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Random acts of kindness

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Equitable outcomes Make A Difference, an organization based out of Bengaluru, provides emotional and educational support to vulnerable children with the help of young adult volunteers, writes Bharathi Prabhu.​ 

http://www.deccanheraldepaper.com/

 One could use Michelle Obama's testimony to introduce the organization, Make A Difference (MAD): "Make A Difference is an amazing programme designed and run by young adults who recruit other young people, outstanding college students like themselves, to mentor and teach children who haven't had the same chances in life as many of the mentors have had." The former First Lady of the United States said this in 2010 when the organization was just four years old. Today, the organization is spread across 23 cities across India, has 4,250 volunteers and caters to nearly 3,460 children.

Empowering children

In Bengaluru, which is also its headquarters, MAD operates in six centres including Bosco Vatsalya Bhavan, Angels orphanage and Ashadeep girls' home. MAD believes in equitable outcomes for vulnerable children. Sabrina Tauro, city team lead for MAD, Bengaluru, elaborates, "An average child has two adults to support her whereas even in well-run orphanages and shelters, 40 children have to share three caregivers. So, while their physical needs may be met, these kids are vulnerable as they lack emotional and educational support and are hindered by a lack of exposure to the outside world. We wish to achieve egalitarian outcomes where the children can grow and flourish in a safe environment, have access to quality education, have the ability to earn and save money and protect themselves from exploitation."

More than just volunteering

Anjana, like many others, became aware of MAD through social media and applied to be a volunteer. She says she was impressed by MAD's rigorous and professional recruitment procedure. "At MAD, we are part of a family and part of a bigger cause. Seeing young people spending their weekends with the children or doing some other organizational tasks while they could be partying is refreshing," she says. But are the college kids doing this because volunteering looks good on their applications to foreign universities? "Not all volunteers are from privileged backgrounds. Even if career advantage is the initial draw for a few youngsters, soon they get immersed in the movement," states Anjana.

 

 

posted May 30, 2017 by Krinz Kiran

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+1 vote

 

Sadanand Nayak, Principal District and Sessions Judge, inaugurating an awareness jatha in Yadgir on Thursday.

Sadanand S. Nayak, Principal District and Sessions Judge, said on Thursday that it was every citizen’s duty to prevent child marriage. He asked law enforcement agencies to ensure action is taken against those responsible for child marriages.

Jatha taken out against child marriage

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/educate-children-and-make-them-pillars-of-society-says-judge/article19079124.ece

He was addressing a gathering after inaugurating an awareness jatha titled ‘Prevention of Child Marriage and Shale Kade Nanna Nade’, jointly organised by the district administration, the zilla panchayat, the District Legal Services Authority, the District Bar Association and others.

Urging parents not to marry off their minor children, Mr. Nayak said that performing a child marriage was an offence under the law. “Educate your children, make them pillars of the society,” he said.

Deputy Commissioner Khushboo Goel Chowdhary and zilla panchayat CEO Avinash Menon Rajendran released booklets and pamphlets on the theme. Sharanappa Patil, deputy director of the Department of Women and Child Development, were present.

 

+1 vote

Photo credit   V. Srinivas Murthy, The Hindu.com

From a foundation in memory of a friend to a library on the move, young professionals in the city are taking books to those who need them the most

Sarumthy K.

Children at Twinkle Library, which was inaugurated this month, at Cheshire Home on Old Airport Road                  

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/they-are-on-a-mission-to-spread-wide-the-joy-of-reading/article19078809.ece

Children living in the neighbourhood of a primary school and crèche run by city-based trust Sewac-B in Guddadahalli, Hebbal, were pleasantly surprised a year ago when stacks of books were delivered to their premises.

It heralded the birth of a library— a gift by four friends.

Under the banner Nirupa Reading Foundation, city-based Rajni Singh and her friends — Vikram Sridhar, Sindhu Naik, and Kapil Vardhan — started setting up libraries in children’s homes, schools, and old age homes across the city. The initiative began last year, and to date, they have set up three libraries—two in Bengaluru and one in Gurugram (Haryana).

Their plan is to spread the habit of reading in cities across India.

Apart from the crèche, the second library in Bengaluru — christened Twinkle Library — was inaugurated this month at Cheshire Home on Old Airport Road.

Nirupa Reading Foundation, which was registered as a trust in March this year, was started in memory of their friend Nirupa, who died after battling cancer at the age of 36. Nirupa, Ms. Singh, and Ms. Naik met when they were part of Runner Girls India, an all-women runners group in Bengaluru, in 2007

“I introduced Nirupa to Vikram and Kapil and we used to travel together extensively. We were almost like a family,” Ms. Singh says. “Nirupa was very fond of reading. We wanted to keep her memory alive in a constructive way, and that is how the foundation came about. We want to give the gift of reading to underprivileged children and adults through the trust,” Ms. Singh, a 41-year-old software engineer, adds.

The Hebbal library is operated by the crèche staff five days a week for two hours in the evening. The children were asked to come up with a name for the library and it was christened “Happy library”. The library has 500 books, of which 120 are in Kannada and the remaining in English.

“Nirupa Reading Foundation contacted us and set up a well-structured library. Now, at least 20 children visit the library every day from the neighbourhood. We also have a librarian to assist the children,” Shalini Joshi, secretary, Sewac-B, says.

At Cheshire Home, which provides care, treatment, and education support to about 45 physically challenged and visually impaired children, 300 children’s books have already been stacked in a cupboard. Most of the books are pre-owned and donated. “The new books are funded by our friends and relatives. We have not gone for corporate funding as of now,” Ms. Singh adds.

The librarians at the two facilities have been trained and all books are colour coded to match with the children’s reading levels. “We have followed the Hippocampus Reading Foundation’s Grow by Reading Model so that children read books appropriate for their age and reading capacity,” she concludes.

 

 

+2 votes

 

Photo credit - google.co.in

Shankar and Seema were working as child labourers to support their families but today they feel empowered as they work for the cause of deprived children.

Ranjith Kandya, Mysuru, DH News Service

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/617036/robbed-childhood-their-labour-love.html

The two, both aged 17, are members of ‘It’s Time to Talk - Children’s Views on Children’s Work’. As members of the campaign they visit various places across the country including New Delhi to create awareness about child labour and other issues pertaining to children. The campaign has members from 37 countries and aims to support the voice of working children from different contexts and facilitate it to be heard and considered in local, national and global meetings on child labour.

Sabeena says every child has a dream and having been a child labour herself, she is aware of the plight of such children. “Being a victim of child labour myself, it’s my duty to create awareness about the ill-effects of child labour. Education is the key to eradicate the social evil and governments should provide free and compulsory education till students complete II PUC,” she says.

While Sabeena was working in an incense manufacturing unit in Mysuru, Shankar was a flower vendor. Sabeena discontinued school when she was pursuing class V to support her family. Similarly, Shankar had to give up studies after his parents died.

Thanks to the city-based Rural Literacy and Health Programme (RLHP), an organisation working for deprived children, the two got a chance to become a part of mainstream society.

Shankar and Sabeena Banu, who were once school dropouts and child labourers, are now members of ‘It’s Time to Talk’, an international agency which campaigns against child labour.

Sabeena says that when she was working in the incense unit, a few volunteers of the RLHP noticed her and made all necessary arrangements to continue her education. “My mother was the breadwinner for the family. When I was in Class V, we faced severe hardships and thus I started working. I had to then give up my dreams of getting an education,” she says. Sabeena has now completed first PUC and has also completed basic courses in spoken English and computers.

Shankar says that members of the RLHP contacted him and took him along with them during one of their field visits. “I was admitted to Asha Kiran, a shelter house for boys, and I started going to school. I completed SSLC and applied for ITI,” he said. Shankar is also trained in organic farming and is well aware of farming methods.

 

+1 vote

Dayashankar Mishra

Every parent wants their child to do well in life and wants them to get good marks in their exams.                         However, the fiercely competitive world certainly doesn't make things easier. But do marks or a percentage hold a higher priority than your own child? Every year when school board results are declared, it brings with it a wave of depression and a number of suicides among students.

http://zeenews.india.com/blogs/dont-let-the-dark-side-of-exams-cast-a-shadow-on-your-childs-happiness-parental-support-goes-a-long-way-2010215.html

Who is to blame? Is parental pressure to do 'better than your siblings/cousins/friends/neighbours' worth more than your child's happiness and mental wellbeing? Parents sometimes forget that children are a part of them. So what if they didn't score as per your expectations? Should their percentage become a measuring unit for your love for them?

At that point, your love and support is the only thing a child requires - a promise that you're with them at every step of their life, to pick them up when they fall. Because there is no shame in falling down, but there is pride in getting back up. Don't let a mere marksheet make or break the bond of love and compassion you hold for your child. Let them make mistakes, they are, after all, human too.

Salutations to those parents who find a way to celebrate with their children regardless of how they scored in their exams. You might not know it right now, but your unconditional support will definitely help your child later in life and you will see it when they live their life with their heads held high.

Show them love, give them hope, be their pillar of strength like you should, because a small speed-bump should never decide the journey of their life.

+1 vote

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