Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Monday, December 9, 2013
I’d been at Manzil for a month, and almost every day I’d been noticing beautiful notebooks lying in the office, colorful cards on side tables, and unusual earrings in student’s ears. Each time I admired them and asked where they were from, the answer was always the same: Craftkari! I decided it was time to meet the 8 girls behind the creations: Himani, Manju, Mamta, Ruhi, Nagma, Babita, Pooja and Malti. I was welcomed into their class, and when I left I had new friends, a inspiring story to write, and a deep sense of respect.
A few days before Diwali this year, I got a call from a Physical Education (PE) teacher in a Government school in Delhi. I got introduced to her only recently when an old friend of mine, who I hadn't met in more than a decade, came to visit from out of town and brought her along. My friend had told her, the PE teacher said, that we educate school drop-outs at Manzil, and she was calling to find out if she could redirect to us students from her school who couldn't cope.
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Thursday, August 22, 2013
“कठकथा” ऐसी एक कथा है, जिसकी शुरूआत एक साल पहले गीतांजलि बब्बर ने की। कठकथा का उद्देश्य जी.बी. रोड पर रह रहीं सेक्स वर्कर्स को जि़दगी के उन पहलुओं से रूबारू कराना जिनसे वो अनजान है उन्हें पढ़ाना, पहचान दिलाना, आत्मनिर्भर बनाना और अपने अधिकारों से रूबारू कराना, ताकि अगर वो चाहे तो इस अंधेरी जगह से निकर कर अपने जीवन की एक खुबसुरत शुरूआत कर सकें। जिनको चंद हाथांे ने कठपुतली की तरह धागों में बाँध रखा है।
मंजि़ल नृत्य, संगीत, नाटक एवम् शिक्षा की विभिन्न शैलियों से जुड़ी प्रतिभाआं का गढ़ है। इन्ही प्रतिभाआंे में से एक हैं फिल्म मेकिंग के क्षेत्र से जुड़े ललित सैनी, जिन्होने दिल्ली के साथ साथ अंतर्राष्ट्रीय फिल्म समारोह में भी अपनी फिल्मांे के लिए वाहवाही बटोरी है। मात्र 18 वर्ष की आयु में अपनी सोच व नज़ारिए को इस स्पष्टता से प्रस्तुत करना सभी के लिए संभव नहीं है। आइये जानते है ललित की कहानी से जुड़े कुछ और पहलू उन्ही से।
We have always been lucky to get very hard working, committed, passionate volunteers/ Manzil friends/well wishers. We very much want to express our heartfelt gratitude (dil se thank you) to 3 such amazing volunteers. They are Sanju bhaiya, Sangeeta didi and Nitin bhaiya. We have learnt so much from all of you. We all want to salute your dedication.
When Freedom Loses Its Meaning, Independence Becomes A Burden…
Right from my school days, I have always been asked what freedom means to me. I never had a definition of Freedom. I never had clarity on what the people actually want to know. But it was an ever present, ever pervasive- “What does freedom mean to you? Tell us na!”
I always wondered why I need to tell anybody else what freedom means to me. Why should I be answerable to anyone? And more importantly, why should we bother to ask what does freedom mean?
But I had developed a definition of freedom for myself. For me freedom is like air around me. No one should ask “what does air mean to you?’ ‘Can you feel the air? How does it feel?” Freedom should be present like air- you must not need to discuss about it. It should become so much a part of our life that we should never need to search for it. That is the true meaning of freedom for me.
We live in an age when we are robbed of our sense of freedom at multiple levels. Yes, this may sound like a clichéd statement which we all have been hearing for many years. But few questions are still unanswered and these are extremely relevant to a very large section of the society which otherwise is not very vocal. Does a large section of the country have a freedom to pursue the kind of education they want to? Do they have a freedom to lead a life without any fear? Do they enjoy the freedom to express themselves freely? What are we doing to ensure these basic rights to them?
Six decades later the situation is complex in our part of the world. At a time when we have a country which has become less sensitive and less tolerant, the freedom has lost its meaning. We have lost every right to celebrate the Independence Day on August 15 when the country, and a prominent segment of the population, does not care for many. Yes, we have no right to wake up early in the morning on August 15 and wish our family members “Happy Independence Day!”
At this moment a poem by Gurudev Rabindra Nath Thakur becomes very important to draw inspiration from and strive towards creating a beautiful tomorrow.
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.