As many of you are aware, I am currently working with an organization called Teach For India that seeks to end education inequity by providing a quality education to children coming from low income communities across the country. For the last 1.5 years, I’ve been working in an under-resourced school in Pune. My students come from six to right slum areas around Vishrantwadi.
I am reaching out to all of you in order to seek your support for a project that my co fellow, Anushri and I have initiated in our school. Its called – To Infinity and Beyond.
To Infinity and Beyond is a project that seeks to draw out the infinite potential within each child by giving them access to theatre, dance and art lessons that compliment their academic curriculum.
We have hired external resource people to conduct dance, art and theatre lessons for the children every Saturday. These efforts will culminate in the – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory musical production in March 2012 (which is the book that our children are currently reading in class as their RC Curriculum for the year).
Coming from low income communities where making ends meet is hard enough, giving their children access to art and theatre is a luxury that they could never dream of. We strongly believe that where are children come from should not dictate who they can become. They have as much of a right to gain access to art to reach their full potential as people.
What you can do to help
1. For starters, you can donate yourself, if you find the cause worthwhile. :)
2. Visit our facebook page. Like it. Invite your friends.
3. Send the link of our website to as many of your friends and family as possible and urge them to donate. The amount does not matter.
Our fundraising plea is simple. We are not looking to get a lot of money from ONE person, we are looking to get a LOT of people to contribute small amounts. For example, people in countries with currencies stronger than ours, can sponsor a child for one club for 2 dollars.
4. Come and watch our kids perform “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” musical on March 24th in Pune.
5. Volunteer in our classrooms to get a better feel of our challenges and what needs to be done.
Project ‘To Infinity and Beyond’ is an idea the essence of which is – there is so much more each one of us can be if given a chance. Each child has multiple dimensions. Often compartmentalized into narrow categories of intelligent, average and below average based on test scores, these children inherit the stigma that these grades carry without ever discovering their true passion and potential beyond this narrow definition of achievement. Hence, the three clubs – Art, Dance and Theatre.
The possibilities are endless. These children deserve as much chance as their peers in well-to-do schools to discover their potential. We believe that access to art is not a privilege, it is every child’s right.
A promise has been made to 80 children and 160 parents, we need your all good wishes, help and support to translate this vision for our kids into a reality.
Note: Once you/your friends make a donation you will receive a message that says the money has been transferred to Chaitra Murlidhar. The account registered with paypal is linked to my account. Indian donors are requested to make a donation through the Give India link.Please be assured that your money will be channeled into the project. You will receive a report of our finances in March. Feel free to drop into our school anytime.