New Delhi - January - March 1996
EXPRESS JOINS HANDS TO BRING WARMTH FOR HOMELESS
In the cuel months of November and December, when chilly winds turn nights into nighmares for the homeless, the Indian Express newspaper group came forward to b ring some hope and warmth in their lives. The group sponsored 22 advertisements, which were published in the Indian Express, Jansatta, The Financial Express and the Young Expressions, requesting people to donate woolen garments for those who do not have proper shelter to sleep under. The donors were asked to send all the woolen garments to Deepalaya for distribution among the poor inhabitants
Donations reaching Deepalaya indicate towards an overwhelming response to the well written and beautifully presented advertisements. Donors have not only sent old garments but also new sweaters, sweat shirts and even blankets. A large number of them have already been distributed by Deepalaya in slum clusters in Shalimar Bagh and near Rachna Cinema. Who says the Indian Express only gathers news it also makes news!
GIFT OF GARMENTS FOR SOME AND A CAKE FOR OTHERS
The second week of December '95 was a fortnight of a pleasant surprise for children studying in Deepalaya School in Okhla Phase-I, Phase-II, as they received a big cake as a gift from someone who prefers not to reveal his identify. It happened on December 15 and as the news of this delicious gift spread there was joy all around. The students and staff of Deepalaya school wish to convey their gratitude for this affectionate gesture to the anonymous well wisher.
DEEPALAYA CHILDREN ON A TRIP TOWARDS THE SKY
For the twenty children of Deepalaya school it was something straight out of a fairly-tale. The children, all in the 5-10 years age group, were given a free joy-ride by the East West Airlines on December 25, 1995. For almost all the members of this gbroup it was easily the most thrilling experience of their life so far. "I always wondered what a plane looks like from inside and how the world appears on board a plane" said the shy little Neeraj Bala, a student of class three. "It was veyr very thrilling. Something I had never imagined even in my wildest dreams", was how Vijay would like to put it. The Chrity flight was organised to celebrate Christmas ans to mark the 44th birth anniversary of the Late Managing Director of East West Airlines. They invited 102 handicapped and underprivileged children from the SOS Children's Village of India, Sulabh International Social Service Organisation and Deepalaya School for the joy ride. The Boeing took off from the Palam airport and was in the air for forty minutes. It was decorated with the traditional Christmas tree and amidst cheers Santa Claus distributed various gifts to the passengers. "They gave us sweets, clothes, bag and toys said Sunita Kumari, a student of clas IVth of Deepalaya School. On being asked about how she felt on board the plane another girl said, "I was a little scared in the beginning but soon that feeling gave way to great thrill and joy. We were flying at a altitude of 29,000 ft," she added. She claimed to have had a glimpse of the Taj while flying over Agra.
TEAM OF AUSTRALIAN UNIVERSITY STUDENTS AT DEEPALAYA:
An Australian team f students form Sydney University recently visited the Deepalaya School for a week long exposure. This programme was organised under the University Exchange Exposure Programme co-ordinated by G.Margriet Krijtenburg, who is working in Delhi through of forum promoting inter university exchange programmes. This programme was a holistic one which inter alia focussed on varius other activities like painting, dance, music, methods of income generation, health, nutrition, etc. The team consisted of 14 students from diverse disciplines such as, fine arts, medicine, management and economics. The team leader was Rocio Cuesta, who is originally from Spain but now resides in Australia. "It's a multi-faceted mission" said Clare, a fine arts student at Sydney University". Sanitation cannot be divorced from the entire socio-cultural and economic matrix of the people," she added. "That is exactly why we are pretty much careful about all the aspects".
Leonara, an MBBS student of Melbourne University was giving a medical check-up to the students of Deepalaya School as well as the residents of neighbouring slum. "We have opened medical clinics in the slums where we not only provide free medical facilities but also enlighten the inhabitants about how best to take care of their bygiene and nutrition" she said. Besides, they were also providing free mediciens they received in donation.
Students from Deepalaya school were delighted with the kind of treatment they were receiving from this team. Said Manoj of clas 6th who is also a resident of the neighbouring area, "We were taken on a cleanliness drive by the members of this team in the nearby slum where we dug channels, filled up the lowlands and laid soil and bricks on the water-filled, filthy roads. We also receive dlessons in song and dance physical training scientific experiments, etc. Awards are given to the best performers by the team".
DEEPALAYA CHILDREN PRESENTED A CULTURAL PROGRAMME
At India International Centre, on January 13, 1996, during the 4th World Environment Congress. The programme presented by the Deepalaya children gave glimpses into the rich and varied culture of all the states of India. The dances of India were followed by a Bharatanatyam recital by Mamta, a promising artist from Deepalaya, a few songs and a play about the importance of pollution free environment.
LITERACY RALLY AT HYDERPUR PHASE IN PROJECT
The project neighbourhood was scene of colourful placards, excitement and curiosity. Enthusiastic participants in the recently held rally gave a few tips about how to become literate and its advantages to the residnts of the project area as well as of the neighbouring areas. There were a large number of childen besides grown up persons and volunteers of Deepalaya among those who tried to spread the message of literacy.
VIDYA MAHILA MANDAL FORMED AT SHALIMAR BAGH PROJECT
This cultural group formed by the women residents of Deepalaya Phase in Project meets every Tuesday. Its objective is to promote general awareness and cultural activities. This project locality has witnessed many other initiatives at the community level like educatgional tour for the children, training workshop for literacy campaign volunteers, training workshop for social entrepreneurs etc.
DEEPALAYA'S IMPRESSIVE PRESENCE IN ART COMPETITION
More than 400 children from Deepalaya Phase-In Project, Hyderpur took part in a recently held painting contest organised by Bal Bhawan Society, Kotla, New Delhi. For their entry the Participants had an option to choose from two topics related to environment. The topics were Children and Environment and Environment and Development.
FIVE SOUTH DELHI BASED PROJECTS IN AN EXHIBITION
The exhibition called the Dastkar Hat was organised by Plan International from October-6, 1995, to October 16, 1995. The items on display from Deepalaya included file folders, glass covers, purses, suits, handkerchiefs, paintings, woolen goods etc.
GET TOGETHER ORGANISED BY BAL MANDAL AT GOLE KUAN
Children from Kalka Public School and Gole Kuan Project run by Deepalaya once again came together on December 1, 1995. These were the children who had practised togehter for staging Abhinaya '95. The objective behind this get-together, sponsored by the Bal Mandal of Gole Kuan project, was to build a continued relationship between children from the slums and the public schools. Maj.Gen.Dinesh Chandra, Advisor to Deepalaya spoke to the children and other guests about Deepalaya and its role.
Pavan, who is the secretary of Bal Mandal and performed the role of a factory owner in the play 'Ab Kya Hoga', said eh has made a friend from Kalka Public School, named Ashish, who studies in VIII standard.
Ashish from Kalka Public School was confused and slighly apprehensive about the reactions of the childrn from slums. When he was asked about what he likes most in these children, he said "their inquisitive and creative mind". Girish, a student of class VIII from Kalka Public School felt these children, who confronted hardships everyday in their lives, are exceptionally talented when it comes to acting. Girish would like to help some of his friends from slums in their studies.
THE DEEPALAYA STORY BEGAN IN 1978 WHEN SEVEN
Socially conscious citizens came together to establish this society. They pooled Rs.2,500/0 each and began a preparatory school for childrn from slums in Chittaranjan Park with five students and two staff members. Today, Deepalaya is one of the largest NGOs registered under the Societies Registration Act. Working at 34 sljm clsuters in different parts of Delhi, Deepalaya takes care of more than 15,000 children who are either educated in the Deepalaya run school or get its support in various forms. Deepalaya's dedicated work spanning over 16 years has received widespread appreciation and all doantions to Deepalaya get Income Tax Exemption under 80G. There is 100% exemption on donations under IT Section 35AC. for specific projects from corporate bodies and htose who ahve professional income.
In all activities of Deepalaya the principal focus is on the child. But a child's development could not be viewed in isolation, removed from hsi day-to-day realities and living conditions. It was felt that merely providing education to the child would not ensure hsi proper develpment unless the ambience around him was also improved.
So, from 1986, began an expansion in its area of activities. Through child centered education and development programmes, family welfare and community welfare activities were carried out. The society now not only runs schools for children living in slums, but also provides health services imparts adult education and helps slum dwellers to become self-reliant.
Besides inserting advertisements in souvenirs brought out ot mark special occasions and sponsoring different pages of htis enwsletter you can also given donations, sponsor children on an annual basis or become a perpetual sponsor. You can persuade your colleagues, friends and relatives to join in
HE IS A BUDDING POET, A DIE HARD FITNESS FREAK
and of course, a brilliant student. He is Alpesh Kumark, a twelve year old boy studying in the seventh class of Deepalaya English medium school.
Besides his attractive features what is the most remarkable in him is his awareness of important contemporary issues and his deep insight about them. "He has got a highly sensitive and analytical ind", say his teachers and that explains why Alpesh bagged the prestigious Nehru Rashtriya Kavita Award for his poem titled "Maa", a beautiful piece about mother earth. He has also received the Balkanji Bari Award for one of his other poems. All this does'nt make Alpesh a soft person. In fact, he is a Karate freak and trains himself every day with the dreams of taking on the real life villans like eveteasers, black marketers and other anti-social elements. "I will continue my martial arts training till I attain perfection", says Alpesh with a glint in his eyes.
But fate has been rather cruel to the family of Alpesh, his father Mr.Ram Ratan Singh is an ex-service man who has suffered many set backs in life-including physical idability. The most recent tragedy that struck the family was the death of his elder sister. But the unfortunate father knows, inspite of everything, life must go on and it goes on. The dream of educatingAlpesh helped him to pull himself together. He thanks Deepalaya for being with him and his family.
Alpesh is an extremely bright boy, capable of making it to any standard public school of Delhi. "I am prepared to face all the ups and downs in life", says Alpesh. He aspires to "touch the sky", which implies that he wants to become a pilot.