‘Daan Utsav’ is celebrated every year across India, in the week of Gandhi Jayanti, by engaging in acts of giving and sharing..
Lodha World School, Palava celebrated “Daan Utsav” on 06/10/17 and 07/10/17 through a Diwali Mela which was an initiative conceptualized and executed entirely by the students of the school. There were game stalls with interesting games, put up by students of Std VIII-X with prizes to be won. Food stalls were also set up and the entire school geared up to celebrate a Diwali Mela, with the proceeds going to “Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust”– to help malnourished children.
This was also a time to celebrate the people who are often forgotten or neglected but who nevertheless make a huge difference in our lives. These are the housekeeping staff. Lodha World School, Palava took the initiative to spread some moments of joy amongst the housekeeping staff and the security by arranging a function exclusively for them, organized and conducted by the teachers and the students. This function was to felicitate the staff and let them know that they play a vital role in the school. They were presented Diwali gifts and it was touching to see them so happy at the love they received.
The events emerged out as huge success due to the immense efforts by the staff and students under the guidance of the Principal Ms. Aditi Banerji.
“A VISIT THAT LEFT AN INDELIBLE MARK “
Lodha World School, Palava students this year were introduced to the idea of ‘Giving’ in a very innovative manner. The participative concept encouraged them to enjoy their effort in raising funds and at the same time aimed at imbibing the joy of ‘giving’.
Diwali Gala was an event that was planned with a difference. It was so much more than just having a good time.
The students of Std. VIII to X came up with some exciting ideas for games. They set up colourful and attractive game stalls and invited the other classes to play the games, charging them very nominal money, in the process.
Children competed among themselves, driven by the objective of raising maximum funds as the funds so raised were to be donated to a charitable cause, the Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust, an NGO working towards providing better living opportunities to children from the weaker sections of society.
November 25th, 2017 was the day when the school decided to send its student council, accompanied by teachers to handover the proceeds to Ratna Nidhi. The students left for the place at 8.00 a.m. from school, by bus and arrived at the venue by 9.45 am.
As the students entered the building, they were greeted with warmth and were introduced to the noble work being done by the organisation. The students handed over close to Rs. 20,000/- raised from the Diwali Gala event.
‘Food for Education’ is one of the main activities of Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust and they work relentlessly to make food available to around 4500 students in and around Mumbai.
The students were taken around and were taken to their humble yet one of the cleanest kitchens ever seen, where the ‘Maharajas’ or cooks were on their toes from 4.00 a.m. in the morning.
Nothing but the positive intention to contribute something to society could drive such a mission. Food for 4500 students was to be prepared by 10 a.m. after which it was packed and handed over to their in-house distribution channel who in turn ensured that the students in the schools where children from the lower economic group studied received the food by 12 noon. Food at school in fact was an incentive for them and encouraged their families to send them to school. The food was nothing very elaborate – just rice, dal and one vegetable. They said that they were planning to introduce roti/chapatti in the meal but that would require more funds.
The visiting students would next time before wasting food be sure to be reminded of these children and pledge not to waste food. The entire chain from food procurement to distribution was done with great precision and with lots of love.
Students then visited the ‘Tailoring Unit’ where old, torn clothes were given a new look and a new life. These clothes were then given to poor, needy children.
The ‘Book Unit’ was a collection of old books which were mended, covered and distributed among the students to help them continue with their studies. This was one major reason why the dropout rate in the schools that they worked with, had decreased.
The students who had visited Ratna Nidhi came back with a different perspective. They got a glimpse through the window into a new world where perhaps many many bright students could not live their dreams because of the lack of resources. The students came back with many beautiful moments, many heart touching stories and came back with a determination to be able to do something for those who have less but are not lesser in any sense. This initiative of Lodha World School, Palava helped children learn the value of empathy.