[edit] Creative Workshop on Team-work and Unity

The idea of holding a ‘Creative Workshop’ came to our minds during our first visit to schools aided by Rachana in early May 2008 when Mrs. Zankhana Patel together with Janardan, Sheetal and Mr. V. N. Koppikar met Ms. Swati Chavan and Mr. Shripad Kondhe at Rachana Office. During that trip we visited schools in Ahire and Sangrun village. Although the schools were having summer vacation, Rachana arranged a number of children of different age groups to gather at the school premises. The children enthusiastically welcomed the visitors and presented an impromptu programme.

Looking at the creative talent of those kids, we planned to conduct a creative event with theme as “Team-work and Unity”. This theme holds true for school kids as well as Vibha-Pune volunteers who were putting up a big show for the first time as a team. Planning

The subject of workshop was pursued with Rachana and three dates were proposed for the same, viz. 19 / 26 July and 2 August. Ms. Swati Chavan preferred 26th July taking into consideration various aspects, the busy schedule of Rachana representatives, monsoon conditions etc. Accordingly the workshop was organized on this day, which has been quite a remarkable success.

Three meetings of Vibha volunteers were held to chalk out the programme details. The first meeting was held at Mahavir Hostel followed by two meetings at Barista Coffee shop, Law College Road, Pune where almost all the volunteers joined to give their valuable suggestions. It was a real surprise to meet two volunteers from Mumbai at one of the meetings, though they could not participate in the final workshop. Similarly few other volunteers could not join the workshop though their contribution to the same was very valuable.

On July 19th, Janardan, Sheetal and Koppikar visited Sangrun to find out the possibilities / facilities available there. Mr. Kondhe also joined and preliminary discussions were held concerning the workshop. It was decided that school children from Sangrun and one / two adjoining villages including Ahire were expected participate. Two age groups, 8 to 11 (standard 3,4,and 5) and 12 to 14 (standards 6,7 and 8) with about 50 children were considered.

[edit] Event Day

On 26th July 10 AM, the Vibha-Pune group, viz. Koppikar, Ashima, Praachi, Vibha, Neha, Mihir, Nilesh, Pushpam, Meenal, Manjiri, Sheetal and Janardan, gathered at a central place – Karishma Society garden, had a brief review of the preparation and then proceeded to Sangrun village, reaching at about 12.00. Mr. Kondhe was already there at the temple hall to receive us. To our welcome surprise, however, we found a much bigger participation – 48 and 22 in respective groups, and in addition nearly 40 younger kids crowding in the hall.

The workshop programme started at 12:30 with great enthusiasm, with Nilesh connecting himself with the children to shout slogans with a view to break the ice so to say. Nilesh, with his past experience in conducting such activities, proved to be master in the game and it was a pleasure to hear children repeating the slogans in one resounding voice.

The first item was “Breaking the Balloon” contest. Children were sub-divided in 3 groups – two from the younger ones (one for boys and one for girls) and one from the older one. The game was meant to involve the children in a friendly contest. Every child was given a balloon which one had to tie around one’s ankle. Each child with hands firmly held behind backs was expected stamp on the balloons of others and burst them while protecting one’s own. As the contest progressed, children whose balloons were burst had to leave the arena with fewer and fewer remaining. Finally three contestants were declared to be winners. This game attracted utmost response from the children and was a great success.

Next item was “Dupatta Race” a sort of an obstacle race. This was in fact a team game, with 6 – 7 kids in a team. One “Dupatta”, (a piece of cloth) was tied to right ankles of all children in the team and another dupatta to the left ankles of all of them. There were three teams like this and they were required to run from one end of the hall to the end. The trick was that all the members have to use their feet in a synchronized manner. If this does not happen then the team will loose balance and will fall down. This is what happened with one of the teams. There was great fun. As Mr. Konde remarked “Together we win divided we fall” was the theme of the game.

Thereafter there was “Collage” exercise where 5 drawings (poster-size) were to be assembled together, out of four pieces (A4 size) each of the drawings. Initially it was apprehended that this idea may not go well with the children. But at the end it was established that with minimum instructions, the children were able to complete the collage exercise with almost professional competence – of course restricted to their level of first time exposure to such a thing. Many young kids, who could not be accommodated in the collage teams, were kept busy with clay modeling.

This was followed by “Quiz” programme, with questions based on cricket, movies and a little bit of history. Children were divided into five groups, each given a name. A group had to answer a question, and ten points were allotted for right answer at the first attempt, five for correct answer at second or third attempt and nil for no or wrong answer. The scoring of points was recorded on a board, in a creative and transparent manner, and the winning team was announced based on the total points scored.

[edit] Closing Ceremony

Finally, the prize and goodies distribution was organized. All the winners were awarded suitable prizes. Unfortunately, as the number of participating children was far in excess of the expectation, a shortage of prizes and goodies was experienced, resulting in a scramble by the children.

In conclusion, it must be said that the programme was a grand success much beyond our expectations. This was possible because of highly enthusiastic role played by all the Vibha volunteers, support received from Ms. Swati and Mr. Konde of Rachana, and, of course the unbelievable participation from the children.

The last question from a number of children was “When do we meet again?” We all have to apply ourselves to this in real seriousness.

Vibha is charitable trust registered under section 80G of the Income Tax Act of India.
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