Kids watch movies

February 26, 2011 § 2 Comments

Of all the people in IIMA campus, most of us have seen wonderful performances of prayaas kids in chaos-2010,2011 and many other such occasions. Today it was the turn of these kids to appreciate themselves on their own performances, at the video and movie screening organised by MAD for prayaas kids in the old campus CR. They enjoyed to the hilt watching their own thrilling performances and their eyes were glued to the screen, while their hands and head moved in sync with their own moves.

Next, it was turn for them to choose between “hanuman returns” and “ramayana-the epic” and they went for the latter with an emphatic yes!! (as some of them had already seen the former).
It was a fun filled evening with an exposure to indian mythology for these kids.

Their joys knew no bounds when Lord Ram broke the bow and won the rights to marry Sita.They clapped as if our team india had won the world cup :). They enjoyed every scene for the whole duration of the movie.
Looking forward to having more such evenings with these kids, an evening which all of us enjoyed to the core.


What goes on beyond those red bricks?

December 29, 2010 § 6 Comments

“What goes on beyond those red bricks?”…wonder the eyes of the small ones who are going to spend most of their childhood on the peripheries of this Mecca of learning. Some think it’s a hotel, others think it’s a hospital, but definitely not a school…..they never see kids running out at the end of the day with bags hung over their backs.

The answer to this questionwas the theme of the project done by Geeta- a PGP-I student and her study group as part of the curriculum requirements of the course-ISPE(Indian Social and Political Environment) conducted by Prof. Anil Gupta in 2003.

What started off as a curriculum project took the form of an endeavor to make a difference to the lives of these small ones, to give them hope and support to one day live their dream of running out at the end of the day at the strike of the bell, and return the next day to learn, have fun and more importantly to have a childhood that would give them a chance at having a better future.

What stands as the spick-and-span new campus of IIM Ahmedabad, was at that time a shanty neighborhood and the odds were, that the children of this locality would have a future no better than their present.

But fortunately for these children this project did not just end with a report that would gather dust in some corner, it evoked in the participants a feeling that they must do something meaningful for these kids. A health camp with the Ramakrishna foundationwas followed by a search for a place where classes for these kids could be held. The compound of a temple in front of the blind people’s association school presented itself as a bestowment from the deity of the temple himself.

The journey thus began which continues to this day. Some inspiring anecdotes make the story of this endeavor called prayaas, a story worth telling. Once, in a class of Prof. Anil Kr. Gupta, the Prayaas kids were invited to participate. The class was asked to come up with uses of used matchsticks. The kids came up with some forty odd uses such as making kites, applying sindoor , padding them with nails for better strength and many more. Prof. Gupta wondered “Will these kids ever be able to make it to this side of the red bricks?”

On one occasion a PGP-I student, while teaching these children faced an embarrassing problem, he could not help a child write 6, no matter how hard he tried. Help came from unexpected quarters- a kid asked for his permission to help this child and lo!- the child was able to write 6, the very next moment. A little in-depth analysis of the incident threw up the fact that some people’s brains are wired clock-wise as opposed to the majority whose brains are wired anti-clockwise. This little minority prefers to write digits such as 6 clockwise. Stories of their wits can run upto hundreds of pages.

Along the seven years of its journey, prayaas has touched lives of many such kids. It has opened a whole new world of opportunities for these kids. The eyes of these kids light up when they dance to the numbers of ‘Wake up sid’ and ‘Taare Zameen Par’ .Their joys know no bounds when theycelebrate festivals such as Diwali, Rakshabandhan, Independence Day and many more. They now sport a uniform, attenda vernacular medium school and are on their way to have formal education which will enable them to become a part of the vitals of this democracy of ours ,instead of being just a vestige.

In the words of Prof. Gupta “Prayaas is a success for me, even if it has touched the life of even one child positively, because this touch would carry on for generations, it would help these families get that one push required for a better future of their generations”.

In the golden jubilee year of this institute’s esteemed existence, we celebrate the success of this truly golden endeavor called ‘Prayaas’. Prayaas looks forward ambitiously to create a larger impact and to become a bigger movement. According to Prof. Ankur Sarin “Prayaas provides an opportunity to the student community of IIM-A, to learn management of initiatives with benefits for the society. Prayaas can help them widen their perspectives of management and at the same time their involvement can benefit Prayaas to increase its ambit and create greater social good.”

Prayaas is a sapling, which aspires to grow and given proper care and attention, it can soon take the form of a perennial fruit bearing tree. For supporting its activities, prayaas looks forward to contributions from the community to nourish this sapling in to well grown flourishing tree.

Prayaas can be reached by e-mail at

— Abhishek Ranjan (PGP’10) and Saurabh Katiyar (PGP’10)

Janmashtami Celebrations at SAS

August 15, 2009 § 5 Comments

What a day for the kids. It was nice to see them perform along with other children during the festival of Janamastmi. Shanti Asiatic School (SAS) was generous enough to give Prayaas kids a chance to perform with their students. It was a great learning experience for them as they were preparing for this event for last 5 days at the SAS itself. The performance was exceptionally well given the time they had to prepare. The environment was very cheerful with little kids dressed up as radha and krishna. They showed different colors of krishna’s life through the dance. The incidence like krishna stealing makhan, krishna fighting with yashomati maiya for being black, rishna teasing radha and radha jealous of other girls cannot be displayed in better way. A group of small kids performed the ‘matki phod’ with lots of candies and chocolates in the matki to end the event. There was special mention of the Prayaas kids during the event. What touched me most was the way they mingled with the other kids and the zeal and confidence they showed during the performance. SAS is looking for long term relationship with the kids. Hopefully the kids will get more such chances to perform. Special thanks to the teachers who were there with them all the time and helped them to prepare for the event.

Parent Teacher Meeting

July 9, 2009 § Leave a comment

We had a small Parent Teacher Meeting today for the kids going to the privte school. We feel that education happens as much at home (if not more) as in school. Especially with Prayaas, where are efforts are directed towards sending kids to school with willing consent and pledge for continuation of education, such an event gains even more importance.

We conveyed 4 things:
1. They need to spend time with the kids making them study
2. They need to take ownership of the child’s academic performance along with the school
3. They need to continue sending their kids to school. Not to be discontinued at any cost
4. They need to pay Rs.100 per month as token money to show their support towards the cause

Looking to extend this to other kids in the school also …


Bid adieu …

March 18, 2009 § 5 Comments

This is that time of the year when one bunch of people associated with Prayaas leave the campus. The association does not break, yet it changes. One goes on to become more of an outsider from someone who is actively involved in the day-to-day activities.

One batch at the B-school is about to complete its education and is waiting for the Convocation. They are happy that these were two years well spent, and they look forward to their life ahead. Many are also sentimental about the place and the whole experience, not to mention the different groups each one has formed.

Volunteers share these emotions and they are not too happy with the fact that they would not be able to see the kids as often as they would have liked. They would not be able to celebrate festivals with them, but just eagerly wait for photos to be uploaded to see what happened. They would have to rely on blogs, notice boards etc. to know about the new initiatives, the academic progress of kids etc. One can always visit the city, but I understand that it would not be very easy.

At the same time, volunteers are happy that the next batch has taken over the responsibility rather well. They have been involved for the last year and the transition has been smooth. It is now upto them to take the effort forward. Well, one of the primary aims of Prayaas has been to associate as many people with it as possible. So, this periodic transitions augurs well to that end.

A new batch is also getting ready to come to the B-school. They might not have heard about Prayaas when they are outside, but they would surely do once they are in. Some of them would want to get involved in the effort and the cycle would continue. They would be waiting when the baton gets passed on to them …

Chaos pics

February 27, 2009 § Leave a comment

Chaos, the annual cultural festival of IIMA commenced on January the 29th and the Prayaas kids helped light up the closing evening on 1st Feb, giving the viewers an evening’s worth of blissful movement. Innocence, poise and zest spurted out from the 50+ young dancers of various ages. Graceful skips and leaps along with the idyllic outfits rendered a visually heartwarming experience.

Latent talents of these children were on exhibition and their feat gathered great compliments from the large assemblage, giving them the respect and adulation they deserve. The preparation for this dance number had started quite early and it was heartening to see the kids maintain their initial enthusiasm and project it on stage. Dance for the sake of dance draped the Louis Kahn Plaza (LKP).   

The free-spirited kids danced to the bright positive tunes of Shankar Mahadevan’s “Sabse aage honge Hindustani” and came up with a stirring performance in line with the Chaos theme of “Khalbali”. These young artistes, of different ages, impeccably massed with each other to give the audience lots to cheer about.

Such platforms help inspiring and encouraging children to cling on to their dreams and work to bring them to fruition. Taan and Mohit Chauhan followed later in the night, but needless to say that the evening was lit up by these young talented kids. More the opportunities such as these in our nation, greater would be the standing of “Sabse aage honge Hindustani”.

Different strokes for Prayaas kids

February 2, 2009 § Leave a comment

TOI Link

Viral went home on Saturday, holding a trophy for her mother. This was no medal but a greeting card, that she had hand
painted herself, so what if the lines and strokes were not perfect.

After all, Viral and several other students of Prayas, an initiative of students of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) to impart education to underprivileged children, were trying their hand on water colours for the first time under guidance of trained designers.

Children of Prayas, on Saturday, met students of NID where they were taught various techniques of art and craft, using which, they made cards and bookmarks which are being sold on IIM-A campus. Over 10 NID students participated in the workshop, which was conducted for students above five years.

“Around 36 students of Prayas participated in the workshop. NID students know of Prayas and they expressed interest in conducting the workshop,” said Sameer Gandhi, second year student at IIM-A, a Prayas co-ordinator.

“We taught kids spray painting, blow painting and thumb painting. We had a lot of fun and it was great to see their creativity. they exceeded our expectations,” said Fatema Jaliwala, a student of Apparel Design and Merchandising at NID.

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