The unbearable lightness of being

Hello everyone! I am Meghana Murthy. Hope you are doing great.

Today I would love to talk about one of my favorite initiatives at SMITAM. SMITAM started 4 years ago when we as a collective wanted to bring about a change in our society. I wasn't sure how to proceed with the plan. What started as a mere thought, is now a fully functioning organization. I have been volunteering for a couple of organizations since I was 13 or 14. In twelfth grade, we wanted to start something completely different yet productive for society.

I love kids, and that's why I wanted to start something for the underprivileged kids. A child's face can easily make me smile. That's how magical they are. I've personally seen a lot of children lose their smiles as they grow old. At 3 years of age, they have a broad and pure smile on their face. At 6, it would've slightly reduced. And at 13, they don't even smile at a stranger. I feel the environment is highly responsible for this. Our family systems support playful children and sometimes even join them. But somewhere, they also start burdening the child with realities and responsibilities of the world at a very tender age. The child gets caught up in this web of adulting, and we can see her cheerful face wither with age. This, in turn, kills a child's curiosity level.

The family must support the child and his/her dreams with utmost love and care.

We, as a society failed to increase a child's curiosity level. When children ask questions, they're shunned down. SMITAM conducts a wide range of webinars, seminars, workshops, etc., to enhance the feeling of self-love among children. If such topics were dealt with by families, then there would've never been a need for such life-saving sessions.

There's a famous quote, "Gidavangi baggodhu, maravagi baggide", which translates to “If someone cannot be molded at a young age, they definitely cannot be molded when they adult”.

We at SMITAM have started a new initiative, called Nali Kali. Every Sunday, we have children from across the locality coming over to learn dance, music, education, and many more such crafts. What started with two children initially, is now running strong with 21 kids who visit us every week. They've told us a couple of times that they'd rather miss tuition than miss spending time with us. The sessions sometimes go beyond 2 PM, and it's surprising to see these kids forget their lunch as well.

Our primary focus is a friendly approach, we aim to be every child's best friend and treat all of them equally. When a fight breaks out, everyone is equally responsible. On the 14th of November, 2020, we shall turn one year old. Despite the pandemic break, we were all working from home. We are all eagerly waiting for everything to normalize, so we can kickstart this Sunday routine.

This initiative is really close to my heart, and it always brings a smile to my face. I am really looking forward to meeting the children soon, and I wish you all a very happy Diwali!

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