Come Rain or Shine

Samridhdhi Bridge School, Kariyammana Agrahara

Samridhdhi Bridge School in Kariyammana Agrahara in Bellandur, by weekday, is place of learning to more than a hundred children, taught and nurtured by volunteers and teachers of the Samridhdhi Trust. Born to construction workers and people who collect plastic for recycling, these children live their daily lives without even adequate water, to say nothing of electricity and computer access. As Samridhdhi is relentlessly taking care of these children’s regular education, the Together We Can coalition offered to lend them a helping hand. Five NGOs came together last Sunday, 02 March 2014, to give these children a fun and fulfilling morning.

Dolu kunitha/ Huli vesha
conducted and performed by Avas

Oh, did the children love it! At the second ‘Sunday Camp’ at Bellandur, more than 100 children – some also from the neighbourhood schools – spent half the day playing and learning. Five NGOs – Baale Mane Gopalapura, Akshara Foundation, Sunaad, Avas and Dream a Dream, with great support from the hosts Samridhdhi Trust – put together a fun-filled morning helping children learn some lessons, improve concentration, kindle creativity, and pick up some life skills.

The day began at 930 AM with Baale Mane conducting a refreshing song-and-dance session, not only breaking the ice if any, but also raising the energy levels of the children for the rest of the day. Then came Avas/ Jeevanotsava‘s session with huli vesha and dolu kunitha culminating in the run and huddle of ‘fire in the mountain’. With or without footwear, come rain or shine, the children enthusiastically ran, laughed, huddled and saved themselves from the fire in the mountain.

Children and their Lego constructions

While the day was getting warmer, making it rather unsuitable to play in the sun, they split in groups to go away and spend their time playing indoor games, learning music and singing as a party. Akshara Foundation entertained the younger kids – of the age group of four till ten – with Lego bricks, which children formed groups and engineered with. Sometimes in groups, some in lonely pursuit, children built structures ranging from skyscrapers to airplanes.

In parallel, the Kannada-speaking children, spent their time with Avas singing ‘yaarige beku bale hannu’ (who wants a banana), warming up for a great session of musical learning. Singing songs and clapping hands, children learnt a bit of geology and a bit of Kannada, perhaps without even knowing the fun they are having is in fact making them smarter.
Ellarige beku baale hannu

Sunaad, after a shaky start with distracted children (and distracting onlookers), caught up with the day’s activity in no time. After all, using Indian classical music to learn life skills was what this session was all about. In chorus, in melody and in absolute harmony, the children closed their eyes and sang sa re ga ma, displaying surprising ability to discipline themselves and learn a thing or two.

Just about then did Dream a Dream start their session of sports and games, a little rowing and a little dancing didn’t hurt the children at all!

One of the many Sunday Camps to be conducted by various NGOs this year, we’d like to believe that this was indeed a grand success. But don’t take our word for it. You are welcome to join us at one of our camps and spend some time with the children and some of us; we only expect you to let us know a couple of days in advance.

For more about how we started, watch this video of our creative dialogue.
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