REPORTS OF SERVICE ACTIVITIES IN DECEMBER BY WALKESHWAR SAMITHI
We work with the children of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Nidyaniketan, a school for slum children, from KG to Std. 4
SPORTS DAY – 24TH DECEMBER 2010
The aim of our sports days (now held since the past 3 years), is to develop a spirit of healthy competition and sportsmanship between the children. Besides the youth of Walkeshwar samiti, we had volunteers from the H.R. College of Commerce and Economics to assist us in training the children.
The children were broken up class and age wise and different types of races were assigned to each class, dependent on their ability and difficulty level. Sports practices began a month before the actual sports day. The practices were held at 2 time slots – mornings and afternoons.
Each class volunteer diligently made the children of his or her assigned class, practice these races, in preparation for the final day. We had flat races as well as novelty races (such as Sack Race, Marble and Spoon Race, Book Balancing, Wheel barrow race for the older children, and Bunny Hop, Langdi and the Cap race for the tiny tots) as well as a relay. The older children also practiced march-past, and just like all other schools do, we too had it along with a flag hoisting, oath and national song on the final day.
Excitement dawned on the morning of 24th December 2010. We had with us eminent dignitaries and guests who came to cheer, encourage and motivate the children. The sports day was a grand success and at the end of the day, every child emerged winners, going home with their chocolate medals! We also had special prizes, such as best march-past, best dressed and best attendance!
Our aim was to instill in each and every child, the values of discipline, co-operation, orderliness, punctuality, regularity, competition and sportsmanship, with the help of the volunteers, who themselves, served as models for these children.
X’MAS PARTY – 18TH DECEMBER 2010
The children had been diligently coming for sports practices every morning, and with the festive season approaching, what better than to have a Christmas party where the children could let their hair down and enjoy, and at the same time, learn about the importance of Christmas and how it is celebrated.
So, on the morning of 18th December, all the school children, dressed up in their party attire arrived at Shantivan garden, for the Christmas party. We began with singing X’mas songs and carols and explaining to the children, why and how Christmas is celebrated. Thanks to one of our youth sisters, we also had a nativity scene set up and the children could actually see baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the 3 wise men, shepherds, angel Gabriel et al.
Then came the fun part – games such as Pin the sack on Santa, Through the hoola-hoops, and our favourite, the dancing competition!
The finale was the arrival of Santa, who brought gifts for everyone! We went home, delighted with our gifts and yummy Prasad!
Reciting the name of the Lord makes us feel closer to him. Further, music, especially ‘bhajans’ can calm and soothe our minds. All the more for the children from our slum school, who need some kind of escapism from the environments that they live in. They have been learning bhajans under the guidance of Kalpaka aunty, and the bhajans held at Shantivan on Christmas day gave them an opportunity to sing for the Lord. Some of their parents attended too as well as senior members of our Samiti and the youth, who had helped to put this together. The altar beautifully decorated with Swami resplendent in white and the nativity scene, served as perfect backgrounds for the children who meted out lovely bhajans like Sabka Malik ek, Om Shivaya and Radha Krishna karuna lola as well as bhajans by other samiti members. The evening ended with Aarti and Prasad, and everyone went home happy, feeling Sai’s love and having celebrated Christmas in the true sense!