Nurturing For Success
Children from under-privileged section of society remain constrained- with regard to their access to not only resources but to everything else- be it education, health care facilities, nutrition, gainful activities. They also remain ignorant, lacking in awareness and knowledge about world around them and exposure to different facets of it - which are essential for one's wholesome development and upbringing. At the same time their exposure to modern media, TV in particular, and different programmes exhibited on it often provide lop-sided view of life and society, in general, which can be quite damaging to impressionistic mind - inculcating in them possibly undesirable knowledge, outlook and values.
SMILE Foundation has initiated a new venture (Project) called Nurturing for Success. The project contemplates that children from non-elite segments get opportunities, are offered a wide range of activities like excursion, visit to sites of national and historical significance, cultural programmes etc. Also arranged are motivational and informative sessions, through personal encounters, termed Face to Face, with well known personalities and successful achievers from different walks of life who could have positive influence on the children. Children, particularly from deprived lot, often, do not find much to aspire for, with not much of hope or dreams. Making children come face-to-face and their encounter with such personalities is bound to surprise and motivate these children alike, besides providing them with rare, invaluable exposure. Also children, listening to such personalities, and their experiences, may find in them a positive role model and therefore a cause to aspire and dream.
With active help and co-operations from the Foundation for Religious Harmony, SMILE started this initiatives on occasion of Women's Day in year 2003. The first programme took girls (from Community based Computer learning Project) to the residence of the Hon'ble Chief Minister of Delhi, Ms. Sheila Dixit who formally flagged off the Programme in presence of about 70 girls. Ms. Dixit also spent the morning talking to the girls - prominent members of the two Foundations also being present.
The girls were understandably thrilled with such occasion and the esteemed company adding to the frenzy of excitement! Taking advantage of the opportunity, the girls freely interacted and asked many questions from the dignitary. The girls also presented a small cultural programme and even roped in Ms. Dixit who sportingly joined them in dancing.
After the visit to the Chief Minister, the girls were taken to the Science Museum and at the end of the programme they were made to participate in Quiz and Games organized for them. Needless to mention, the initiatives jointly started provided for much fun-filled excursion trip with tremendous exposure of educational significance- an experience of altogether different kind, to be remembered by these girls!
Next in series of such initiative, Smile is planning a visit to the President of India, His Excellency Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, by children from the various projects in different
States like Orissa, UttarPradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi. About 50-60 children are being selected for the occasion and expenses likely to be incurred over outstation children's travel, boarding and lodging in Delhi and other logistics management etc shall be borne by Smile foundation.
Meeting the President is one of the agenda during children's visit to Delhi for 3-days. During the stay, children are to be taken for a conducted tour for "Delhi Darshan", visit to a few Delhi Projects supported by Smile Foundation and then participate in a quiz contest organized by Smile. Children from different partner organizations shall be accompanied by 1-2 teachers from their organization/ State.
The programme is expected to give a life-time opportunity to the outstation children, in particular, most of whom probably never had gone beyond their village! At the conclusion of the programme/visit, each child would be asked to write about his/her experience of the visit, learnings and how they felt benefited. The children then will be asked to describe their experiences of the Delhi visit to the fellow children on reaching back to their respective of their school/organization. Smile, understandably, feels this initiative to be of immense benefits to children. Trying to nurture young impressionistic minds by facilitating such exposure trips with wealth of educative and motivative values.