Friday, September 17, 2010

A Call from Poet Joya Mitra - Asking Your Participation

This is a small school with a big difference. Not exactly a school, its neither a formal daycare centre. The children themselves have named it Maj-orha - The Funhouse.
The area is Rampurhat in Birbhum dist. Large Part of the place is full of stone quarries. Many of the tribal families here go for their livelihood to these stone quarries and crushers. The elder children can’t continue their studies, as they have to look after the younger ones. For the whole day these kids are left to take care of themselves.
3years ago a group of activists both tribal and non-tribal, in their wildest dreams of love planned a shelter for the children at a village called Garia. So the ‘Funhouse’ came into being, starting at first with 4 later 15 children under a Mahua tree. Some volunteers accompanying and teaching them. They also kept talking to the mothers. Now there are nearly 50 students aged from 3-12 years from three villages. Maj-orha is now housed in a two-storied brick-and-mud building with thatched roof. The kids stay there from 7 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon. They receive breakfast lunch and afternoon snacks here. They also get the basic educative skills and some more trainings that will come to their help in future life.
6 trained local young men and women keep them company the whole day. In these three years almost 60 children of the 3 villages have learnt basic three R’s quite well. After just two years in Maj-orha they are able to write their daily experiences in Bengali and Santhali.
They draw with unusual skill and imagination. They sing and dance their culture. Learn the history and geography of their own villages and can speak with their heads held high looking straight into the listeners’ eyes. These students are our promising, wonderful young friends.
Some working youth and students in and outside the country used to pull a fund for giving ‘Fun House’ the care of financial support. But with the spiraling rise of daily goods and the global recession our source of sustenance is drying up. The question is troubling our mind how can we run the centre and continue to feed these our children properly. We know there are so many underfed or hungry kids but we are now thinking about just these 50 odd small mouths. A minimum of the Rs 1,000 is needed for a day’s food including fuel.
We turn to you for sharing with them at least two day’s food a year. That will be yours gift of love. Their brightly smiling faces will be your awards.
Think. Tell others. Please try to broaden the ring of friendship and care so that more children can enter the fold.
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