Author Archives: cryeast
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
On the auspicious occasion of our 68th Republic Day, the Dhakuria Public Action group of Child Rights and You organized their annual event, “THINK FREE” scheduled at Dakshinapan Shopping Complex from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. It is a yearly event, managed by the volunteers, held in Dhakuria which endorses the potential talent of the kids. The kids have been practising for months and their excitement was brimming with enthusiasm. We had volunteers from across the city to conduct this eventful episode of fun and entertainment.
After all the necessary arrangements and setup the event finally took a kick start. Kavitha and Jojo gave a crisp introduction of CRY and narrated the outline of the event which comprised Singing, dancing and dramatics. We had a lovely beginning with the kids singing Bengali song in full rhythm. They all had a fantastic energy. This was followed by a special solo dance performance by Sujata Das who mesmerized us with her spectacular steps. Her mother Shanti Das went emotional after this performance and said “It’s wonderful to see my daughter on stage. I have my blessings with her and hope she always moves forward in her life”. The crowd was equally appreciative of her performance.
Now it was the time for volunteers to strike a few notes. Supratim and Jojo lending their beautiful voices with soulful music. Next was Debjani Di ready with her directorial venture. The story “Magic Ayena” is written on the concept of Magic Mirror, which can show your true self, your inner power of achieving something in life. Because Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen. The kids were looking adorable in their makeup and costume. The play was received very well by the audience where kids’ parents were also present. They all looked proud and happy to see their kids perform. Amongst the audience, we had a visitor from London named Haity and she was really impressed by the art and craft display by the kids, which was also put on exhibition.
We had some of our volunteers going down the memory lane and sharing some of their childhood experiences, hoping to have a positive influence on the kids. It was time for one more singing performance both by volunteers and kids. The kids commemorated our Republic day with a wonderful song “Mera Mulk Mera Desh Mera Ye Watan”.One of our PAG kids, Amit gave an amazing speech about Republic Day & CRY in his mother tongue. We also had Ankit Gupta, another PAG kid, giving a warm speech that CRY has shown him the path to progress and he also aspires to run an NGO one day to help the underprivileged kids.
Finally we our last performance of the evening with the volunteers singing a beautiful melody together and kids performing a dance on the song-“Maa Tujhe Salaam”. Arpita, one of our volunteers, had her parents there who said “We appreciate the efforts taken by CRY for this noble cause. Great to see that they provide such a platform to these wonderful kids. We hope that more people will come forward to support this movement and give our children a better future”.
Mr and Mrs Sinha, Proprietors of “Glass House” (Event Sponsors) were thanked for their amazing support and encouragement. Mrs Sinha said, “I feel proud to be associated with CRY. I appreciate the volunteers for the work they are doing as it motivates the kids to harness their hidden potential”.
Anindita Ma’am from CRY felicitated the guests and thanked them for their support. Mr Sinha awarded the certificates to all the participants and praised them for their contribution. Food packets and chocolates were distributed to the kids which again brought a smile on their face. Inspired by our efforts, a lady from the audience, announced to gift ice creams to all the kids. Such a sweet gesture from her! Finally we wrapped up this memorable event with our National Anthem as it was apt to celebrate the momentous occasion. We will continue our pledge and support to these kids and come up with such amazing events in future also.
Media Advocacy Volunteer
Child Rights & You
A successful Workshop cum Awareness program on Child Sexual Abuse was conducted by the Volunteers of IIT Kgp at Arasini and Amlatoria primary School. There was an overwhelming response from both the teachers and students. Two sessions of 35 to 40 minutes each approx. was taken where the students along with the teachers participated. The first session was for students of class 3rd & 4th and the second session for class 1st & 2nd . Few students in the second session were also from nursery classes . In both the sessions teachers participated and supported actively, they were also recording the sessions on their mobile phone for future reference.
It was an interactive session in an edutainment environment. An animated story based video (10 minutes) was screened on child sexual abuse and it’s message was conveyed to children up to their understanding. We make them understand the meaning of Safe and Unsafe touch and how to protect themselves form an unsafe touch. We told them that there are 4 Danger areas in our body where we should not allow any one to touch other than our parents when required (bathing) and we should also not touch others. We taught them that, if they happen to fall in any kind of unsafe situation they should shout No and run to a safer place towards their parents or teachers and tell them everything without any fear or shame. They could also draw to convey the things if they face any difficulty in communication. There should be no secret among them and their parents. Whenever, wherever and with whomsoever they go, they should take permission from their parents to ensure their safety.
We tried to convince the children that we (elders, parents, and teachers) always trust them and they should never hide any such things for their own safety and well-being.
Finally, teachers appreciated our efforts and we got a positive and encouraging feedback. Head madam told that last week they got a letter from higher authorities where it was mentioned that teachers should speak about this matter with the students, but they were clueless on how to deal with such delicate issue and now as we have put the matter in a proper way they have also got an idea on how to speak about it. Teachers also agreed that they can arrange a meeting with the parents to make them aware the same.
( Volunteer at IIT KGP CRY Chapter )