It all began as a thought to celebrate my birthday last year a bit differently. Every year it had been partying with friends, spending money on treats, gifts from near and dear ones, favorite dishes @ home and so on.

Nai DishaInspired KidzzzFolks at home and I decided to celebrate it with a meaning. Well we got late. Better late than never – we did it on this Valentine’s Day @ Nai Disha (School for under-privileged children), Sec 29, Noida. Boy what a day it was. We were exhausted but at the same time excited like never before. With 226 inquisitive and excited kids participating in the art competition and some of my friends and family to cheer, it was about to be just what the doctor ordered for the day.

Preparations began over a week in advance. I remember meeting the volunteers at Nai Disha (Ajay, Priya, Anshal, Anurag and Rakesh) along with the kids for the first time. Chalking out the plan, planning the prizes, ensuring participation, spreading the word, organizing & managing the event, getting more helping hands etc – the list of actionables was endless. However ticking off the deliverables one by one was a great sense of fulfillment in itself. To be honest I was anxious as well – would we be able to manage all this properly? But as it came out – with all the support and the excitement – it was a gala event.

Who took my Color ???? Color my world my way.. Are you stealing my idea? eh ? Let me fill all the colors.. I'll Win !

Anshal, Priya, Gourab & Rakesh were all smiles :) Red Sky ?? What's that guy making..? Santosh & Gourab looking over the kid'z creations.. Media Coverage by 'Hindustan' on 15 Feb 2010
Topics given to the kids to draw ranged from ‘A typical Village’ to ‘America’, ‘Busy City Street’ to ‘Mobile Phone of future’. There were gifts for participation, best art and consolation prizes as well. We were honestly inclined to participate in the competition ourselves but managed to somehow not give in to the temptation :-)

It’s amazing to see fresh ideas ooze out from those little minds on A3 size paper so effortlessly and without bias. The word ‘imagination’ had a new meaning for us now and made us realise how creative and talented these kids were. The event got coverd in a Hindi daily as well on 15 Feb 2010. Wow.. Not bad eh?


My House & My Tree..
So many topics.. what do I draw ? We're almost done here.. Eye for details..
No Cheating !! Judges !! Sanjay (big brother) & My mom !

Some of you might be wondering what was the cost of all this hoopla and the benefit – well it costed not more than a get together at a restro. Benefit? Honestly? Hope this makes a difference to the kids by making them more confident and also by encouraging them to think and participate. Some of them are geniuses in the making and am sure this small effort would help them somehow to polish their skills.

It was not only art where the focus was on. It was more about the thought process - to let those little minds think beyond the 4 walls of their homes and classrooms. It was about filling colors in their lives other than those of their uniforms.

Give me back my Brush, Hurry Up !! Sanjay, my Mom, Nitesh, Pradeep, Santosh, Gourab, ME (Anupam), Rakesh, Amit, Varun, Chaynika, Anshal, Ms Teacher (bah I don't have her name !), Anshika, Payal, Shaveta & Priya I'll color it from every angle.. 360 ! All smiles :)
All smiles.. Gourab, Pradeep & Anshika :) What color should I fill now ?? This is just the beginning.. Watch me paint the town red :) C'mon man don't disturb us by flashing that light on our faces.. We are busy !!

The Winners  - Grades (3,4,5) !!

Grades 3,4,5 (1st Prize) - Jakari Hussain (Class 5, Roll no. 6, America)
Grades 3,4,5 (1st Prize) – Jakari Hussain
(Class 5, Roll no. 6, America)
Grades 3,4,5 (2nd Prize) - Sunil Arya (Class 4, Roll no. 24, Pollution & Awareness)
Grades 3,4,5 (2nd Prize) – Sunil Arya
(Class 4, Roll no. 24, Pollution & Awareness)
Grades 3,4,5 (3rd Prize) - Sonia (Class 5, Roll no. 15, Morning shift, Village Scene)
Grades 3,4,5 (3rd Prize) -
Sonia  (Class 5, Roll no. 15, Morning shift, Village Scene)
Grades 3,4,5 (Consolation Prize 1) - Seema (Class 3, Roll no. 27, Village Scene)
Grades 3,4,5 (Consolation Prize 1) -
Seema (Class 3, Roll no. 27, Village Scene)
Grades 3,4,5 (Consolation Prize 2) - Arti Kumari (Class 4, Roll no. 4, Village Scene)
Grades 3,4,5 (Consolation Prize 2) -
Arti Kumari (Class 4, Roll no. 4, Village Scene)
Grades 3,4,5 (Consolation Prize 3) - Pawan (Class 5, Roll no. 11, Village Scene)
Grades 3,4,5 (Consolation Prize 3) -
Pawan (Class 5, Roll no. 11, Village Scene)
Grades 3,4,5 (Consolation Prize 4) - Jabaaz (Class 5, Roll no. 27, Morning shift, World of one color)
Grades 3,4,5 (Consolation Prize 4) – Jabaaz
(Class 5, Roll no. 27, Morning shift, World of one color)
Grades 3,4,5 (Consolation Prize 5) - Junita Vishukarma (Class 4, Roll no. 11, Evening shift, My city)
Grades 3,4,5 (Consolation Prize 5) – Junita Vishukarma
(Class 4, Roll no. 11, Evening shift, My city)
The Winners  - Grades (1,2) !!
Grades 1,2 (1st Prize) - Chandra (Class 2, Evening shift, Nature)
Grades 1,2 (1st Prize) – Chandra
(Class 2, Evening shift, Nature)
Grades 1,2 (2nd Prize) - Vishal (Class 1, Nature)
Grades 1,2 (2nd Prize) – Vishal (Class 1, Nature)
Grades 1,2 (3rd Prize) - Pinky (Class 2, Roll no. 17, Evening shift, My favorite festival)
Grades 1,2 (3rd Prize) – Pinky
(Class 2, Roll no. 17, Evening shift, My favorite festival)
Grades 1,2 (Consolation Prize 1) - Sameena (Class 2, Evening shift, Winter season)
Grades 1,2 (Consolation Prize 1) – Sameena
(Class 2, Evening shift, Winter season)
Grades 1,2 (Consolation Prize 2) - Naina (Class 2, Roll no. 20, Nature)
Grades 1,2 (Consolation Prize 2) – Naina
(Class 2, Roll no. 20, Nature)
Grades 1,2 (Consolation Prize 3) - Archana (Class 2, Roll no. 3, Evening shift, Nature)
Grades 1,2 (Consolation Prize 3) – Archana
(Class 2, Roll no. 3, Evening shift, Nature)
Grades 1,2 (Consolation Prize 4) - Anil Thapa (Class 2, Roll no. 2, Winter season)
Grades 1,2 (Consolation Prize 4) – Anil Thapa
(Class 2, Roll no. 2, Winter season)
Grades 1,2 (Consolation Prize 5) - Deepak (Class 2, Roll no. 9, Evening shift, My School)
Grades 1,2 (Consolation Prize 5) – Deepak
(Class 2, Roll no. 9, Evening shift, My School)

Benefit for us? It’s intangible and priceless to say the least. I’m already addicted to these kids is all I can say. And am sure so are the folks who came to cheer them as well. Big thanks to Ajay, Anurag, Nitesh, Pradeep, Santosh, Gourab, Ashish, Rakesh, Amit, Varun, Chaynika, Anshal, Ms Teacher (bah I don’t have her name !), Anshika, Payal, Shaveta, Priya, Sanjay (my big brother) & my Mom who made it possible.

Proud Winners

I read somewhere that there’s a slight difference between “Can We?” and “Do we want to?”. It’s about answering the 2nd question and not always the first.

Phew.. I again ran out of word limit, did I not ? ;-)








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