Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Suraj- The Visionary Child

Childhood is a golden era of our lives, and there is no denying that it is an inseparable part of our lives. We all cherish that time, when all we had to worry about was that little lost marble or the gully cricket match next Saturday or how to fool our neighbours on 1st of April. Among this, School was the best part of our childhood. We all loved our school-days and still can't get over those carefree fun days. Are we starting to feel nostalgic?
Now imagine, if one day in the middle of this golden time, somehow you just can't go to school from the next day! Apparently, because your father can't bear to pay the school fee anymore and you are forced to drop out. Scary, isn't it?
Suraj is one of the many dropout kids who come to our centres. He used to go to school along with an elder and a younger sister. Everything was going fine and Suraj was loving every tiny bit about his school. He liked studying and loved playing with his buddies in the school. Little did he know that his happiness wasn't going to last long and he had to drop out his school because of the dwindling financial situation of his family day by day. His father, being a labour wasn't able to take care of the whole family along with the three kids going to a low-fee private school. So he had to get the kids out of the school and yes, Suraj missed his school days. This 11 year old kid understood the situation of his family and made no complaints whatsoever. 

We have been lucky to have got him back to his school and are putting our best efforts to get his dreams come true. All Suraj has is a vision to study and get his family out of this circle of poverty so that no other kid from his family has to ever drop out from his/her school. We are sure that such a determined soul one day will achieve what he aims for!
We are also working out a way to get his sisters back to school. You can become a big support in this effort by sponsoring these children.
Trust us, it does not cost much! 

Spreading Smiles- Adarsh

We all love to be around a happy soul. A happy soul always lifts your mood and makes you see life in a different perspective. In recent times, when everyone is busy running after materialistic things, rarely do we get to meet such happy souls. 
Adarshnaath, a 22 year lad, is one such happy soul who always loves to spread happiness wherever he goes. He has been volunteering with us for over 10 months now and has been an integral part of the kids’ lives. Kids love his classes as they are full of fun. Even during events, when things get tensed and the team finds it difficult to chill, Adarsh comes to our rescue with his sense of humour. He tends to lighten up our mood with his witty jokes without losing his focus on the work.
Adarsh feels bad whenever he gets to know of a kid who is involved in any sort of addiction (tobacco, cigarettes etc) and always tries to counsel the kid, making him aware of the consequences.
May God bless Adarsh with happiness and hope he keeps spreading smiles wherever he goes.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Mr. Mrigank Tiwari- A Philanthropic Soul

Philanthropy is one trait which you may not be born with but you can definitely develop it with passage of time. But for most of us, it comes from within and runs in our veins. A five year old kid letting go of his chocolate bar for an eight year old beggar is also philanthropy, a sixth standard girl giving free tuitions to her maid's six year old kid is also philanthropy. A housewife inviting the poor kids dwelling in a nearby slum to her backyard and helping them with their studies is also a perfect example of philanthropy. So, it is not just about spending money for a cause, it is also how passionately you feel about the cause and react to the challenges our society faces everyday.

Last year we got a chance to meet one such philanthropic soul, Mrigank Tiwari. Mrigank got to know about Sarthak Foundation through his cousin Vaibhav Dubey, who has been an integral family member of Sarthak Foundation. Like we said, philanthropy comes to Mrigank naturally and he has been doing his bit since forever. He has been involved in making people aware about organ donation in Mumbai, sponsoring education of kids in Pune and has been giving back to the society every now and then. In Sarthak Foundation, he has been making sure that we arrange different activities for our kids for cleanliness and make them aware of the importance of hygiene in their lives.

We would like to thank Mrigank not for just helping us but also for being so sensitive about his responsibilities towards the society. May our world be blessed with many more such souls! God bless you Mrigank :)

Friday, 10 April 2015

Anubhuti- Story Writing Contest

Congratulations Debalina Haldar for being the winner of Anubhuti A short story writing contest organized by Sarthak Foundation during Literary Festival 2014

The Little Crayons

The lanes of Mumbai were glowing on the winter morning. The paanipuri stalls lined themselves by the footpath. The cars got impatient with every passing minute as they moved in the dirty air. The roads got filthier every day. As the sun got hotter, vada pav and tea proved again to be an integral part of the city.

“What an odd place to sleep,” a passerby screamed, “We don’t have any place to even walk.”

Raju and her elder sister, Deepali broke open the winter shackles to face a new morning with new difficulties, new hardships and new stories of livelihood. They lived on the footpath in their small one room home made out of large plastic sheets with their mother. Their mother worked hard all day and usually left home while the two of them were still sleeping.

‘Deepali’, said Raju, rubbing his eyes, ‘what shall we do today?’ Deepali yawned loudly and kept sitting on the torn blanket. She took the paper ball and rolled it repeatedly. The ball was their only means of entertainment… their toy, their joy, their frustration, their destitution. Raju stared at the ball as it went up and down. ‘Let’s do something different today’, cried Deepali,

‘We’ll make Rishabh Bhaiya a gift’ said Deepali.


‘Raju… Rishabh Bhaiya tries so hard to teach us the LMNOPs…”

“And counting 123”

“He loves us so much.” They looked at each other and smiled.

“But what should we give him? We can’t buy her gifts. I don’t have money, do you?”

“Remember what Bhaiya said on the first day in school, Raju?”

“To wish each other good morning?”

“No silly! He said that in this world no one is rich or poor. We all are gifted! So Raju, when we all are gifted, can we not gift him us or our gifts?”

“I can’t understand… what do you mean?” Raju was confused. He looked at Deepali as she scratched her once white sweater.

Deepali took out a white paper and a small wooden box.

“So you see this box, Raju? I found it lying near the City School back gate.”

“What’s inside?”

“Very small pieces of crayons. Let’s make a painting for Bhaiya.”

“Don’t you think we must give this to the guards of the school?”

“I doubt if we should. I was thinking the same. But children in the school have better bigger newer crayons. We can have the smaller used ones.”

“But what will we make on this paper?”

“First, I need a table… which we don’t have. I need something hard.”

“The ground is dirty. The white paper will turn brown. And then the background of the painting will be brownish,” Raju put his tiny thumb inside his mouth and giggled.

“Do you see that bike on the other end of the road, there, near the photocopy shop, beside the brick wall?”

“There are two of them, one and two, a red and a black bike.”

“No. The black bike, it is there since morning. The red bike has just come, I didn't see it since morning. I think the black one will make a very good table.”

They quickly crossed the road. Deepali carefully opened her notebook and put it on the bike seat. Then she placed the paper on it.

“What do you want to make?” Deepali asked.

“I can’t draw… will you make a jumping mouse for me?”

“Sounds very nice. I’ll make a jumping mouse and a colourful, smiling crow.”

“But crows are black and they don’t smile.”

“But I've got crayons which will give it colours and I’ll make it smile.”

Deepali used shades of blue, green, orange, red… they laughed all the way down the beautiful picturesque moment.

“The mouse!” Raju shouted.

“What’s with the mouse? Does it look funny?”

“No! It looks absolutely like the movie Bhaiya showed us last day in school.”

“Really? It looks like Jerry! I think my crow looks more like a parrot!”

“Do you think Rishabh Bhaiya will be angry that your crow isn't like a crow?”

“I don’t know. I haven’t ever imagined an angry Bhaiya. I don’t know if he gets angry.”

Suddenly, a pair of hands in black leather jacket hugged both of them from behind, “So what are my little friends up to this morning on my bike?” Raju and Deepali turned around.

“Rishabh Bhaiya!” they shouted.

“Bhaiya, do you get angry?” Raju asked.

“Will you get angry? The crow doesn't look like a crow,” Deepali said.

“Yes I do get angry at times. And when I do, it’s bad. But a crow can always look like something else if you want it that way, Deepali. The crayons are in your hands and you’re absolutely free to do anything with it… you’re in complete control of the way you want things to be! So is this beautiful drawing for me?”

“Yes, Bhaiya it’s for you! A gift!” Raju said.

“What’s this written on your bike? I can see a two and a zero and a zero,” Raju said.

“That makes a two hundred, Raju. We’ll learn all that very soon.”

There was a little gift shop nearby. Rishabh Bhaiya bought Deepali and Raju a new box of crayons. The two of them walked back towards the other end of the road.

“What will we do with this new box of crayons? We have one already,” Raju turned towards Deepali and said, “This is so new and we've never had new things.”

“I was wondering if we should go back to the City School and give it to the guards. And when these crayons become as little as these, we can bring them home.”

“What if they don’t give you when they’re small?”

“Don’t worry, Raju… they’ll be near the back gate of the school.”

Monday, 29 September 2014


There is a phase in everyone's life they never want to forget, there is a time frame in everyone's story which they never want to get over, the time which draws a curve on our lips whenever we talk about it. The time when we were free like a wind, chirpy like a bird, bold as a king and fast as a tiger. This magical epoch is called 'The Childhood'. 
The childhood gives everything one would want to have to enjoy one's life. It sublimes our lives with the most beautiful things in the world…freedom, ease, carelessness, selfishness and most important Happiness. The childhood lets one to enjoy the most enjoyable part of one's life. The part which one can never forget about, which one will always miss and which will never come back. This is the most important part of our lives, this is when we learn the most and this is only when we actually see things without any pre-formed perception. During childhood, we are considered as the ones with lesser understanding but this is the only phase when we can see things like they actually are, without thinking of any profit or loss, without any selfishness being involved, without any assumptions and perceptions already formed, we see things exactly how mother nature created them for us. 

The best thing about childhood is, you always enjoy whatever circumstances you are in. Even if you are living in the streets or in a slum, you accommodate yourself with the surroundings and you start liking the place just like the ones living in the mighty palaces. You don't complain, you don't wish for better, you don't ask for more. All you do is to live your live to its fullest. There exists no terms such as a ruined childhood or bad memories or under-privileged, when you are in that stage. These terms actually take place in our lives when we grow up and our childhood leaves us behind.
Even today, whenever we 'Grown Ups' look into our past and recall our childhood, only good memories come into our mind. The childhood never leaves any bad memory because there is no bad memory when you are a child. It's always winning or learning. But the only bad thing about this epic era in our lives is, it doesn't last very long. With the blink of an eye, it leaves us behind with nothing but memories, such sweet memories for life - carefree, selfless and daring childhood memories are left behind. So hold it tight while you are still a child, for once gone, there will only be memories.