Love the life you live, live the life you love- Bob Marley
A government school boy is causing everyone to spin on his beatboxing. A young girl confidently says she can protect herself from physical harm owing to her training in self-defence. Many such students have planted seeds of similar dreams. Some of them aspire to become musicians with guitars in their hands and voice in their throats. They dance, they act, and they paint. They not only learn, but also explore themselves. The man behind turning children’s dreams into a reality is Milind. He came up with the idea to give government students and poor children the kind of education and facilities that rich kids enjoy. With this intention, he started an NGO ‘Camp Diaries’.
Camp Diaries began in October 2016 in Hyderabad with just four volunteers. Today, they have 150 volunteers in Hyderabad, 70 in Bangalore, and 50 in Chennai, working toward the upliftment of children’s education and making their lives better. In six months, 950 kids (mostly from 9-14 age group) are impacted by this initiative, among which 900 are government and private school students and 50 children are adopted from a cancer hospital.
“Teaching kids from cancer hospital is very inspiring. We are trying to increase our attention towards them and in future, we will take more of such children”, Milind said while talking to The Logical Indian.
“This experience makes us realise that our problems are negligible and the smile on these kid’s faces makes us believe that no matter what will happen tomorrow, live today,” he added.Camp Diaries has also aimed to impact 5000 kids next year in the three cities where they are located.
Why does it matter?
The impact of the organisation is remarkable. It is not only successful in encouraging life skill qualities in children but also affecting the community around them. “My father said to me that he would quit alcohol”, said Dashrath, an eleven-year-old boy learning drama under camp diary. To spread awareness, he and his friends exhibited a street play where they talked about the adverse effect of alcoholism. As the play ended, most of the spectators had tears in their eyes when Dashrth’ father came to him and promised that he will quit alcohol.
Asfiya is a girl who was shy and timid, mostly scared of boys and refrained from talking to them as she was afraid that boys can misbehave with her. But now the situation is different. “I have learnt self-defence and I can protect myself. I am not scared of anyone anymore,” she says.
According to Milind, when the students were taught only one or two mainstream things, they had a feeling of envy towards the achievements of other children. But today, the kids respect others’ capabilities, as they know that if a child paints well, they can perhaps dance better.
“Children are more confident now. They have learnt to appreciate and help others. They are working with a team, to be a good leader and to stand for their rights”, said Milind.
How does Camp Diaries work?
They collect volunteers from Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Chennai. The volunteer teach children different kinds of art, skills and morals. They organise various competitions and also send them for various kinds of events. For instance, one showcase at Lamakaan,Hyderabad, with a performance of more than 40 kids, saw almost 200 people attending it.
“There are some of the communities that do not prefer their girl child to learn dance and singing. They demand that their children are not taught such things in class. For a long time, many of them refrained from dancing and singing, and sat in the corner of the class. Gradually, they too started joining the crowd. Today, everybody dances or sings if he/she wants to and even their families acknowledge it,” said by Milind. “Getting the required resources like guitar, mike, speaker, and a place was another challenge that we went through in the starting but later on, we arranged the funds,” he added
Milind is a fellow at “Teach For India”. He likes to dance, play the guitar and also has marvellous acting skills. He decided to make his passion of teaching children, a service – as the tagline of ‘Camp Diary’ reads “when passion meets service.” He wants to convey one message to readers, “learn everything, and entertain failure because this is the life.”
If you want to volunteer for ‘Camp Diary’, please visit the website https://sites.google.com/view/campdiaries.
As Walt Disney said, “all our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.”
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