Tara Homes for Children, NGO for street children in Delhi, India

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Football for all (but not the small)

We had a visit from the NGO Sport dans la Ville, A French initiative to use sport to remobilize out of school children. We teamed up our teenagers with them for a few sport activities.

  On our first gathering, a breakfast on our terrace, the French teenagers explained to the India ones that school is super uncool. Amazement among the children of Tara.« What, in France EVERYONE can go to school, and what’s more it’s FREE and you guys don’t WANT to go?!? ».
Then we started playing football furiously, in a tournament organised by the French Embassy for the benefit of Tara. And here, all of a sudden, the cultural differences vanished as everybody started hugging vigorously.
The small children remained in their corner, slightly bitter to have been kept away from the dangerous balls shoots, took a glorious revenge on other activities like a giant bouncing castle.
  We ended up at Tara for a Bollywood dance class, given by the Tara children to the French ones, who struggled to keep their dignity in this highly stylish exercise.
But the story of this exceptional day would be incomplete if we did not mention the imperishable statements done by the children:
I really liked that the French children were very tall, and that they came especially for us. Just by watching them, I was trying to get a little bit of their power.” (Kishan)
It was very good because the players were running a lot and after this they were all red. But it was also very bad because we, the small children, could not play and that is really unfair.” (Lokesh)
I was very touched that the Embassy had organised such a big event to support us. It’s a moment that enables us to increase our self confidence, we are not like children living in an NGO, we are just normal children.” (Javed)
I had a lot of fun jumping on the bouncing castle. But I did not like at all when the big children came to jump with us because they are very fat and they could have destroyed the castle.” (Shyamu)
What I really enjoyed on this day was that I was responsible to put some stickers on all the people who were coming in. And they could not say no, they had to wear the sticker.” (Ramu)
It was very fantastic because we had to speak English the whole day, which was the right thing to do a few days before the final school exams.” (Suraj)
I saw some people smoking at the evening party, I found it very bad.” (Diljoo)
People have the right to smoke in the parties since they also drink alcohol.” (Asif)
I loved selling sodas the whole afternoon, because a lot of people came to meet me and to talk to me. I was feeling a little shy in the beginning and most of all I was afraid that some customers may run away without paying. But it did not happen and I really liked to feel in charge.
But the most amazing is that I won the first price at the lottery: a plane ticket to France! I still can’t believe that this happened!
” (Afrez)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Oil Crisis

Hair and Care, an excellent product when applied with moderation.
(With what??)

Mustard oil, only for alimentary use. Otherwise dirty.
  Tara is not always the fairy tales country of the happy children and the sweet monsters… We sometimes face major challenges, like the one which shook Tara in this month of April: the crisis on hair oil.
At this point, our readers need to know that the child had taken the habit of emptying every morning a whole bottle of hair oil on his head. And to then go to the kitchen to get mustard oil in order to complete the second layer…!
The requests for moderation from the adult having not been converted into actions, we had to step in and impose this draconian, drastic and dramatic resolution:

No more oil on the head.

It is a hurricane that then blew on Tara. What no oil? « But Sir, you do not realize, it is cultural in India, it is our heritage, people will think that our hair is not properly done, we will get punishments from school, we will be expelled, people will throw stones at us in the street, our hair will fall ».

After 13 long days without a single drop of oil, listening to the endless complaints and watching the dying look in the child’s eyes, we have re-legalised the usage of a small quantity of hair oil and other fantasies for the scalp, distributed cautiously by the Night Staff each morning after the shower and a meticulous assessment of the child’s hygiene.
And if ever this story makes you laugh, learn that the children take it very seriously!