Movie time with kids of Mandi gaon!

disclaimer: they might sue me for plagiarism, for this. Just for your information, i am neck deep in debts for the next few years. And i don’t give a …if you don’t believe in bringing a difference with what you created!

I should thank my friend Vivek Jhorar for introducing me to the school at Mandi gaon (gaon means village). Run by Shibu & his wife this school is a family effort to bring some change to the lives of few under privileged kids of a slum.

the slum @ Mandi gaon (village)

Jhorar once asked me to help him bring some kids to the annual event of his dance school (Thump India). That is how i met Shibu & his students. Kids of various age with torn clothes waited for me there & here i was thinking that world is unfair with me!

The evening went well with the kids awed by the dance performance of Thump students. They couldn’t stop talking about it even after we reached gaon. For them, what they experienced was unique and different; which we might describe as ‘just another event’! 

That night i wondered whether they would ever experience another such event. The answer was difficult to find from the probabilities my logic put forth.

Few weeks of hectic travel & work stopped my stream of thoughts into wandering towards Mandi. But on 10th of August, my brain put forth an interesting thought – why not inspire them with what they aspire. Thus on 11th August, i screened a movie for few kids at their ‘so called’ school in my tiny laptop screen.

what they call – the school! – became our luxurious theatre

My first choice was Lion King (one of my favourites). But then i realised it would be a bad choice for those barely literate little critics. My objective was simple, since i couldn’t help them with money, i rather add value in their tough life with some momentary luxury.

Shibu & his students @ our grand screening

With Shibu’s approval, i screened ‘I am Kalam’ for the kids on that beautiful afternoon. What was expected as a small crowd (of 10 odd kids) grew into a 20+ congregation of enthusiastic kids from different ethnicity. I felt claustrophobic in that small shack which served as their temple of knowledge. For them it was a movie hall of great comfort.

our little theatre

They shouted and cheered for the little Kalam. Though the movie was a bit slow for their taste, they did enjoy it. It was visible on their faces and i felt accomplished for once. One of them asked me, when i would screen the next movie. I didn’t have an answer!

I never thought i would write this but i want to share with those kids, some more joy. I want them to forget their hardships for few hours, make them feel wanted & important.

the little critics of Mandi gaon watching the movie

I need your help to take it further by sharing me some good (a bit more melodramatic :) ) inspirational Hindi movies. Suggest & share please, i promise you unconditional joy & prayers from those little ones, who are fighting for food when we fight for a lifestyle.

their smiles are precious!

PS: Shibu runs the school under a registered charitable trust but he lacks experience, ideas & funds to take it further. Don’t help him with money, that is secondary, but help him with ideas where he could encourage those kids to attend school regularly. That is his main challenge! Maybe some gifts like books or an old cloth of yours can make a difference – a random thought.

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10 thoughts on “Movie time with kids of Mandi gaon!

  1. This is exquisite work! I’ll be glad if I can do anything at all. And I definitely want to meet these kids! When do I get the opportunity?

  2. Good work you are doing.lm an elementary school teacher and l like you idea of using visual methods for teaching them. l have some hybrid stories with games and exercises which l can e-mail you. l also recommend http://www.kizclub.com/ . lt has a lot of good stuff to school for young learners including stories and animations. You just have to translate. Talk to Vivek Jhorar and he will give you Naomi’s e-mail address. Keep it up. Let me know if l can help you in other ways.

    • Thank you much Naomi. As you said, language is the main challenge. They speak different languages & slang. But i am confident that some good people here can help us :)

      Will check the website and revert Naomi. Thanks again for your suggestions.

  3. What ages are these kids? The Hippocampus Reading Foundation is a good organization to approach – they set up libraries for children who need resources. They even give away some book sets on and off – think that deadline expired some time ago but they’re reasonable folks, you could ask.(http://www.hrfindia.org/)

    Barefootbooks is a website that has some nice animated videos for free. The lovely thing with these books are that they are colourful with global culture, some places where Indian children can identify the character with people they have seen, the words are written as sub-titles and the word being sung is highlighted to help with reading. (http://www.barefootbooks.com/kids/animated-videos/)

    Am sure you must have heard of Sugata Mitra’s initiative? If not, this might be something to see if there is fit with your organization. (http://www.ted.com/speakers/sugata_mitra.html, http://www.hole-in-the-wall.com/MIE.html)

    Ideas are much easier to give, being there to do is what is tough for me, so love to contribute this way. My dissertation was on the various skills required to be ready for Grade 1 under the CBSE system – I took the technology route to supplement learning. I have a list of resources per skill – free resources online, if that will be of interest. Can email, if you want.

    Good luck working/volunteering with these kids – kids truly do make the world go around!

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