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

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Summer birds had frog legs

The Eiffel Tower is more impressive in real life

Our two Tara Big Birds are back from their Tour de France. At their arrival, they shared their impressions in this exclusive interview for Tara’s blog.

1- What did you like about France? 

Jaan: I liked the food, like the “beurre blanc” and the “brioche”. Especially the desserts are delicious. Everything is on time. I liked the monuments, they are very nice, especially in Paris. I also love the fact that in France the government helps people a lot. Students have the opportunity to travel in exchange programs and it helps them develop their own mind and way of thinking. Also in France, in every house, you will find a library and I like that.

Sidhu: I liked the south of France, especially Marseille, because the people are very nice and friendly, more than in Paris.

2- What did you dislike? 

Jaan: Indications are only in French, it’s not good for the visitors. It’s quite difficult when you don’t speak French.

Sidhu: Sometimes it’s not very welcoming for tourists who don’t speak French.
3- What surprised you? 

Jaan: Most of the work is performed by machines. It was a new world for us! Also, people do not pay in the pubic transports and jump over the barriers, it surprised me.

Sidhu: The lifestyle is very different. It surprised me because the people are very open and whatever they feel, they say it.

 4- What was your favourite dish? 

Jaan: I loved the fish with white butter sauce. I had it in Nantes.

Sidhu: I like the tomato pie and the “foie gras”.

 5- And the worst thing you ate? 

Jaan: I had frogs and after that I had nausea.

Sidhu: I did not like the cheese. I tasted it several times but I just don’t like it.

In Chamonix, we saw the snow for the first time
 6- What is the funniest thing that you saw? 

Jaan: I went to the Parliament and attended a session. Some politicians were on Facebook, or checking the Tour de France and laughing! I found it funny but also sad because they should be participating in the debates.

Sidhu: People were jumping the metro barriers. I heard that France was so disciplined with so many rules but really the rules are not always followed!

7- And the saddest? 

Jaan: Some people are losing their natural connectivity with other people. They spend their time on their phones or laptops. But this is not just in France, it’s everywhere in the world.

Sidhu: I feel like the immigrants are exploited. They do the small jobs that the French won’t do. It’s an educated country but they still exploit people.

Enjoying the famous French cuisine

 8- What was your most beautiful experience? 

Jaan: Going on the Eiffel tower, the fireworks on the 14th of July, the beach, the snow… everything! I liked playing “pétanque” a lot.

Sidhu: There were so many beautiful experiences. In Bretagne, with the former volunteers Annick and Jerôme, I had an amazing time. And also the fireworks. It was the first time for me.

 9- Did this trip change anything for you? 

Jaan: Now I want to go to France to study. I think I can speak French well. I already have friends in France, it would help me to settle. France is an advanced country, I’d get more opportunities to know the world, its history. France is one of the countries that made history.

Sidhu: It opened my mind and my perception of the world. I acquired so much knowledge I couldn’t get from a book.
 10- How did you imagine France before and how do you see it now? 

Jaan: Because of how France is represented in Bollywood and Hollywood movies, my vision of France was distorted, centered on a picturesque Paris. Now I see there are many castles, I love Notre Dame of Marseille, the architecture. The countryside is very nice.

Sidhu: Before going, I imagined that French people would all be happy and that their life would be good and relaxed. But really they are very busy and they have a lot of work. They get up early and don’t have so much time together, especially in Paris.

 11- Did this trip change your vision of India? Of the world? 

Jaan: In France people are less superstitious and religious and I think it gives more chances to develop and grow. One thing I didn’t like in France is that children leave their parents after their majority and don’t stay that close to their family.

Sidhu: I realized how diverse India is, in terms of lifestyle. In France everyone has more or less the same lifestyle, in India there are different languages, types of food, cultures.

 12- What is your state of mind now? 

Jaan: I’m looking for apartment paying guest in Delhi and I want to research on exchange student programs. I also want to start working and to work on my French.

Sidhu: I feel good, but a bit jet lagged. Now my first plan is to try to go to France to study and I need to figure it out. If it fails I will continue studying French at Alliance Française Delhi, have a part time job and continue going to university of course.
We hope to have more 'croissants' soon
 13- Any other other declarations for your fans? 

Jaan: Thank you everyone for hosting us, many Tara friends in France have helped us make our dream come true. Special thanks to Pascale mam and Pierre sir for organizing this trip!

Sidhu: I really liked France. Thanks to everyone who welcomed us. It was a great chance for me. I will keep this souvenir with me forever.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Children Representative: and the winner is...

Last Saturday, the Tara Boys fulfilled one of their fundamental rights: vote to democratically elect their new Children Representative (CR).

It all started with a one week campaign where the candidates postered their programs on the walls and the proposals were discussed at length by the children during their free time. Last Saturday, all children attended to the Grand Debate conducted by our dear volunteer, Tim. Everyone was reminded of the importance of democracy and freedom of choice, and listened religiously to the three candidates - Ramu, Rashid and Mohid - giving a speech to explain their ideas and suggestions for the betterment of Tara.

All candidates were then challenged by a few difficult questions from the suspicious electorate, and used this moment to show their true commitment to the function.
Manoj in the voting booth

The children then proceeded to the anonymous vote in a separate voting booth, and the votes were sorted out by three honest and impartial volunteers.

And the winner is... Ramu!

Ramu won the election. The supporting document!
All children congratulated the exctatic winner

After hearing the good news, Ramu gave the following speech :

"I am Ram and I am one of the oldest boys of Tara. It is fun to live in Tara and sometimes difficult also, but I manage. And I learnt a lot of things. For example, to stand for this election, I had to give a public speech for the first time, before I thought it would be difficult but now that I have tried it, I feel it was not so difficult. So I will suggest you that if one day you think something is difficult, you may be wrong and if you just try, there is nothing difficult!
I am happy to be the new CR but I am also feeling the weight of the responsibility! It will be my first time attending the staff meeting and I don’t know how they speak there and what type of topic they discuss so I am a little scared about this. I have to be more curious about everything which happens around me, what the children are going through, I will try my best. I hope I will get lots to learn from attending these staff meetings."

Ramu, giving an inspirational speech

The children had heartful reactions after this election. Here are a few :

“I voted for Ramu, not because he is my brother but because he is the most responsible of all the candidates. The other candidates are too small and it is hard to trust them. I think Ramu will create new things in Tara. I had great fun while voting. When Ramu was declared the winner, I was even more happy but then I saw the other candidates’s faces pulled down and I felt sad for them. One of them was almost going to cry. But finally he did not.” 
- Shyamu, 13 years-old

“Congrats to Ramu our new Representative! Today is a very exciting moment of 2014 and I am happy to live in a democracy where I have the chance to choose who will represent us. With Ramu as a CR, we hope to have a fantastic year!”
- Sunil, 18 years-old

 “At Tara, we have a small democracy but it functions well. The 3 candidates gave brilliant speeches for which they were well prepared. They had also displayed their manifesto a week in advance. Their promises are very few but I think they are sharp and sincere.”
 - Javed, 18 years-old

The new CR will have a 6 months madate to keep his promises and bring the change the children want! We wish him good luck and a great succes!