Play time for poor kids

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  • Published 14.07.12
Toy story

Some own hundreds, many none, but every child covets them. And now toys — that best friend during the years of growing up — will soon come within the reach of underprivileged children, making their otherwise drab life fun-filled.

Lakshyam — a Ranchi-based social organisation that works for uplift of migrants, underprivileged and illiterate children — has decided to set up libraries of used toys at government schools and orphanages so that poor kids, who can never afford these playthings, are not deprived of the pleasures of growing up.

One such library will come up at Tupudana, where a hostel for migrating children was opened last year, by the end of this month while many more have been planned at Namkum, Kanke and Ratu Road with members of Lakshyam looking for suitable places.

“We are coming up with toy libraries and are approaching private schools with a plea to collect used toys and clothes from their students. Yesterday (Thursday), I visited Sachidanad Gyan Bharti School and requested the authorities to make an announcement at the assembly. We also kept a plastic box at the school where the students can drop their toys. We will collect them later,” said Poonam Anand, founder of Lakshyam that was established in 2004.

She added that they would knock on the doors of more schools like DPS, Tender Heart School and Sherwood (N) Academy among others.

“The idea is to set up the libraries at government schools and orphanages. We don’t need much space but a small area where we can keep an almirah and some chairs for the children to sit and play with the toys. A supervisor will be present to collect the play things from the students once they are done,” Poonam explained.

The entire cost for setting up the libraries will be borne by the social organisation.

It is Poonam’s daughter who came up with the idea.

“I was moved when I saw street children in Delhi collecting broken toys. Suddenly, I though how about opening libraries for such kids who cannot afford expensive toys. I soon started collecting toys from schoolchildren and opened a library at Delhi under a project titled Saksham. I am happy that my initiative has brought smile to the faces of many children,” said Rashi, who has also opened a chapter of Lakshyam in Delhi.

“Similar libraries were set up at Hyderabad, Dehradun and Chandigarh in collaboration with NGOs at the beginning of this year,” she added.

Lakshyam’s future projects include providing training to underprivileged women under its Prayas programme.

“We will impart training on designing fashion accessories like silk scarves, stoles et al. The products will be sold in the market,” said Poonam.

Other ventures on the cards are a craft centre and horticulture club. “At craft centre, street children will learn how to make candles and envelopes while the horticulture club will impart training related to gardening, preparation of soil and so on,” she added.