Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Spare a Toy, Gift Them Joy

Twice a day, as I walk past the tiny cluster of potters' huts on my way to college and back, I wonder at the extreme disparity between this world and the one I come from. These crumbling hutments with their innumerable residents and the clay pots, pans and animal figures, and those modern homes with their Air conditioners, comfortable furniture and luxuries that are in fact considered as basic amenities. Everything is the same - people, their daily need of food, water and shelter, their right to education and a decent living. Yet, the two worlds are far apart. The Indian economy is, no doubt, partly to blame. But the more important issue to be focused upon here is the impact this inequality has on children. Deprived of proper education, books, toys and such simple joys of living, all they are left with in the name of childhood are distant memories of a state of perpetual need and insecurity. Working at tender ages and the lack of education deprive these children of their right to a happy and stimulating childhood.

The least we can do, as citizens of this lovely country called India that we call our home, is to do our bit in helping these children, present in multitudes throughout the nation, get their childhood back. You can make a humble start by shelling out any spare books, clothes or toys that you may have discarded long back, and donating them to authentic NGOs, orphanages or other such institutions dedicated to the welfare of children.

As a beginning, I review here an internationally known and acclaimed NGO, Toybank, that is dedicated to giving back to the children their right to a childhood, in the true sense of the word.

Toybank, a non-profit organization has been set up with the aim of providing toys to children who come from a weak socio-economic background.

To ensure that children from under privileged backgrounds receive toys through collection and distributions.
To bridge the gap between children from different backgrounds by creative play/group events/community events.
To make play space available for children through toy libraries using available infrastructure; to reclaim open public spaces for children.
To design and provide toys that are context specific, and to have toys made in local languages as well.

Support: Children, Right to Play, Right to Leisure, Non-formal education, Toys.

Presence In: Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, UK, Bhutan

Website: http://www.toybank.org/

Note: They are presently looking for volunteer coordinators in Pune and Bangalore, and for NGOs working on children's education in Delhi/NCR.
I write this post as a part of BlogAdda's Bloggers Social Responsibility (BSR) initiative. I am exercising my BSR. You can too, with three very simple steps. Visit http://www.blogadda.com/bsr-list and support the NGO's cause. Go a step further, contribute as much as you can, and spread awareness about the cause as well.

Do not miss this chance to see real joy on a child's face. Trust me, it's worth every ounce of effort! :)

(Photos Courtesy: Harshit Vishwakarma)
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