Wednesday, November 24, 2010


It had all the ingredients of a cultural festival - music, dance, and even a rock band; what set it apart was the fact that the event has been conceived and executed entirely by visually impaired people.Aimed at sensitising people about those who are unable to see, visually-challenged anchors, dancers and rock-band artists came together to put up a show at Pragati Maidan here on Sunday evening to mark World Sight Day."India houses the world's largest population of blind people. Of the 37 million blind people across the globe, over 15 million are from India," said Suman, a software engineer and one of the visually-challenged presenters at the function.The event was organised by Antardrishti, an initiative for reformation and rehabilitation of visually and physically challenged people."Despite all the literary progress, visually impaired people are treated as dependent and in certain cases even as beggars. On the one hand their family disowns them or treats them as a liability and on the other various mafias use them for beggary. This section still craves for acceptance by the society," says Pratichhaya, a visually-impaired student of the Lady Shri Ram College who participated in the event.She also said that ensuring employment is an important tool of empowerment for the visually-challenged."We have set up factories exclusively for the people from the visually and physically challenged population, where they are employed on wages to produce candles and herbal soaps.They are also engaged in terracotta (diya) painting and garment stitching. The products, hence made, are put on sale at shoppers' hub like Gandhi Mela and Delhi Haat. The earnings go to their welfare fund," points out Deepa Kaushik, Co-ordinator Antardrishti Project.Apart from this, the employees are also entitled to the Provident Fund and ESI facilities, like any other central or state government employee, she adds A band of visually-impaired artistes performed popular numbers like "Allah ke Bande," "Maula Mere" as well as self-composed songs during the event to mark the World Sight Day.Pop singer Jasbir Jassi who was present on the occasion said, "India is a land of invincible talent. All they need is recognition. It feels proud to see visually impaired people perform with such zeal that I could hardly make out that these people cannot really see their instruments.

Reported by Sarojini ( A member of SAM) Student of St Mark’s Sr Secondary Public School Meera Bagh New Delhi, India


Prerna Niketan is a voluntary organization working for the society especially the physically challenged children. Ms Mrinal Kanta Saxena
(Ms Meenu Saxena) is the founder and the president of this organization. Prerna
Niketan was established on 23rd November 1998 with only 5 children. At present, there are 51 children (only boys) from 8 yrs to 19 yrs of age. Due to shortage of space girls are not included.
Actually, Ms Meenu wanted to do something for the society as she thinks God has given us this human body to do constructive things. So she came up with the idea of establishing such an organization. Prerna Niketan helps the youngsters get over their insecurities and imparts in them the life skills needed to contribute to society on equal
terms and also encourages parents to provide their children suffering from some diseases like polio, with medical treatment. Children here are also given vocational training like candle making, diya making, flower pots, craft items, etc
Our school organizes the Diwali Mela every year where organizations like Prerna Niketan and many more come and display their products. School teachers and students buy these products and provide a helping hand to such children and organizations.
Reported by Danish Girdhar Sarojini Mahajan



Muskaan is a vocational training centre where intellectually
challenged and differently abled children are trained. The children are split in various units which are under rotation. Some units are bakery unit, candles and diya unit, gifts and stationary unit, etc. Here children are taught how to make these beautiful things. The items and products produced by MUSKAAN are put for sale in different schools. The money earned is utilized for the children’s education, betterment and their upbringing. They become independ


The students of our school, ST. MARK’S SR. SEC. PUBLIC SCHOOL, eagerly wait for the MUSKAAN CAMP, which is just put before the auspicious festival, DEEPAWALI. Our school and MUSKAAN promote an eco-friendly and green DEEPAWALI. Diyas, candles and paper hand bags of many varieties are sold. Students and teachers enthusiastically participate in this camp. This thereby promotesa pollution free DEEPAWALI. Teachers have also come forward with full zeal and zest. They are actively participating with MUSKAAN and teach our students how to save our environment by promoting a pollution free DEEPAWALI and hence working for a social cause. We salute the spirit of MUSKAAN.

Reported By Ravit, Malik Class10G
St Mark's Senior Secondary Public School
Meera Bagh, New Delhi, India

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hair for Cancer

During the 2009/2010 GVC contest, Erin was Skyping students in Croatia. One of the students commented, "your hair is really long." It was then that I first found out about Erin's hair donations! She told the students in Croatia how she has been growing her hair to donate for wigs for children with cancer. Not only that, but this would be her 4th such donation. I'd asked Erin at the time to do a before/after picture for this blog. She agreed, but said it would be awhile since her hair was not yet long enough. (Now you may not know, but the cut hair piece needs to be 8 to 12 inches in length. Hair only grows about 1/2 inch per month, so that's a good two year commitment!)

In Erin's own words, "This past summer was really hard. It was so hot, but the hair still needed to grow a bit more."

And here it is; the before and after. Erin is now in month 1 of growing her next donation.

Kids CAN make a difference!