Sr 200 Trust, strength, team work – fughdi/sankhli contest for children


Sr no. 200
Team Poonam and Sayali (13)
Fughdi/Sankhli winners, Chincholi Zilla Parishad Primary School, Kokrud.
Last year, Dr. Professor Ram Dhillon (UK) and I accompanied a team of doctors to some Zilla Parishad schools between Pune and Ratnagiri, for NGO Mukul Madhav Foundation’s annual free medical camps for rural children. Post the visit, I felt two experiences at the Zilla Parishad school at Chincholi (Kokrud) are worthy of sharing:
One, I never saw a bored child. Five little girls (primary school) had made the dry earth of their school ground wet with water and had built a house. One of them was poking holes in the structure to construct small doors and large windows.
I felt, this is true creativity. Inventiveness. Real imagination. Seemingly, they have nothing much, yet they can create fun and art for themselves from thin air and the dust below our feet.
I believe, these are self-motivated self-inspired children. No mommy & daddy in a dilemma how to inspire them to play daily or the dilemma of some parents ‘…. what can we engage them with on the coming weekend!?”.
Second, I saw the children play fugdi, sakhli – girls in teams to two reach out to each other (holding arms) to spin around endlessly, until both their bodies and laughter are exhausted, even though their joy isn’t.
Looking at them play sakhli, fugdi, I thought, these are games of trust. I realised this when Dr Ashutosh Mulye and I discussed what this game really means to us. Building trust naturally, from a young age. When we reach out for someone’s hand to spin with us (like we do in a good marriage, a good partnership) we are actually placing our trust in that person that he/she will not let us down, not leave our hand. Will be dependable.
Going off on a tangent, even most successful long lasting marriages are built on dependability, more than on romance and … I think. In fugdi, when the opposite person takes your hand in hers, she too is in turn placing her trust in you. Thus, instilling a sense of trust and faith in us right from childhood, they are able to gauge whom they can approach to co-play this game where if the other person leaves your hand midway you can go spiraling away and hurt yourself.
Sometimes, at annual corporate outdoor excursions they will discuss and conduct ‘team-building’ exercises, games. However, with many team-games like fugdi going out of our urban lives we may perhaps have become less able in team building right from our teen days, and that is why we need to attend expensive lectures and motivation-workshops to ‘learn’ team building as adults.
So, this year we decided to organise a fugdi contest for them, and because girls rarely are given bicycles in rural areas, their brothers get them more easily, we decided to give the team of two winners a bike each. To boost their self-worth and spread a little cheer amongst all the girls who participate and their audience.
The two winners of the Fugadi competition are Poonam Machindra Jadhav & Sayali Sanjay Jadhav (cousins) in Nov 2017. They are 13 years young, studying in std. 7th.
Two donor friends of ours were keen to contribute on our next trip in the rural region and they donated the two winners’ bicycles – Thank you to Neil & Rhea Sahasrabudhe, and Gunjeet Kaur Sawhney for donating the bicycles to team Poonam and Sayali.
I could not visit them this year, during this fugdi contest as I was occupied with a wedding in my extended family. However, someone who could attend this competition sent me a lovely lovey message and I decided to post a screenshot of the same below – “They missed you” – It made us (the donors and myself) feel appreciated and thus another day of feeling fulfillment. 😊
Thank you Mukul Madhav Foundation and Finolex Industries for helping us reach two more deserving souls once again beyond our own means.
#RakeshAnandBakshi 🎶
#BicycleAngels 🚴 😇:

Sr no 199; attempting something different for the differently abled, the visually impaired.


Sr. No. 199
Devaka and Samadhan. (Students)
A few friends, and I, had got together last month to attempt something different, for the differently-abed, the visually impaired (blind).
Also thanks to my acquaintance in the UK, Herminder Kaur, I found out this week that unequal access to information technology (computers and the internet) and the online world brings about unequal participation of the differently abled and the visually impaired. A computer literacy certification program, particularly one recognized by the government of India, can certainly help the less privileged in our country, especially the visually impaired (blind), have some more power over their perceived shortcomings, circumstances, disabilities.
I pondered, first, they only needed help to live in their immediate surroundings. Now, the differently abled need our assistance to even access even the online-world. So, the need for more equal access to the internet, the world online, is becoming more and more important for differently abled people who are already facing challenges of social exclusion and the issue is being treated as ‘a civil rights issue’ in the developed and developing world.
Adds Herminder Kaur, “In the West, as more and more services move online, there is a need to recognise how people with disabilities are unable to access or use these services and therefore how this results in double exclusion – offline and online. By recognising the issue as a right – we can appreciate that it is essential for service and technology providers and regulators to do more to ensure every citizen is an equal participant/user of the medium.”
I think, by helping the differently abled, however tiny be our ways of assistance, we will understand better not just their needs but also help us understand abled humans, social life and our world in which digital technology is going to play a bigger and bigger role. And so, our role in the lives of the differently abled should increase correspondingly.
To begin with, my nine friends and I decided to assist two visually impaired adults achieve ‘computers and online-world literacy’ by paying their course fees for the same. We hope to assist two more students when their next batch begins after three months, for one year from Nov 2107 to 18.
We are simply hoping the tiny assistance we are providing them will help them secure better livelihood opportunities, including more secure jobs with the government that offers provident fund, pension etc. Also, it will give them the sense of ‘…. someone cares for us.’- that by itself is a big motivator.
Samadhan and Devaka, both are children of farmers from Maharashtra. Samadhan lost his father when he was a child and he became visually impaired thereafter.
I asked them both, “If you were to get your sight back, what would you want to see first and most?” They replied, Samadhan said “Nature. I have a clear memory of nature, as I became blind when I was six or seven….” And Devaka replied, “I would first like to see my family, all those who love me.”
Thank you Akshita, Ankita, Priyanka, Ishani, Suman, Ritu, Amit Priyanka, Dr Niraj, Minnie, and myself; (Ameya, Laila will join us from the next quarter.) This is possible because you all are part of it.
(The three months short course in computer literacy is conducted by the Victoria Memorial School for the Blind, Tardeo, Mumbai. )
#RakeshAnandBakshi 🎶
#BicycleAngels 🚴 😇:


About being radically honest.

Some of us ‘fight’ (argue/differences of opinions) with our spouses, siblings and parents more than with our close friends, perhaps because we can be more radically honest to them about them than we can be even with our close friends. However, I think, most of us are more honest about ourselves with our close friends. So I am grateful for the family and close friends balance in life.