Ahmedabad: It may be hard to believe that children as young as 12 and 13 years old can take up pressing issues like ways to check suicides among powerloom workers, but it’s true. For the ‘Design for Giving’ school contest, children of Siddhartha E/M High School have decided to boldly tackle such problems by counselling the frail and depressed workers of powerloom mills.
We have all read about the spate of suicides reported last September in the powerloom town of Sircilla in Andhra Pradesh. Martin Luther, mentor of children at Siddhartha E/M High School, said, “Although they work very hard to earn a living, they are unable to provide for their families, and in their desperate and depressed state they commit suicide. The children of Siddhartha School have endeavoured to contribute something to help people cope with crises”.
In their bid to counsel powerloom workers these children are using diamond as a metaphor for life, explaining that the scratches on a raw diamond are like hardships in life, and just like we don’t throw away the precious stone, we must not waste our precious life by committing suicide or consuming alcohol.
The Design for Giving Contest is an initiative to motivate children to step out in the real world and open their minds and hearts to the stark realities of the outside world. The aim is to ensure that the young can muster enough courage to tackle these problems boldly and uninhibitedly.
Milind Nagda, of Teach of India at Akanksha Shindewadi Municipal School, showed an inspirational video to the class III students. The children were amazed to see the physically challenged kids overcome their disabilities to achieve their dreams.
After watching the video, the children opened their hearts to the other less fortunate deaf students in the same school building and decided to do random acts of kindness to raise money for replacement batteries for their hearing aids. Nagda,the mentor for these children, said, “Batteries are crucial for the continuous use of the hearing aids, but most of these deaf kids cannot afford the batteries, so we decided to raise funds for it.”
Interesting is the way the kids have got involved in doing random acts of kindness every day to earn a rupee. They help their parents, brothers, sisters and even people they do not know. In fact, this programme has also helped the kids improve their conversational and group interaction skills in English by discussing these acts of kindness every day,” said Nagda.
These stories and many more are stories of change that children are bringing about as part of the Design for Giving School Contest which was held throughout the nation during the Joy of Giving week from September 27 to October 3.