MPP Core Team

03 October 2019

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Joy In Action

Joy In Action

Name of Activity: Joy in Action

Date and Venue of Event:

  • 21 September: Dr. Kalmadi Shamarao High School, Primary Section, Ketkar Road,
  • 22 September: Dr. Kalmadi Shamarao High School, Baner

Kind of Activity: Indoor activity

Resource Person: Neeti & Vidhi (Service Space), Amod Joshi (Read  a Story), Bushan Patil (Dariya Dil Dukaan), and Vineet (Meal on wheels)

Objective of Session:

  • To promote parent engagement in Community Service

 Activity Design: 

Experiential focusing on-

  • Presentations by the resource persons
  • Group discussion

No of Participants 71

Session Description

The reflection circle, introducing the resource person, vote of thanks and feedback circles were all conducted by the parents.

  1. Reflection Circle

Some parents from the MPP group are already engaged in community service. Some experiences shared by parents:

“I had volunteered to work on the MPP Website. The experience rebuilt my confidence. One of my roles was to go through articles on parenting, meditation, etc. and select appropriate ones for sharing on the MPP website. I got to learn a lot in the process.” – Amita Samant

“I had volunteered for substitution classes. The experience changed my perspective and gave me great satisfaction. It made me understand the true meaning of volunteerism.” Purnima Chuttar

“I had volunteered for substitution classes. It was an amazing experience. I realized how difficult it was to handle a class full of children and started truly appreciating the great work our teachers are doing.” Seema Darade. This parent met with an accident on the way to the substitution classes and had some minor injuries. But she was so committed that she left her vehicle, took an auto rickshaw and took the substitution classes despite the injury.

  1. Presentations by the resource persons

Through these presentations, parents were introduced to different ways in which people are contributing to the society. One of the parents who was facilitating the session said that, “MPP has taken us through stages. In the initial stage, the focus was on our own selves, then the focus shifted to family unit, extended family and now the focus is on the larger community, which is a natural step.” This was  very interesting to hear since this message was never overtly shared with them.

The following summarizes the presentations made by each resource person:

Read a Story  Project – Mr. Amod Joshi

The ‘Read –a – Story’ initiative,  is an attempt to improve the English reading skills of children from Talasari taluka of the Palghar district of Maharashtra. The initiative, which is the brain child of Mr. Amod Joshi, uses mobile technology as a medium to link motivated English Language experts, retired people, professionals, students to children living in remote villages from Talasari taluka.

Mr. Joshi believes that  language skills are pre-requisites for learning & that fluency improves with reading. He also believes that English is an important language which can open doors to many opportunities. Talasari taluka is a home to poor tribal communities. Quality of education is one of the main problems faced by the area. The ‘Read – a – Story’ initiative connects one child to two teachers from urban areas, who spend one hour per week to read stories to the child over phone. The process is aided by specially designed books. The child has a hard copy and the teacher, a digital one.

Service Space – Neeti and Vidhi (ServiceSpace.org)

Neetii and Vidhi are full time volunteers with Service Space which is an incubator for gift ecology projects. Service Space believes that we can start with whatever we have to serve the society and that fundraising is not at all needed. Many inspiring initiatives are carried out by people under Service Space. Nithi & Vidhi  shared their experiences and information about the following initiatives with parents:

  • Moved by Love: The aim of Moved by Love is to cultivate decentralized communities of practice that ignite our fundamental generosity, thus catalyzing both inner and outer transformation. Moved By Love projects are designed to shift our culture towards a greater sense of trust, connection and community.
  • Awakin Circles: A hub for local meditation circles that started in the Silicon Valley and have now spread to 80+ cities around the globe. The circle starts with an hour of silence, followed by a circle of sharing and dinner in silence.
  • Karma Kitchen / Seva Café’: They are experiments in generosity in the form of a pay-it-forward restaurant — where there are no prices on the menu, where everyone from the waiter to the dishwasher is a volunteer, and the check at the end of your meal reads Rs 0.00. By serving meals in the spirit of a gift, and inviting guests to contribute from the heart –not for their own meal, but for those who come after, it creates a chain of generosity that keeps on giving.
  • Meals on wheels: Meals on Wheels is about volunteers coming together to cook a meal and sharing it with the community or homeless, street people.

Dariya Dil Dukaan: Dariya Dil Dukaan – Bhushan Patil 

Dariya Dil Dukaan is a concept  based on Gift Culture, the concept urges patrons to give away items (bags, clothes, toys, books, jewelry, CDs, furniture, kitchen utensils/appliances, musical instruments, electronics, bicycles, etc.) which are in good and useable condition, but not used any more.  Anyone who comes to the store may leave or pick up whatever they like. The mission is to create a gift culture where we have a society based on the values of sharing, caring and trust – where money has far less importance/control over our lives, where we get happiness by giving rather than just taking/over-consuming / locking resources, where we use less and save more for the environment.

Sharing was a part of our culture in joint families. Darya Dil Dukaan takes this concept ahead and promotes sharing in communities.

Group Work

Following five broad activities were presented to the parents:

  • School based activities- substitution classes, Book Club, Coins for the Country, Eco Ganpati making, content for websites, etc
  • Community based activities- Karma Café/ Meals on Wheels, Read A Story, Dariya Dil Dukaan, Blood Donation camps
  • Circles: Parenting Circles /Art Circles/ Dance Circles/Awakin Circles/ Kindness Circles
  • Creative Activities- Soap making and other  handicrafts, making flyers for events, etc.
  • Volunteering at an underprivileged school or a village; some activities which can be included
  • Making sanitary napkins and doing awareness programs on Menstrual Hygiene
  • Tree plantation drive /seed bombs
  • Waste management/ cleanliness drive
  • Water conservation plans
  • Teaching at the school or in after school classes

Parents were asked to choose activities of their liking and activity based groups were formed. The groups discussed the activity, made a plan to implement it and filled the details on a form which was distributed by the MPP Team.

Outcome and Learning

Parents were compelled to think about the following:

  • How do we teach our children kindness? Does kindness matter?
  • Can I serve someone from my neighbourhood?
  • How can we come together to build a community?
  • What is it that we want to sustain for our children?

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