Blog Feed

“I’m drawing the tiger, my favorite animal, because it’s the only one prancing in the wide jungle with no fear. I want to be like a tiger – fearless.”

A 7-year old child from one of our project areas, maintaining his unflinching attention towards his drawing, says, “I’m drawing the tiger, my favorite animal, because it’s the only one prancing in the wide jungle with no fear. I want to be like a tiger – fearless.”  Milan 2019 aimed at helping our project area children find their voice through different art forms and workshops, and so, post lunch, the off-stage events took place. Each event creatively focused on teaching values to every child – through Rangoli, they played with colours to depict Christmas through which the children learnt the importance of teamwork. In Clay Art, they developed a new perspective to look at nature. In ‘Pick and Speak’, with topics like favourite subject, teachers and dreams. The children pierced through the audience with their bold words in their Recitation event, and in the Colouring event they filled colours in the shapes given to them. Informative workshops on waste management, rights and judiciary, and origami were also conducted by the University students. 

After a short break, the children had a theatre workshop organised by 2 student production teams – Last Minute Productions and Kahale, from the Department of Commerce. The kids participated in fun-filled activities and were given a task to come up with their own stories. The children, through fun and teamwork, learned about a new expressive art form. Throughout the afternoon, our children were part of these many creative events organized by their own ‘Annas’ and ‘Akkas’. The off-stage events helped the kids express their views with creativity and passion. After all, art is what moves the world. After all, as Pablo Picasso aptly pointed out, “Every child is an artist”.

“Dance like nobody’s watching, sing like nobody’s listening.” After the off-stage events were completed, the kids and volunteers gathered in the Dharmaram Auditorium and the on-stage events kickstarted with an outstanding dance performance by the students from Subhash Nagar, who uplifted everyone’s spirits with their magenta dresses and intricate steps. This opening performance was followed by the release of the Milan Trailer, which excited the kids with the melodic theme song of Milan.

This was followed by a musical performance by all the project areas, themed on friendship, with Vriddhi presenting a poster saying “Few Relations On Earth Never Die”. After days and months of volunteering for Milan, and interacting with fellow volunteers from other campuses, this quote really touched a nerve. Next in line was the theatrical display by all the project areas on the theme of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. While 3D used reverse psychology to portray the need to sensitize people regarding the importance of Swachh Bharat, Hoskote presented a dystopian scenario where Gandhi ji had travelled forward in time, only to witness India’s current condition.

Next up, were the dance performances by all the project areas – the kids put up a commendable show, grooving to some foot-tapping numbers. The special dance performance by facilitators from the Bastar project was mind-blowing. Last but not least, were the Mime performances, on the theme of Hygiene and Environment. The kids made a compelling case about how the educated class is ignorantly wasting the resources, which can lead to adverse effects on the environment.

 The events ended on a very positive note, with the kids and volunteers understanding the need to bring out a change in the world which cries out to be preserved for a generation yet to witness its beauty.

-By, Shravanthika Sivasankar, Kishnika Dhawan and Vani Ambardar 

Carnival 2019

The smell of popcorn wafted through the air as we made our entry through the gates of Milan. The energy of the kids was palpable and sunny smiles surrounded the venue as they entered singing ‘fire in the mountain’. Kids from Bagalkot, Vriddhi and 3D got an experience of VR (Virtual Reality) gaming, set up by Smaaash, while kids from Tilak Nagar, Subhash Nagar, and Project Pragathi started off with the other exciting carnival activities set up for them.  The sleep-drawing game, which required the children to put on a blindfold and draw, was the most loved game of the children. Boys, in particular, enjoyed the small football session conducted by the volunteers. Other games and stalls included “Can the Can”, “Basket Toss” and “Temporary Tattoos”.  

The Carnival came alive when volunteers dress up as The Joker, Mickey Mouse, and Santa Claus to celebrate with the children. High-fives were shared and grins turned to broad smiles, as they passed by. After an hour of fun-filled games and swimming through the vibrant carnival spirit, the project area kids along with their facilitators quenched their thirst with some refreshing tender coconut water and ate some chocolates. Moreover, other eatables like hot and salted popcorn and mouth-watering cotton candy really helped them get a carnival experience at CHRIST. “Though we did not play as many games, we had fun in everything we took part in. Moreover, it’s a heartwarming feeling to see our kids have the time of their lives. We were treated to popcorn, candy floss, and sweet tender coconut water, which was a bonus to us!” said one of the project area facilitators. 

The children, facilitators and volunteers made memories through the laughs and smiles. In painting their faces, they also painted their lives in bright shades of fun and joy.

By, DIshti Kundra and Ritika Mukherjee

Milan Sports -2019

“Left, left, left right left”, marched the young flag-bearer in perfect sync, as they set the stage for a great second day of Milan 2019. Sports Day started with a welcome speech by Smt. Panneer Selvi, Project Coordinator, Unnathi. The seeds of a competitive spirit are sown on the field. Strategy, sweat and strength are all put to the test on that field, which becomes an exquisite learning platform. This platform lets children experiment at the right age and grow with the same spirit. Starting with individual sports events, children were called to respective venues as per their slots. As the children tried to ‘Balance the Book’ on their heads, their hesitant smiles slowly developed into confidence. In Three-Legged Race, children learned the value of co-opetition, that is, mutual benefit through cooperation. A spirit of joy filled the ground with events like Sack Race, Pass the Hurdle, Reverse Race, Run with Balloon and Obstacle Race. Shifting to a serious atmosphere, the day witnessed Relay Race and Sprint as well. In Long Jump and Shot Put, kids not only learnt something new, but performed with flying colours. “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” The team events marked the spirit of sportsmanship and teamwork, as all the kids tried to present their talents in the best possible manner.  Dog-and-Bone, an interesting epitome of strategy, marked the beginning of the team games. This was followed by Kho-Kho. Every team was a diverse bunch – this gave the kids an understanding of team spirit despite having come from different project areas. Hoola Hoops tested the kids’ patience and balance, wherein they were supposed to balance the hoops for as long as they could. The kids were then divided into teams for the energetic game of Tug-of- War, which taught them that the strength of a team is what takes it past all adversities. A surprise game of Tug-of-War for the volunteers was conducted too. This gave the volunteers an opportunity to use their strength and prove their might. Sports day, hence concluded as a perfect way of challenging one’s strength and going beyond possibilities to understand what one’s worth.  With that, Sports Day, and with it, Milan, was concluded in the best possible way – by coming together and celebrating our strengths.

Written by, Kishnika Dhawan and Vani Ambardar

Let’s play a Game

Let’s play a game. Close your eyes and think about the first thing that crosses your mind as you think about your future. Be honest and read the next paragraph after you have done that. Open your eyes. Congratulations, you have learned honesty, and something new about yourself today! If this sounds childish, you’ re right – because it is. In a dynamic world, children are developing differently as well. They are often termed as a ‘smarter generation’ or a ‘digital generation’ because of the context they live in. The evolution of the pattern of learning needs to pace up to meet the pace of the current generation.
Going by the words of renowned psychologist Lev Vygotsky, ” In the play, a child is always above his average age, above his daily behavior, in play, it’s as though he were a head taller than himself.” It curates a path for children to discover and make sense of their environment, allowing them to develop cognitively, socially, emotionally and physically. When adults look at the perks of play in a child’s life, their sight revolves around physical fitness only. However, indoor and outdoor games have been associated with different teachings of life and curriculum. Research has shown that outdoor play encourages children to mature at a considerably faster rate, than those children who play indoors. This results in better language development and happier and more sociable children. Learning through play can be challenging and can be viewed sceptically due to the predominance of an unconventional learning system. Apart from the curriculum, adding games and activities gives autonomy to the children and also gives the teachers an exclusive
medium to channelize their teachings through simpler ways. In this way, children can develop greater self-learning and problem-solving skills. The play also allows learners to discover new interactive methods of working towards achieving goals in today’s developing the world. Get a head-start on life and play now!

Milan Quotes

Facilitators

“We liked the carnival games, especially “Can the Can” and “Sleep drawing.”

-Ms. Anu and Ms. Ruby, facilitators, Vriddhi. 

“The energy of the kids is amazing. Kids are participating so actively in everything. Milan helps bring out their talent.” 

-Ms. Meghala, Project 3D.

Faculty

“Milan was a success because we established a system of constant communication with the faculty, facilitators, project officers and volunteers to plan out the activities.”

-Jino Joy, Project Officer, CSA 

It’s maddening and there’s a merriment in all the madness. It’s both exhilarating and exciting. It is also really enriching for the volunteers, as it allows them to know who we are working with. It is the coming together of all the volunteers of CSA.”

Mrs. Phinu Jose, Director, CSA 

From Children

“The volunteers looked after us so well. They slept very little during the night because they made sure that all of us slept first. They even played songs for us.”

Nitin, Participant from Tilaknagar

“I liked Milan very much, especially dancing on the stage and talking to the annas and akkas.”

Hanumant, Bagalkot participant.

“The university ground is my favourite place here and I really enjoyed all the sports activities. Playing “Can the Can” at the carnival stall was also a lot of fun.”

Ammu, Vriddhi participant

On Stage events

“Dance like nobody’s watching, sing like nobody’s listening.” After the kids and volunteers gathered in the Dharmaram Auditorium, on-stage events kick started with an outstanding dance performance by the students from Subhash Nagar, who uplifted everyone’s spirits with their magenta dresses and intricate steps. This opening performance was followed by the release of the Milan Trailer, which excited the kids with the melodic theme song of Milan. This was followed by a musical performance by all the project areas, themed on friendship, with Vriddhi presenting a poster saying “Few Relations On Earth Never Die”. After days and months of volunteering for Milan, and interacting with fellow volunteers from other campuses, this quote really touched a nerve. Next in line was the theatrical display by all the project areas on the theme of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. While 3D used reverse psychology to portray the need to sensitize people regarding the importance of Swachh Bharat, Hoskote presented a dystopian scenario where Gandhi ji had travelled forward in time, only to witness India’s current condition. Next up, were the dance performances by all the project areas – the kids put up a commendable show, grooving to some foot-tapping numbers. The special dance performance by facilitators from the Bastar project was mind-blowing. Last but not least, were the Mime performances, on the theme Hygiene and Environment. The kids made a compelling case about how the educated class is ignorantly wasting the resources, which can lead to adverse effects on the environment. The events ended on a very positive note, with the kids and volunteers understanding the need to bring out a change in the world which cries out to be preserved for a generation yet to witness its beauty.

Milan 2019- prologue

Milan 2019

Milan- it is not just an event, but an emotion. As one stands in the midst of the bustling campus, surrounded by volunteers from 3 campuses, kids from 7 projects areas, facilitators and CSA faculty, you will realise that the name of the celebration is truly what it stands for – the coming together of CSA. With a variety of committees for volunteers and a multitude of activities ranging from cultural displays and carnival games to sports and Zumba, Milan also stands for the coming together of a diverse range of volunteering activities and talents. This publication captures the essence of this ‘Milan’ and will definitely show you how we come together as one family to create 2 memorable days for all of CSA. Happy reading

In Conversation with CSA Volunteers

For every volunteer of Centre for Social Action, its flagship event, Milan, means the world to them. When we asked two CSA volunteers, Shikhar Sinha and Ritwik Mund, they had a lot to share about their feelings about their Milan. “ Controlling 300 kids is not an easy job, but I know for a fact that the CSA volunteers will do a splendid job and the event will be unforgettable.” "As they say, ‘Sabr Ka Fal Mitha Hota Hai (The fruit of patience is sweet)”, Ritwik shares. The third-year volunteers, apart from their expectations alone, had a lot to share about their experiences from Milan 2017. “Yes, Milan memories don't fade away so easily. Everything that we plan or do has some beautiful story to remember.” Achal poignantly speaks of his experience from Milan 2017. This resonated with all the volunteers. “While editing the Milan 2017 after movie, we came across some footage of a girl from our project area saying that CSA volunteers treated her better than anyone has ever done. At this moment, we broke down and decided to add this to the final video. We had only twenty minutes before the screening of the after movie, but we couldn’t have left her part out. “euphorically recollects James, a CSA alumnus. Every CSA event helps its volunteers reflect on life and take these life lessons forward in becoming a better human being of tomorrow. “One major lesson I learned from Milan 2017 is how each child was satisfied with whatever they got. We might say that they have little, but I've seen children sharing whatever they got during the events. The child's innocent sense of responsibility is captured here, and I truly admire this.” Neethu, one of our third-year volunteers puts all her thoughts in words, and we couldn’t agree.

BTS !

“There was a strange current in the air, a buzzing, ethereal stirring of energy. With that, I knew – Milan was here.”

As spectacular as the final event of Milan is, the magic doesn’t just begin and end with the final days alone. The glimmer, glee and glow of the show take days and weeks to materialise. CSA Volunteers from all three campuses got together and after meticulous planning, geared up to make this mega event a reality. 

After the volunteers for Milan had been allotted to their respective committees, they all conducted meetings to familiarize the volunteers with each other and with the work. Work continued in earnest as the new semester began. On 24th November, the enthusiastic volunteers from the BGR, Kengeri and Bangalore Central campuses got together for an exciting ice-breaker session for volunteers so they may get to know each other better before the finale. The energy levels rose higher than ever when this group determinedly embarked on this journey of a fortnight, together. Following this session, preparations continued with renewed vigour, as volunteers were constantly running around, making arrangements and

handling multiple responsibilities. Not a day went by, when the CSA Office wasn’t abuzz with Milan prep after college hours, sometimes till as late as 8 PM. Half of the fun of Milan lay in the preparations of the event itself. Milan is such a powerful force that numerous senior volunteers came back to CSA, to relive their best college experience.

Amidst all the running around, a lot of beautiful friendships were made, lots of laughs shared but all in all, it was worth it in the end.

Bengaluru Darshana

The railway station was a mix of clamour and calm as the volunteers waited for the kids carrying their vibratant smiles. Fifty-one excited kids from project Unnathi of Bagalkot take their first steps like rays of the sun in Bangalore. After being taken to the waiting room, the children attentively heard the instructions given to them and attended their roll calls. They were taught Sadhugadhala, shhhh a Drishti way of demanding silence and giving instructions. Relishing their meal, the kids discussed their journey from Bagalkot to Bangalore. Chetan, a child from Unnathi told that they sang and danced a lot in the train. The kids started for Vidhana Soudha by 11:00 am. As the journey started they looked at the sights in Bangalore with the Milan song playing in the background. On reaching the venue, the children were spellbound by the Vidhan Soudha. The kids were taken to Karnataka Legislative Assembly and told about it’s decision making function in the State. After an introduction to the history of Vidhan Soudha which was constructed in 1956, the children were quized with general knowledge question. At the next destination- The Jawaharlal Nehru planetarium, the children were taken for a scintillating show. They were also addressed by Dr. Anand, an astronaut. When he told the kids about sun being a star and that the Moon is 3,00,000 kms away from us they screamed in excitement. At the end of it, the kids went to Bangalore Central Campus with eyes full of the days sights and minds bubbling with new learning.

By, Vani Ambardar