confines of child labour. On behalf of the entire Bengali film industry, I am mentioning, that we would be happy to be part of such initiatives from CRY, in future.”
Special Thanks to Cabcon India Pvt Ltd and Denzong Kitchen for extending their support in sponsoring to make this a memorable one.
Awareness cum Workshop on Child Sexual Abuse
Innocence is beautiful; it is sometimes vulnerable like a small new bloom. It is indeed disgraceful and inhuman when this innocence is vandalized. Children personify beautiful hearts which have known nothing but love and liveliness, their giggles which resonates their free spirits and their endless laughter which can make one let go of their worries. They are a treasure and they should only be handled with tenderness and endearment. It is indeed disheartening that some fail to understand the same and they have no hesitation in harming such happy souls. In a world which encompasses a lot of danger, we aim towards cocooning them into a shell which is safe and invulnerable. All we want for them is to breathe in a safe world, a world where they believe in themselves and they believe in the power within. To enlighten them about one certain societal sin CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE (CSA), we conducted numerous workshops under the “Project Baalrakshak”. Not only to make them aware of the same, but to help them fight it, to bring them to talk about it to their close ones and to ultimately make them understand that it was NO fault of theirs if they had faced something of that sort. The workshop was carried out among students of different age groups. Recently kids from Class V to Class VIII were addressed in different batches at a school name “Hiradi Kesiasole M.S.K” which is situated in Hiradi, Paschim Mednipur; an upper primary school located about 4 kms from IIT Kharagpur campus. CSA is a sensitive issue to deal with and talk about. To make kids understand about what CSA actually embodies is difficult, but Rajarshi Debnath, our energetic volunteer, reached out to the kids very delicately. Not only did he make the kids comfortable by his humorous tactics but also drew their attention towards what he was going to address next. It was really warming to see how he started talking about simple words like “Danger” and “Safe” and how Child Rights and You (CRY) IIT Kharagpur Volunteer Chapter blended those with the different lights of Traffic Signals. Subtlety being of prime importance, he gave examples of the fictitious superheroes of the world and how they save us from villains. He made them agree to the fact that parents and teachers are no less than superheroes (superman/superwoman) in our lives and how we should approach them without any hesitation in case of denial or discomfort.One story led to the other and then the National Award winning short film “Komal” by a NGO name Childline on CSA was screened. The kids seemed perplexed, shocked and offended as they watched Komal weep as she was victimised. Strange, they must have thought, the world is so unfair, cruel and heartless. When Rajarshi asked them what they comprehended, they were hesitating to speak up. More than hesitation, it was disbelief! Rajarshi gradually spoke about the four danger zones of the body with utmost gentleness. He made it very clear to them that None is allowed to touch those four danger zones (except parents and doctors, if required) neither should they touch anyone else’s. He made them shout “NO” and throw their hands forward in objection. He told them to shout, push and run to their superheroes if any situation of that sort ever arises. When the session got over, the kids were excited to go back home as it was already dismissal time. Some of them in their playfulness couldn’t wait to race their bicycles back home, forgetting the grave expressions of Komal which had disturbed them a while back. Even though the bicycle race became the most important task of their life right then, I knew those saturnine small eyes had a million questions, they did not completely understand why it happened, but they knew it was wrong, very wrong.53% of children are sexually abused in India in some form or the other every year. It is atrocious and it has to STOP. Under this project till date 6 sessions are being conducted in 3 schools were children from nursery to class VIII participated, also 2 sessions were conducted with the parents of those children. Even if we are able to save 1% of those children, we shall feel less sinful if not liberated. As Swindoll once said, “Each day of our life we make deposits in the memory banks of our children”. Team Baalrakshak will thrive to embellish lives’ of children and we shall not stop till we have the richest banks. After all, it is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men!
Child Rights and You (CRY) IIT Kharagpur Volunteer Chapter
Volunteer, CRY IIT KGP Chapter