As many as 185 needy children in Jamshedpur found buddies in bhaiyas and didis of premier B-school XLRI in two separate events on Sunday.
In the first, students of Entrepreneurship Development Centre, 2012-13 batch of XLRI, hosted Prayaas, an event for 150 children of Digital Literacy Mission (DLM) at Bhalubasa Community Centre.
The XLRI event, in collaboration with DLM — an innovative learning network for poor children founded by some scientists of National Metallurgical Laboratory — and Tata Steel, helped children enjoy themselves with games, snacks and dancing.
XLRI students also handed out notebooks and study materials to children in the event where East Singhbhum additional deputy commissioner Ganesh Kumar was the chief guest.
The DLM learning community promotes weekday tutoring and weekend fun for disadvantaged children — those studying in state-run schools, forced to drop out due to poverty, among others — and aims to grow into a nationwide network.
Interestingly, Prayaas is also a 20-member team of XLRI’s students, which as the name suggests, attempts various social uplift activities. Finding the DLM learning network idea to be a win-win one, the Prayaas team of XLRI is also trying to make it grow with help from Tata Steel.
On normal Sundays, DLM students join what they call Sunday Activity, where they learn music, yoga, craft, gardening, among others.
On this special Sunday, the children had more fun — demonstrating their newly learnt yoga exercises, munching on bananas, potato chips and samosas, playing games and dancing.
“I loved it here,” beamed Rahul Kumar, a sixth grader at Kerala Samajam Project School, who gets tutoring at DLM.
Rahul, unlike affluent children, doesn’t have a lot of Sunday outings, chips and cold drinks in tow. But more than the snacks, he appreciated the fact that he was getting a better life, thanks to DLM.
“After tuition at DLM, I’m doing far better in maths and science,” he said. “I also like extra-curricular activities.”
“Today was special, but the whole DLM journey has been extra-ordinary,” said facilitator Aparna Singh. “We started with five students last November and now we have 150. Students, despite hardships, are eager to learn. Today, they performed yoga and a cultural event beautifully,” she said.
In the second event, 35 children from slums took part in games on XLRI campus on the penultimate day of Joy of Giving Week.
The programme, organised by GMP students of XLRI and NGO Kalamandir, had innovative gaming kiosks for children, including Wishing Well, Break the Pyramid and Hoop the Loop.