Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Diwali Mela at Daksha School to Raise Funds for the Cyclone Hudhud Victims

What a fun idea! The team at Daksha came up with this brilliant idea of having a Diwali mela full of fun, games, shopping and food, all at the school premises, and handled by children, all below eight years of age! The cause - to raise money to contribute to the cyclone affected of the Huhhud. The Diwali mela was to start at 3 in the afternoon and all parents and friends and family were invited to participate, have fun and contribute their bit.
Anjali and the 'Solve the Puzzle' stall - Dharini, Brahmani and Vamshi
When I entered the school premises at 340 pm, I found a rather subdued Venkat Sai manning the welcome committee, He is Anjali's exuberant and energetic friend from Class 2 and he was wishing me in a polite manner and welcoming me, quite unlike the Venkat Sai I know who is full of mischief. He was taking his rolr very seriously indeed. Then there was Achi Reddy who was in charge of the contributions box. The ground floor stalls were full of Diwali merchandise -wall hangings, greeting cards, painted diyas hand painted by the children themselves and so much more. I believe there were some wonderful greeting cards painted by Pavani, Mansi's mother. I could not wait to get to Anjali's stall.

I picked up some tokens and went to the 2nd floor where Anjali had a 'Solve the puzzle' stall which she manned with Dharani Sai, Brahmani and Vamshi. I gave them a token fro 20 rupees and she asked me 2 questions, One was about how many months in the year have 28 days and the other was something to do with Nehru and Indira Gandhi. I said February to the first question and they said I was wrong. All months have 28 days you see. Sorry no gift! Shobhs was asked another question like - there are two coins and their sum is 75 paise. One of them is not a fifty paise coin. How is it possible? The answer of course is that though one of the coins is not a fifty paise coin, the other coin is a fifty paise coin. It was the best way to lose 20 bucks I tell you. I could have played that game forever and lost everyone of them happily. The kids were thrilled at our ignorance and laughed loudly at our answers.
The first stall is the 'Hit the ball' one and then Harsh with his 'Solve in a minute' puzzle
I enrolled for a hit the ball contest. The boys pressed a pedal and the ball was to fly in the air for me to hit it. The contraption fell apart. The ball rolled softly on the ground. The boys went into a tizzy. I tapped the ball with my bat and moved on. Harsh sat with some puzzle that one had to solve in a minute. I did not go there. Abhishek went though. I was instead invited to enter the haunted house which was a very impressive dark room full of moaning skeletons and even a live ghost. 'Hi uncle,' said the little ghost in the most friendly manner. I hung on for a while with the friendly ghost with a white mask and then came out.

The food court had all the promise of pani puri, bhel puri, pop corn, puffs, sweet corn, mrchi bajjis and lemonade (told to me many many times by Anjali). I was bent on spending most money on the food court but I realised I was running out of time. Nalini and Abhishek were having a great time playing many games and so di Shobhs. I met Shreya and Anita and of course Chandana Aunty and most others.
Nalini and Abhishek figuring out the next stall to go to

What energy? And what a lovely way to get the children involved in something so creative and fun? They were all fully involved, though diffident, but stuck manfully to their tasks. I always think that there can be no better therapy than to watch children and interact with them. So many parents and relatives and friends came to participate and one could see them all having a great time. I ate a bit of a cake that they got from the food court and its the best cake I ever ate in my life. The cause is brilliant. The way to raise money is so creative and educative and fun and so many more things. The proceeds of the mela were to be given to representatives of CARE who would then hand it all over. Fantastic idea Anita and team and wonderfully executed. Well done Daksha, once again.

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