Vol. 2 November 2012 Work became effortless from then on. With a strong base in SSRVM, I conducted sessions with the Page 2: students inside the school and the parents outside the school. These Mass Meditation Rajat Bharadwaj is a PhD student from the Delft University, sessions were spread over one week and followed by the analysis of the data Nederland. He spent a week with the children at SSRVM, collected. The analysis of the Dharavi. He shares his experiences at the school . questionnaire showed a majority consensus regarding the scarcity of water and the requirement for more and better quality water. The analysis further showed a majority acceptance of using rainwater as drinking sources after purification. Furthermore, I also was able to make a small laboratory atPage 3: the school to demonstrate and involve students about practical testing of“I CAN READ ENGLISH” water quality. And this was one of the most exciting part of my whole says A kid from the endeavor. I realized how difficult it is tolargest Slum! be a teacher to such free spiritedThe Principal speaks students. For most of the students, this was a new experience. However, there was hardly any sign of nervousness in the understanding practical science. In Rajat Showing the kids an experiment about usage of rainwater fact, it was a challenge for me to handle such an energetic and curious group. I As a part or my project on In my first action, I wanted to know the current situation of wish that every student can be as PhD research on drinking water curious and expressive as the ones at water in Dharavi. I wanted to purification, I wanted to test the SSRVM. know the quantitative need for feasibility of rainwater On my fifth day, while I was working in water, its quality and its social harvesting and purification in the staffroom, I noticed something and economic impact on the Dharavi, Mumbai. And which completely surprised me. lives of people. Secondly, I feasibility not only on technical Teachers, in their free time were not wanted to know if the people level but more importantly on coming in the staff room but tutoring Page 7: social and economic levels. For would accept rainwater as a drinking water source (after students one to one in a separate room. those of you, who haven’t heard This tutoring was not only for students Peace Walk for about Dharavi ; I would purification). And finally, I which were lagging behind but also for wanted to know if they would “ A CLEAN DHARAVI ” recommend a visit. It would like such a system installed in students who wanted to learn more. I surprise you. Many times. was surprised to see this “special” effort by school children My journey to Dharavi received their vicinity. However, this initial plan went much beyond put in by the teachers. This was one of a great boost from the support the most caring efforts I have ever seen these expectations after my first of the school Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in a school. And it reflects with each and visit to SSRVM. Vidya Mandir(SSRVM), Dharavi. every staff and student of the school. One of the remarkable things I It was an absolute blessing. It Overall, I am very thankful for the experienced when I walked into gave me an opportunity to support given by SSRVM . The school is the entrance of SSRVM, connect to the most unique an example to the world on how to give Dharavi is that it embraces you opinion. The opinion of the an all-inclusive education in places like from all sides. After my first young students. Honest and Dharavi. Its embracing culture should be talk, I received immense unadulterated. Through the replicated to all the schools for creating support from all the teachers of students, a connection to their free spirited students for a free spirited the school. And very soon I parents. And to know if the future. I wish great luck to SSRVM for a realized that the embracement parents differ from their less bright and expanding future. does not only lie in the physical informed off-springs. With structure but is deep rooted in these thoughts in my mind, I With love, the DNA of the school. In its made an initial plan of action for Rajat Bharadwaj people, its structure and its my stay at Dharavi. working.
Vol. 2 November 2012 1.5 lakh Argentines meditate for World Peace man who made a forestMore than 30 years ago, a teenager named Jadav "Molai" Payeng beganplanting seeds along a barren sandbar near his birthplace in Indias Assam region,the Asian Age reports. It was 1979 and floods had washed a great number ofsnakes onto the sandbar. When Payeng, then only 16,found them, they had alldied."The snakes died in the heat, without any tree cover. I sat down and wept overtheir lifeless forms," Payeng told the Times Of India."It was carnage. I alerted the forest department and asked them if they couldgrow trees there. They said nothing would grow there. Instead, they asked me totry growing bamboo. It was painful, but I did it. There was nobody to help me,"he told the newspaper.Now that once-barren sandbar is a sprawling 1,360 acre forest, home to severalthousands of varieties of trees and an astounding diversity of wildlife -- including Today, Payeng still lives in the forest. He shares a small hut with his wife andbirds, deer, apes, rhino, elephants and even tigers. three children and makes a living selling cow and buffalo milk. According toThe forest, aptly called the "Molai woods" after its creators nickname, was the Assistant Conservator of Forests, Gunin Saikia, it is perhaps the world’ssingle-handedly planted and cultivated by one man -- Payeng, who is now 47. biggest forest in the middle of a river.According to the Asian Age , Payeng has dedicated his life to the upkeep and "We were surprised to find such a dense forest on the sandbar," Saikia toldgrowth of the forest. Accepting a life of isolation, he started living alone on the the Times Of India, adding that officials in the region only learned ofsandbar as a teenager -- spending his days tending the burgeoning plants. Payengs forest in 2008. Finally, Payeng may get the help -- and recognition -- he deserves.
Vol. 2 November 2012 TEACHER SPEAKS PRINCIPAL SPEAKS I decided to teach in a low income school because I felt that children from As a seed needs proper nourishment and condition communities such as Dharavi have immense potential and deserve an in right amounts at right time, even a child needs a education and opportunities which will empower them to change their lives. I proper care and conditions at right time to grow. Only wanted to be a part of this transformation. then they can grow into fruitful plants with flying I stepped into the school thinking I’m going to teach them. What I did not colours and be good citizens of the Nation. These know was that the children had something in store for me too. children are the fruits of the invaluable efforts put in and they become seeds of change in Dharavi and theAs students, they taught me how to teach. I learnt how to get back into the mind of a 10 year old Nation. They will take care of their mother land.and be able to take a step closer to learning. They gave me the joy of seeing eyes widen when Itaught them about something amazing, and the satisfaction in seeing a student do a little dance That said, they also need to learn how to stay at thein class when he does well and knows he in getting better. top of themselves always and how not to stop there.They allowed me to get in touch with my own childhood and re-live the best part of life. As I Our recent achievements reverberate this. We havelearn something new every day, re-read children’s classics for them and uncovering more set a target for ourselves that by the 30th ofknowledge than I ever have, I’m rebuilding some parts of my childhood for myself. I saw that their September all the kids will be able to read in English.distorted domestic background and community created a strong impression on their vulnerable And, 95% of the kids did achieve the target.minds. Some of them are protectedwith all their innocence but some are This was celebrated in a befittingexposed to and intimidated by the manner flying 200 balloons intoharshness. Every day, I witness them the sky with “I CAN READbuilding strength and courage to ENGLISH” written on them. Theovercome their situations. Their rest were being diagnosed,undying spirit which gives the world a treated and supported for anynew chance every day is one of the learning disability by the Sionbiggest lessons I learnt. They are some Hospital.of the most forgiving and warmhearts I have known. Now, without stopping here, weThey have shown me that I can have set an ambitious target for thebig goals for them. They know that 30th of March- “ Every Child willthey will change their lives. Every day, be able to communicate inthey believe a little more that they English.”. Our team is all set toCAN. put in relentless efforts to achieve -Ranjani it. Grade 5 Teacher Jai Gurudev -Renu Deva Students of SSRVM celebrating that THEY CAN READ ENGLISH BEING A VOLUNTEERJai Gurudev, cool and of course naughty like any other kid in the TEACHERS’ DAYNothing can compare the feeling that I come out city! I am truly humbled by their innocence as wellwith every Wednesday after a short session of as smartness, their desire to learn despite‘coaching’ at SSRVM Dharavi. Being a good student challenging environment, sometimes with feeble The 5th of September,myself and with a high emphasis on education in my family support and modest resources, which commemorating theown life (graduated with a M.S from Michigan State setsthem apart from other kids. I learnt quite a few teachers’ day , theUniversity in Packaging Engineering), I always things from these pure souls: better teaching children of the schoolwanted to volunteer in this field and finally my methods, patience, more smiles and less anger have taken up a greatintention was manifested last November by His over little things, creativity and fun, more task of running thegrace. But still without any formal training in acceptance, the value and fruits of commitment School. The Head boy was made the Principal forteaching field I was not sure if I will be able to add and so many more..and yet to learn.. A few things one day and the students were teachers in all thesubstantial value to the students. I mustered the that I learnt exclusively from SSRVM kids: the sport classes. They did a really commendable job.courage to commit myself to once a week session in and art of ‘B boying!’ (Courtesy dear Srini!). At the end of the day, in a small gathering withwhatever area needed and was reciprocated warmly Equipped with daily SK, an education stepped in the real teachers and acting teachers, they saidby the vice principal, Meenakshiji of the school. Once human values and above all His blessings and that, they haveinside, nobody can tell this is the school located in guidance from His able teachers, they are sure to then realised howmidst of Asia’s biggest slum dwellings. I really felt the rise and shine in their respective careers, lives and difficult it getspresence of Guru (and souls dedicated to his work) become empowered global citizens. I really sometimes, beingcan transform mere place into a temple of appreciate the dedication of teachers and staff of on the other side.knowledge. Now coming to the girls and boys, the SSRVM . Special thanks to Priya teacher for her This was a veryones who I got a chance to interact with were support and leadership. great booster forhonest, sincere, sharp, with good grasp of the -Love, Pallavi. the leadershipsubject, keen to learn more, adventurous, fun loving, qualities in the children.
Vol. 2 November 2012DIYA MAKING IN SCHOOL KRISHNA ART BY STUDENTS STUDENTS ARTICLES THE DAY I WILL NEVER FORGET. It was the day when Renu madam was new in our school and she had arranged the program of refresher YES course. It was Saturday so as usual I went to the school , when I reached the school I saw that long blue mat was arranged out side. I BEAUTIFULLY PAINTED GANAPATI thought something would be there. I took it lightly and when I came to know that we are going to do our kriya outside and not the usual kriya we are refreshing our kriya. So I was very happy. The teachers who had came to take our refresher course. they told their experience. After that there was a lot of enjoyment. We played lots of games. We learnt how to keep our ego aside. We should not feel shy, we should be natural and from the teachers words I got encouragement. When teachers told me and my friends to dance because there was competition between us. For the first time in front of everyone I danced without being awkward for. Those teachers were very good and we should meet them again and take some more knowledge from them. We did satsang. I learnt new bhajans and it was a fantastic! Jyoti ClassIX
Vol. 2 November 2012 DIYAS READY FOR SALE STUDENT’S ARTICLE THE DAY I WILL NEVER FORGET. It was morning when I was in Bangalore ashram. We got up early in morning because we had to go for a pooja. In pooja all boys were lying down and slept and were also sleeping. After pooja we went to kitchen to eat our lunch. Later we went to our room to sleep. Teacher said sleep now because we are going to meet Guruji at night. So we slept for some time. After we got up we wore our school uniform and got ready to meet Guru ji. I was so excited to meet Guruji. We met Bhanudidi she said us hello we too said her hello.I felt very nice to meet Bhanudidi but I was waiting for Guruji “When will he come?”And when will I meet him?. Finally after some time he came. Then we state chanting om between om mam called me to give gift to Guru ji I was feeling very nice that I will give Guru ji the gift. When I was giving the gift to Guru ji mam was saying something to guru ji but I couldn’t hear anything because I was just looking at guru ji. I don’t no what was happening in my surrounding. I gave the gift to guru ji and I bend to touch his feet but I was not getting his feet finally I got and felt happy. This day was very special day which I will never forget. KRISHNA ART BY STUDENTS -Prajakta, Class 9.STUDENTS MAKING GANAPATI
Vol. 2 November 2012 A visit to Kumbharwada It all started with a thought to empower the children about the community. The thought of child I journalism came from the book Target 3 Billion by APJ Abdul Kalam. This was taken to the next step, where students were asked to gather news from their surroundings. They brought in anything special that they find and wrote articles about them. Once, I along with 4 other children from my class walked in the narrow lanes of Kumbharwada, to find some news. Kids talked to the potters there, they found some electric wires hanging dangerously and dirty dustbins forming an island of dust. This experience was with them for some time. They started observing more dustbins all around Dharavi. They sprung with an intensity to tackle the issue of cleanliness. A woman working on Diyas at Kumbharwada -DurgaPrasad Grade 6 Teacher Dharavi is dirty!! The pictures showing sorry plight of the Dustbins in Dharavi and the poor management of wastage
Vol. 2 November 2012 “Clean Dharavi Drive” D-etermination H-ard work A-rdent R-esilient A-mbitious V-ivacious One of the Posters made by I-ndigenous students. Student’s Article With this Inspiration, the whole school started making dustbin. He read and said sorry. We told On the 10th of September him – ” if you see anyone throwing the huge banners and posters. Students wanted to show the in the afternoon. Shahid, Danish and I dust on the road, tell them to throw the world that they wanted to make were coming together to our home. We dust in the dustbin.” He said “ ok I will.” a change and THEY CAN do it were coming and we saw that everybody After that an old man came and threw when they get together. In just was throwing the dust on the road. the dust on the road. We went and said 5 working days of school, they There was z dustbin but everybody “Please throw the dust in the dustbin.” managed to make the posters threw the dust on the road. Then we He said – ”Ok I will throw the dust in and laminate them along with went to shop immediately to buy sketch dustbin next time.” and after some time the regular classes. They put 22 pen, gum and a drawing paper. We a lady came and she also throw the dust posters all over the Dharavi. wrote that ‘please throw the dust in the on the road. We went and said – ” When the passers-by told them dustbin’. But no one threw the dust in Aunty! please throw the dust in the that, these are being done so the dustbin. We wrote and stuck it on dustbin.” She smiled and said “thank you Pictures showing the hard many times but no change is the dustbin. We waited for 5 or 10 min for telling me.” We said ok. And then we work put in by children and seen, and the kids replied and then a boy named Khalid came and went to our home. the teachers working befitting manner-” Try to karke threw the dust on the road. So we said -Sohrab, Class 6 together Dekhe!!” to him to read what is written on the ARTICLE FROM TIMES OF INDIA PEACE WALKA Peace walkwas conductedon the eve ofGandhi Jayanti CONTACTcovering themain roads inDharavi spreading the message ofclean Dharavi. This was started byMr. Ashok Survegandh Senior PoliceInspector , Dharavi. The Drive wasalso supported by LEARN, an email@example.com union of women in www.dharavischool.orgDharavi. Hope ensuing activities http://www.facebook.com/ssrvbring the change. m.dharavi