CRY – An experience of a lifetime

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“It’s only when you take a step back, ponder over life and get your thoughts together, do you realize that you are truly blessed with a wonderful life.  You realize that you’ve been given everything you could wish for and even though it may not always seem a lot but it’ll always be enough to get you through.

Working at CRY has been an eye opening experience for me. It has made me realize that there are so many children in our country who deserve a better standard of living, who deserve the opportunity to live a better life. And yet, despite their circumstances, however dismal they may seem, these children are better equipped than most of us to find happiness in the little things that life has to offer.

CRY has enabled many such children to be better individuals, to be more capable of grabbing life by the horns. With their enrollment drives, and campaigns, CRY has worked tirelessly for the upliftment of such children. It has always maintained that education is the key change-maker and they’ve used this philosophy to motivate children to work towards their dreams. They’ve always showed me and a lot of other volunteers, the power of unity and how a big change starts with the smallest of efforts.

My experience with CRY, spanning over a month, has been an enlightening journey. A journey where I not only received endless love and support from the staff and fellow volunteers, but also got to hear their stories. These valuable inputs helped me understand the plight of these children, and made me more adept at handling my assigned tasks.

CRY is like an extended family to me. I would definitely want to volunteer with CRY again, not only because they are fighting for a just cause but also because they are a group of amazing people who have the dedication, sincerity, vision and passion to see it through.”

This experience is shared by our beloved intern, Doreen. She is a second year student of B.Com LL.B(H) at Amity University.

In the pictures below, she’s seen having a few light-hearted moments with her fellow interns and volunteers. There’s never a dull moment at CRY 🙂

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CRYDramebaaz Season 2

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We wait for a year for a new season of our favorite shows, even if its just for a few episodes. We all end up biting our nails, counting the days. We all have experienced the thrill and excitement of those epic countdowns, not to mention the heart stopping leaks of Game of Thrones episodes. With the same exuberance and zeal, we launched the second season of CRYDramebaaz, this Saturday.

Dramebaaz is a change machine thought up by Prasanth Nori and Soumya Kavi, who use dramatics to give as many children as possible a platform to express themselves constructively, channelize their talent and creativity. The medium of theatre is used as a means to inculcate essential life skills, thus empowering students to become more confident in being the agents of change.

We are proud to announce the second year of our partnership with Dramebaaz. This event has been one of the most popular amongst children and volunteers have had as much fun organizing it as the children have had performing it.

It seems like yesterday, when we wrote about our last experience filled with fun, fear and at last victory.  Here is what our volunteers in #EASTPAG have to say about their first day of this wonderful journey –

‘After months of running in circles about beginning the sessions for Dramebaaz, a platform that brings children onto the centre stage literally, the first session began with quite a bang on the 23rd of September. Intending it to be an icebreaker session with an underlying motive of gauging the levels of confidence and ability to communicate in the kids, the kids were asked to do anything they would like, be it a random dance, a song, may be enacting a line or two from their favorite movie.’

                                                           – Parikhit, CRY Volunteer, Jeevan Bhima Nagar PAG, also an engineer at Honeywell              

‘At last the day had come for the journey of #CRYDRAMEBAZSEASON2 to begin. It started with a bang full of creativity, enthusiasm & frolic. Children were excited to hear from us about CRYDramebaaz activities and plan for the upcoming sessions. On the onset, the children were divided into groups of 3. Each team performed enthusiastically whether it was an act from their favorite movie, a dance performance or a singing extravaganza.  A student at the school, Sri Hari, in particular, encouraged others to perform while he stood with confidence and delivered dialogues from his favorite movie. We are extremely excited and energized for the sessions to come!’

                                                            -Anisha, CRY Volunteer, Jeevan Bhima Nagar PAG, also an engineering student

With those wonderful words from Parikhit and Anisha, we invite you all to be a part of this year’s season.

Before we go, we’d like to leave you with a few glimpses of the first episode. Stay tuned to this blog for further updates!

 

In case you were still wondering, you won’t be finding any leaks here 😉

All For One, One For All – a community walk, east PAG

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IMG_20170708_121541261.jpgThe thundering sound of drum-beats, children shouting and volunteers screaming all the more flagged off the long-awaited East PAG Community Walk. The morning of July 8, 2017 was no different, monsoon clouds floated across the dull grey Bengaluru sky, denizens woke up to their monotony, party goers slept till late afternoon. Yet, this particular Saturday was different! Excited and enthralled children, purposeful volunteers, sharing, upholding the vision, education for all, marched through the alleys of Nellurupuram, L. B. Shastri Nagar, BEML Layout, off Old Airport Road in namma Bengaluru. Yellow placards in hand, thunder in our voices, attuned to the sound of drum-
beats and guided by the children we began at Nellurupuram Government School marching and screaming and shouting before terminating at the school to loud cheers, strained vocal chords, and a sense of achievement, a beginning.

IMG_20170708_113822938.jpgIt was a week of planning, of debating, of arguing, of gentle bickering to zero in on a day, to gather as many volunteers we could, all terminating on the 8th of July. I was pleasantly surprised and equally ecstatic to see our kids from school taking the lead. They screamed slogans of ‘Beku Beku, Shikshana Beku’, ‘Shaale Kade, Nanna Nade’ and ‘Badi Vaipe, Mana Adugu’ and we followed suit. They guided us through the narrow alleys to the settlements, pointed out to us children who have dropped out from school. We spoke to parents and cajoled them on sending their children to school and also to the children, jotting down their names. Even the children in the march questioned their fellow classmates on dropping out from school. But this does not stop here. A regular follow-up is essential and requires involvement from the school, volunteers and the community.

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I think I speak for everybody when I claim that it was walk led and executed by children. We had no route-map, no expectations, and no concrete plan on executing the community walk if not for the children from school and children who randomly joined us as we paraded through the locality. I remember we chanced upon a kid, not more than 10 years, with his baby sister, who had dropped out from school. Upon prodding the reason for his absence so, we found out that his parents need to work and there is nobody to look after his baby sister. It surprised me that these stories, however cliched it may sound, continue to haunt the lives of children. We did talk to him about the Anganwadi School beside Nellurupuram School where his sister will be looked after when he is at school but we remain uncertain if he will come back to school. This kid is one of the many children who are denied their basic rights. Our efforts may move the mountain of the issues we see by a meager inch, a movement towards the right direction, nonetheless. And then there are stories of children who led the march, who screamed out slogans, honesty in their gait, willingness in their voices and the desire to learn in their hearts. They remind us that together we can change.

This experience is shared by Parikhit from JB Nagar

Little Pocket Shots – Our Dramebaz

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I still remember feeling excited when I got first mail from CRY about Dramebaaz workshop. The amateur theater artist inside me coming out in all forms and shapes possible.

On the day of workshop, struggling with heat and all confused, I reached the venue and felt amazing to meet the fellow cry volunteers. The long day started, we all gelled up well, and ended the day on great note. I could feel the transformation within me – a fool artist converted into an equipped teacher.

I don’t feel bad in admitting that by end of it I was intimidated, not for me but for the kids as they were not yet finalised. I was already apprehensive and was contemplating as to how to compete.  I knew that the TFI kids will get more practice time and better evaluation but still I was full of optimism to teach my kids and make them perform.

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What ever they wrote and gave to me, was a high profile encrypted data until I could find someone who can translate it to English. Ground work started from next week and my first fear started shaping into reality ‘How to get Kids’. According to the plan, the first step was to get script from the Kids only. Few of the most energetic kids completely backed off. After two sessions (i.e two weeks for us), finally I got something in written from kids. Well I didn’t reveal the biggest interval point of our story yet and that is, I am a North Indian with knowledge of only Hindi and English and my kids knew only Telugu. Welcome to our interesting world of purely emotional communication

Before I could start, their vacation started I was yet not successful in getting a script or Kids either. Translators told me that those written materials contain nothing but paragraphs from their books. I was left with no option but to get a script and translate Telugu In Telugu. Second Phase of our journey started, we tried very hard but still we knew that because of vacations and exams of kids, we won’t be able to make it for December. Still their was a group of students who started showing interest. I had two fears at that time

  1. To let my Kids down by not providing them a platform
  2. To send them to that platform even though they are not ready.

Fearing that the second can hurt them for life I choose 1st , but then a miracle happened. I was told about another event happening in Feb. Well I had time, script and Kids, we started preparing finally. But it was hard getting all of them at once. I remember, how until before last day, we never did a full run. How due to personal problems few kids backed off just one week before. And how they were not ready to mug up their dialogues till the last day.

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But I also remember how the same kids who used to make noise started asking their friends to leave and not to disturb. I remember getting angry and going out and the same kids once not ready to do the play, pulling me inside and doing it again. I remember how when one kid backed off, the rest kids searching and getting the replacements. And above all, I remember how we struggled to get kids in starting and how we had extra kids and we added extra characters just not to break their hearts.

I was more nervous than them on the final day. I laugh on myself on remembering how few of them were asking me to calm down as they were going to rock. They went on the stage and due to my lack of knowledge, mics were not according to their placement. They were not audible enough to audience. But I saw the confidence of my kids that day. Even if I was in there place, I would have forgotten half of my dialogues but they were my little knights in shining armour – singing and acting, adding fun elements on the spot. and doing what they were supposed to do ‘having fun’. They taught me a lesson that day

“Be Happy And You Are The Winner. Nothing Else Matter ”

And I want to thank them for that, and also to all the fellow volunteers without whom it was have never been possible.

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One Afternoon With Children

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A few days earlier when “Child Rights And You” organised an one day event where all the members of the group participated for an interaction session with the kids of a government school located at Karyavattom, Trivandrum, it was something which would definitely stay in my mind fresh for a very long time.

I was the only one in the group who exactly wasn’t aware what to do. All others had previously thought of some activities which included a drawing and an interactive session with children .

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We were split into groups of three and sent to various classes ranging from first standard to sixth standard. I was sent to the sixth standard where I met those energetic children who all invited us and very excited to know what he had on board. We gave them some drawing sheets along with some crayons, and told them to let their creativity let loose. Initially they were all very hesitant. But we encouraged some students to sketch about their imaginations and about their thoughts and we were simply surprised by their creativity. I engaged with some of the kids talking about their school and their daily routine. Everyone responded quite good without any hesitation. It was the first time I knew what true happiness is, by making them smile. Their words and actions reminded me of my childhood. Their smile gave me pleasure, their excitement made me happy, and their determination pushed my confidence.

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We ended the session by distributing students some sweets and acknowledging the fact that they were awesome artists. It was fun interacting with the kids and sharing what little we had. It gave me the feeling of achieving something and gave me determination to indulge in such activities in future. I am proud of my team that we successfully completed our first activity that we planned and wish to successfully complete all that we undertake in future.

This experience is shared by K Sai Prashant, CET

A Rewarding Experience

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Ardent desire to comprehend the functioning of a PAG landed me to the entrance of CRY whose PAG was recently started in the capital city of Kerala, Trivandrum by the final year students of CET. Without any procrastination, the Trivandrum PAG commenced to brace the mission of CRY by conducting an interactive session with the tiny tots of the Karyavattom UP school on 27th Feb 2017 from 1:30pm-2:30pm.

We a group of volunteers who encouraged the children to bring out the artists in them. The moment we entered the class, the students welcomed us with a beautiful smiles.The students also showcased their singing & dancing abilities.The imaginative power of the tiny tots were illustrated well in the sheets we had provided.

I still remember a boy who had drafted a plan to seize the thieves through his painting. I have got to learn some of the best lessons from these little minds through this one hour session. The confidence displayed by the tiny tots had in fact turned on the otherwise introverted me for the interactions.I strongly believe that if trained properly these children can prove to be great asset for our country. To be frank, the time one spends with children can assure beautiful memories. I look forward for more such moments which I can treasure forever. As a citizen ,I do have lot of expectations on CRY.I do believe that this particular NGO can bring smile in the face of the not so privileged children since it plays a key role in the setting of guidelines for child rights in our country.I hereby extend my full support as a volunteer & as an individual towards this venture.

Looking forward for a great volunteering experience in CRY.

This is the experience shared by Reshma L.R, CET, with CRY.

Diary of a Momentous Day by “Bonjour Events”.

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In its quest to support and revive the basic rights of the underprivileged children such as protection, development, and nourishment CRY with its volunteers and management is known to conduct many events with an aim to raise awareness and garner respect for their cause.
One such event conducted by the CRY foundation during Diwali led us to a meeting with two of its volunteers, Sumit and Swarchaa, while the duo was seen managing and celebrating the festival of light with the underprivileged children at CRY. The festivity started with the children painting and lighting the Diya. These children displayed immense talent when they made Diwali cards with their parents. Each one outdid the other and they looked immensely happy to be a part of the entire celebration. We particularly want to mention a young girl who taught us how to make a gift box out of paper! Also, there was one kid who apparently was weak in a couple of academic subjects. One of the volunteers made a promise to tutor him during the weekend! It was such a heart renting sight to see the underprivileged ones enjoy so much as they got themselves clicked and burst crackers. We were amazed at the amount of patience the volunteers had to keep as they managed the group of naughty kids who were just being themselves. These volunteers take time out from their extremely busy schedules and serve CRY with all their heart selflessly. We too wanted to get this extremely satisfying feeling of being able to bring a smile to these pretty faces.  Learning about their experiences, we too were excited by the opportunity of making a difference and contributing towards bringing a positive change in the lives of these beautiful little souls.

We decided to go ahead with the same and were lucky to get an appointment with the manager at CRY: Soumya Suresh. We couldn’t have arrived at a better time as volunteers’ day was soon approaching and the CRY management was in search of volunteers who could selflessly support their cause. We decided to take a plunge and partnered with CRY for the catering of food through our event management company “Bonjour Events”.

There is no better sight than to see the young children smile and feel important. It is extremely satisfying if you are the reason behind it. Being a part of the event wherein the management awards those volunteers who take time out from their busy schedules and serve these underprivileged children with all their heart was an experience of its own. There were around 60-70 volunteers from different age groups present and each one made sure not to miss this event even if that meant not going to their regular work or joining it after their working hours! There were a number of games and other events conducted for these volunteers and one could see the selflessness and enthusiasm with which they contributed to the cause of bringing delight and respect into the lives of the innocent children.  We were extremely overwhelmed with the entire experience and want to relive such wonderful moments over and over again. We at “Bonjour Events” look forward to many such opportunities of partnering with CRY in the near future.

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