Activity Centre Exposure 2013

ImageSeated by the window, in the bus, a student from the Activity Center from our very own CSA wondered how she was going to spend her evening. Waiting for the bus to move, two people came and asked her if they could share the seat with her. Knowing that the seat could only take two people she was going to refuse one of them but she looked around to discover that the bus was full and they had to adjust.

Travelling by the unadopted roads and seemingly moving lush green trees by the sides, the bus reached the destination. As she stepped out of the bus with a crowd of eighty-nine other enthusiastic members, she saw a small school. The school was not kachcha, as she expected. In fact, none of the houses were weak structured.

In front of the school on the stairs sat all those bright little children, with big smiles on their faces. Well, now would they have been allowed to escape the CSA tradition? Obviously not. THE BANANA DANCE! The kids enjoyed it and so did she and everyone else.

She went up front, and like everyone else did, she introduced herself to all the children and went up to a little groups of kids and spoke to them. Soon enough she joined a group of eight members and interacted with ten children. She went from one house to another; as every child wrapped her finger around their fragile hand and pulled her to their homes. It did come to her surprise that every child she met spoke English, where as she was worried the previous night how would she talk to them in their native language.

She was really astonished to see such talent in these young children. One small girl began to break dance in front of everyone and it was really an amazing sight for her. Well, thanks to the nurturing of CSA, these buds will bloom into beautiful flowers.

As she bid bye to all those children and sat back in the bus, she thought to herself, her life would have been complete if she hadn’t met them, but now that she had it’ll be a waste if she didn’t return to see them.

Reported by: Nikhil Shankar, I PSEng ; Edited by: Srishti Banerjee, I PSEng ; Photo Courtsey: Prasanna L S 



When those thoughts are voiced!

catsName: Elizabeth Rani

It is very difficult to run the family with the meagre income that we get. My children have been studying well for three years now. They have improved a lot. Yes! I am a part a Sanga. Leaders are elected every year. The organisation is very good. It helps us in getting loans. My only prayer is that my children should not suffer like us and should settle in life.

Name: Amrutha S

Our income is low but we are happy nonetheless. We cannot pay for tuitions with the income that we get. The CSA tuitions are really good. Gents cannot be advised by us. I hope our children will come to the forefront; they should be independent.

Name: Reeta Mary

The waves of joy and sorrow are inevitable in life. If not for Again, we wouldn’t be existing today. They help us a lot. The more the principle, the lesser the interest. We want our children to stand in their own legs and enjoy life. We are suffering now due to lack of education.

Name: Rameshwari; Class: 9th

I am learning English from the volunteers and I’m very happy about that. They have helped me overcome the embarrassment in speaking English. In the past, I used to roam around, doing nothing. Now I have changed a lot, thanks to CSA. I aspire to be a doctor. I want to be a good and a respectful person. My thought about life is “First correct yourself before advising others”.

Name: Shwetha; Class: 9th

During my free hours I used to lounge around lazily watching TV. But now, I can feel myself changing. I often find myself studying and doing my home work. I feel more responsible now. I want to change this slums, drain the wastes, lay roads, etc. I want to be well educated. I find a leader in myself. Education is the most essential feature in life. The biggest problem in this slum is illiteracy.

Name: Santhosh; Class: 8th

The library is very useful to us. After tuitions, I am motivated to study. The volunteers teach us new concepts, and have an engaging way of teaching. In school, we segregate wet and dry waste. Also, my friends and I have formed a group that is spreading awareness about proper disposal of waste in other schools. I will be a good leader and role model for all.

 Name: Neelanjali; Class: 6th

We have various activities like playing football and learning spoken English. Earlier, I could not find enough time for my school work after all the household chores I was required to do. However, since the tuitions have started, catching up with studies is becoming easier. I want to be a teacher like the CSA volunteers.

 Name: Padma; Class: 10th

CSA provides us with books, bags and other materials that we need in school. The volunteers clear all our doubts. I want to be a doctor and provide free medication and proper treatment to poor people so that they do not die of easily curable diseases.

–as told to Madhu Kumar and Divya

Where service to Man is service to God

Arvind, who has lived only a decade of his life, is the son of a poor daily-wage labourer and a grief-habituated mother. They lived in a small room, walled from all sides by rugged canvas and rusting tin sheets. The roof was roughly draped with a piece of cloth, and the front yard gave an impression of a dumping ground. Animal excreta and loose dust had rendered the atmosphere literally unbearable according to urban or rural standards. No one would willingly wish to have a home in such conditions. They were living in an earthly hell, where all happiness was sucked out from, permanently.

But the hope was not lost. Arvind is being sent to the local communal school, which was established to provide quality and gratis education for children who are unable to pay for their willingness to be educated. His parents wished that he must not toil like them, and must enjoy all those experiences that would make a strong and self-sufficient man of him. CSA is such an association, providing all the pushing momentum that will catapult such people towards realizing the value of their life with proper education, for all members of the family, equally.

Education will not only help people to get the deserving payback of their labours, but will also empower them to think of their own benefits. With our support, this horror might get milder; this darkness lighter.

It is always Us :)

The shackles of pain, misery and servitude are a binding force upon many sections of society. The gravamen of this reality hits no other group harder than the children of underdeveloped communities. Deprived of opportunities and starved of a holistic childhood upbringing, the children are encapsulated into a narrow outlook bound by limited capabilities. CSA has thus embarked on an endeavour to provide these children with platforms to showcase their talents and launch themselves into seeing a world full of possibilities.  CSA conducts various programs throughout the year such as sports day, talents day, exposure camps and other activities which acts as avenues of expression for children. The child sponsorship program aims at communities getting directly involved in sponsoring these children.

Change is always something that is easier said than done. But when change is actually brought about, it can not only revolutionize many lives but also create a better society.

Education is all about being in-sync with the evolving world and updating ourselves with the perpetually growing knowledge of the world. In doing so, it takes a lot of effort to sensitize the people about the need to keep pace with today’s “fast track”. And so, to make it an easier task, we target the kids of our project areas for the Computer Courses to help them connect the real and the virtual worlds and know the “know-hows” of various things they learn in their classrooms. After all, kids are the future “world”; teaching them symbolises molding our future for the betterment of mankind.

Anything we do, anywhere we do, ultimately boils down to all of us sharing the same home – the same space in this world. This means that whatever we do, in turn affects our planet. In this transient existence of ours, we are indebted to it for all that it has given us and will give us. And as our moral duty, we need to take into consideration the consequences of our actions and tailor our actions in such a way that it does not affect our mother earth. To pass on this message to the public, we plan to hold various street plays in the project areas by which the kids who are a part of the Eco Club will send out the message of being environment friendly.

பெண்கள் நாட்டின் கண்கள் (Women: the Eyes of the Nation)

அடுப்போடு அடுப்பாக                                (The time when we had been cinder-maids has gone 
அடிமண்டிக் கிடந்தது,                                  by.)
அந்தக் காலமடி!

ஆடவர் ஆட்டி வைக்க                               (The era when we had been men’s slaves has also 
அடிமையாய் வாழ்ந்தது                             passed by.)
கடந்த காலமடி!

இன்றியமையாதது –                                   (The present is priceless. Face it with courage!)
இந்த காலமடி!
இதை இறுமாப்புடன் எதிர்கொல்லடி!

சினதுக்கோ இனத்துக்கோ                         (There is no room for caste-creed discrimination 
சாதி மத பேதத்துக்கோ                                 anymore.)
இனி இங்கு இடமில்லையடி!

சிறுத்தைக்குச் சிறகு வைத்து                   (You are a leopard and now you have grown wings too! 
சிறப்புக்குச் செல்ல மகளாய்                       So, go ahead and chase your fears in the speed of lightning.) 
சீறிப் பறந்து பாய்ந்தோடடி!

உலகம் இருப்பது உன் கையில்           (The world is in your hands. Give it form with your work!)
உழைக்கும் உன் கரத்தால்
உருவம் ஒன்று உருவாக்கடி!

அழகுக்கு அவசியமில்லை                       (Beauty is not what we should seek. Talent and vision
திறமையும் தீர்க்கமான                                is all that we need.)
பார்வையும் போதுமடி!

ஆழத்தை அறிந்து விட்டோம்                (We have seen the depth; now we shall take the leap. 
ஆபத்திற்கு அடி பணியமாட்டோம்!    We  will no longer be afraid of dangers.)
அஞ்சாமல்   அடி எடுத்து வையடி!

அறநெறிகளை  அறிந்து                              (Stand upright and walk the Path of Peace to conquer 
அமைதியின் வழியில் நடந்து                  the world!)
அகிலத்தை ஆட்கொல்லடி!

நிறம் முக்கியமில்லை; மொழி                (Language and colour doesn’t matter anymore. 
முக்கியமில்லை! -புரிந்துகொள்             Know that women are the eyes of every nation.)
நாட்டின் கண்களே பெண்கலடி!!

-சுகன்யா                                                             (-Suganya Velumani, I PME)

Empowering women: true fighters are all around!

History bears testimony to the fact that living the life of a woman is no walk in a park. When the situation demands, they move out of their way to comfort and provide for their families and loved ones. Interviewing one such woman turned out to be a stirring experience.

Everyday, I see Rojanma selling eatables on the streets. She continues her business late till midnight; with the money that she earns, she manages her household and pays her children’s school fees. She also saves and reinvests a part of it as capital.

Q: Are you the only one who earns in your family?

Rojanma: No, my husband does too. He works as a service man in the UPS inverter company.

Q: Do you send your kids to school?

Rojanma: Yes. I have three kids and all of them go to school. The eldest, a boy, is in 6th grade in a private school. The younger ones are in 4th and 2nd grade respectively, and go to public schools.

Q: Isn’t it difficult to take care of your household, your children and the food stall simultaneously?

Rojanma: Yes, it is extremely difficult to manage everything. But we do not have a choice as I have to educate my children. And so, I too have to bear the expenses.

Rojanma is a true fighter. She is not afraid to face the financial stringencies that come her way, or to fight them head-on. Women like her who brave the world are all around us; they are living testimonies as to why womanhood should be celebrated in today’s society- to honour women for who they are and what they do, and  to make them feel that they too are special and not just another suppressed section of the society.

(The interview was originally conducted in Kannada)

-Revati Krishna, I EPS


The owl in the CSA office…!

We were updating the CSa blog and there pops up a white owl i to the CSA office. Of course had we been silent, it wouldn’t’ve heard us but…

Inspite of being blind, it kept touring the room like a US stealth bomber in foreign nations.

The ensuing video on the troop leader’s phone!

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* this is our very first podcast.

Talking to the Co-ordinator

Here’s an interview which is hard to get! Johny Joseph, the coordinator of CSA talks about the recently organised National Seminar and its backgound, at a secret meeting with the Publications team!

+ Why the topic ‘Interlinking of Rivers’?
In the present scenario, we felt that this topic was very much debatable and should be given due importance. Also, proper awareness should reach the youngsters.

+ According to you, how did the seminar go?
The seminar was of course a grand success in terms of its organization and also, we were able to bring people together as the Fredskorpset (the sponsors of the event) slogan says. My congratulations and heart felt gratitude to the whole team who supported CSA in organising this.

+How do you think people benefit from the seminar?
When we selected the topic we didn’t want to take any stand, but the intention was to generate a debate regarding the issue and bring about awareness. That way we have succeeded especially with the youth, as they are the future policy makers of the country.

+How was the response from the participants?
We had an overwhelming response and many appreciated the content of the seminar and the way it was organised. Many are looking forward to associating with CSA further.

+More on the success of the seminar…?
Because of the success of the seminar, Fredskorpset Asia office has offered FK India partners network facilitated by Christ College CSA and Drik India Kolkata to organize an International seminar on the theme- “The Role of Women in the Economic Development of India” next year. This will be held on 26th and 27th November, 2007 at Christ College.