Monday, February 22, 2016

Guest Post by Toshit Chouhan, Student, B.A., L.Lb (Honours)

Toshit has worked on the CLABIL outreach program for 20 days in February, taking the content where it is most needed - directly to our intended beneficiaries -without the need to depend on the govt, or a program. We have decided to take the content and take the direct feedback of our beneficiaries, and to use that feedback to create a more useful resource - in design, content and distribution.

अक्सर जब मैं अपनी जिन्द्दगी में खुशियाँ देखता हूँ
मुझे मेरी अम्मी जान का चेहरा नज़र आ जाता है
मेरा दिल भर आता है, एक ख्याल हमेशा मुझे सताता है
ना जाने कब मैं अपने पैरों पर खड़ा होकर , तेरे कुछ काम आ पाऊंगा माँ
ना जाने कब , जो कुछः तूने और धरती माँ ने मेरी थाली में परोसा है ,
उसको सूद समेत लौटा पाऊंगा माँ

ना जाने कब, इस देश के कुछ काम आ पाऊंगा मा

I was overwhelmed with my comfortable life and getting treated with +A grade education, a thought always killed me from inside that a huge population of our country  still has no access to education. And just as my poetry explains I decided to step out of my comfort zone and planned to take my after semester internship with an NGO so that I can start my journey of serving the nation. I always wanted to be in Delhii as it is a home to our constituency. Here, in the selection process of choosing an NGO to start my work,  I was highly inspired by my cousin brother Gaurav bhaiya, who has always kept himself involved in community services and continues to do so. He had read about Esha and recommended me for the same. I got through the screening and the interview process and was invited by Nidhi  mam onboard,  who gave me the golden opportunity to work with ESHA.

Which I will confess, working with ESHA for 20 days has brought a huge change in my life.

I got to meet mrs, Geeta who narrated her story, And how she battled with the domestice violence she faced at home and took a decision to leave her house for the welfare of her new born daughter.

I also met Mr. Nath who lived in an old age home, he narrated  the untold story of how an old age home in reality works and many a problems that go unheard and unnoticed by the people.

 Being a law student, it was very important for me to know where my country lacks legal awareness, so that I can take an initiative to spread the same. While I was working for ESHA I felt very proud when I saw the students from the poor  and the underprivileged sections waited for my ESHA story telling classes. They welcomed me with a huge smile, and my send off was always a standing ovation.  The field work taught me the struggle, I got the chance  to meet 1000+ people in my 20 days work, 1000+ strangers who taught me a lesson that one should always take some step to start sharing one’s  fortune to make the lesser fortunate people in the society a chance to be happy, to be able to bring stability in the society. And I feel happy that I was able to make an effort to educate 1000+ people through ESHA library. For this I extend my heartfelt gratitude to Nidhi mam who gave me an opportunity to be a part of ESHA family.
Band ankhoo se sapne dekhna sekh liya hai.. Sapne purey kerne k liye mahnet kerna sekh liya hai.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

CLABIL outreach @ Sai Bhoomi - Kanhai Village and Rao Ram Singh School - Sector 45 !!!

After our exciting journey with Tour de Vision we have geared up for CLABIL outreach project with Esha. The day one of the outreach program was very eventful. We were able to receive the feedbacks and observations of 50 kids, also educating them with topics they weren’t aware of, through our audio books. The audience was 8th standard students from Rao Ram Singh High School and Primary kids from Soil Alumni Initiative (SAI) Bhoomi. The diverse feedback, views and observation recorded today will be extremely helpful for the team to keep in mind while collecting/recording audio files in future. 

The prominent feedback from the Rao Ram Singh School in Kanhai Village, Sector 45 Gurgaon was that the language used in few of the audio files (Hindi/English) was quite rich. It would have been further effective if the contents are recorded using simpler vocabulary. The students also said slowing down the speech rate would help them in grasping the content, as they get quite distracted while listening to an audio file. The School uses Hindi as a medium of instruction, hence the students were able to receive the contents in Hindi much effectively than the English files with rich vocabulary. 

Apart from meeting the objective of the project, the experience we had at both the schools were amazing. The students were very supportive and the energy they displayed was infectious that has boosted us to further proceed with the project.

We asked the students basic questions related to the content to know if they had prior knowledge about the subject. ‘Fundamental duties of an Indian Citizen’ was one such. The students had very basic knowledge about the same, post listening to the audio for a couple of times they were able to summarize and point out the sections and the duties.

SAI Bhoomi kids enjoyed the Akbar Birbal stories and they also had complete fun reciting the poems and panchatantra stories.  
Rao Ram Singh School @ Sector 45 Gurgaon 

Rao Ram Singh School @ Sector 45 Gurgaon 

Kids at SAI BHOOMI - Kanhai Village reciting rhymes

Students with eyes closed listening to the audio content

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Tour de Vision 2.0 – Gurgaon Pedals for an inclusive Environment!!!

Esha’s Annual Cycling Event, Tour de Vision – Miles for Lives had a participation of around 80 cyclists from Delhi NCR and Gurgaon this year.  There was diverse participation from people of all walks of life. Professional cyclists from different cycling groups like Pedalyatri, JNU Cycling Club, Let’s walk Gurgaon and many other groups who came together not only to raise funds for the visually not abled but also spread awareness towards creating an inclusive environment for all. The high spot about the event was that many students who were first time riders were not only enthusiastic about participating in the event but also with great determination completed 25 Kms and made it to the finishing line.

The day started at 4:30 AM for the organizers who transformed the venue (Shiv Nadar School, Gurgaon) to an event spot. Banners, mikes, tables, registration desk, desk for welcome kit, feedback desk, live braille spot, book stall, food/drinks and desk for thank you kit were all in place to welcome the cyclists.

Cyclists started entering the campus. Sachin Sachdeva 60 year old cyclist was the first to enter, who was full of energy and enthusiasm. We had around 70 registrations in 20 minutes. The cyclists took the pledge which said:

I pledge to aid and spread awareness for the challenges faced by the visually not abled people.  I understand the need for this awareness and recognise and respect the right for every person to have access to public spaces. I will support and promote that offices and public spaces should be designed as per their convenience.  I pledge to support them in their need for a safe and inclusive environment which affects their day to day life. I will strive to promote an atmosphere that not merely accepts their uniqueness but also celebrates it.

The rally was flagged off by Shri. Upasana Arora, Director Yashoda Multi speciality hospital. The cyclists started pedalling with great passion. The professional cyclists helping the budding ones was a beautiful sight to watch. Rajesh Dhuddu the event convenor finished his 10,000 mile feat during the second edition of TDV.

80 Cyclists pedalled on a pleasant Sunday morning to remind rest of the citizens of Gurgaon their duty towards creating an inclusive environment, where everybody can be themselves and can access the environment without dependency.    
The play by National Association for Blind (NAB) Delhi was a heart-warming one. The message conveyed by them and their brilliant performance was one thing all the participants would have taken back with them after the event.The fifteen minutes short theatre workshop by Mr. Raju Kohli was also an amazing treat to watch as it excited the participants and engaged them in experimenting their acting skills.

The stunning stunts by cyclomaniacs was a visual treat. The recyclable goody bag from ‘I am Gurgaon’ with accessories for cyclists, food and beverages was also a boost to all of us.

We are very grateful to our corporate and individual sponsors who played a significant role in enabling the event. Our venue sponsor Shiv Nadar School provided us massive support, special mention to the admin team who helped us shape the venue for the program. Our health sponsor Yashoda Multi speciality hospital enabled the event by providing monetary support and also the director graced the occasion by flagging off the rally. Our safety sponsor W-Hospital ensured the safety of every participant by sending their ambulance and nurse. Our fitness sponsor Gym Club were the first to arrive and they gave our cyclists free trial passes and sippers that they can use during the ride. Our sports partner Cyclo fit helped us by providing cycles for our 15 students who participated. Our cycling partners Pedal Yatri and JNU cycling club turned out in large numbers to support the event. Students from SOIL organized, volunteered and participated in large numbers to make the event a grant success.