Sunday, 28 April 2013

Reality Gives Stories...YEP Students Amalin, Pradnya and Safina

Amalin, 20

Amalin is Catholic and attends mass regularly. The mass is conducted in English, so she would like to be able to understand it fully. Her friends at college speak English, and she would like to improve her fluency so she can join them. Her family is originally from Tamil Nadu, and she speaks Tamil at home. Her mother is a housewife and her father is a barber in Dharavi. Amalin is a second year Commerce student at college. She would ultimately like to work in an airport as someone who 
greets passengers on the ticket desk. 

Pradnya, 22

Pradnya has two children, who are three and six years old. They attend an English-medium school, and Pradnya would like to be able to help them and to communicate effectively with teachers. Formerly Pradnya trained as a nurse, but now she has children she can’t work full time. She is looking for a part-time job to support her family. Her husband is an interior designer in Pune and stays there for 15 days at a time.

Safina, 17

Safina is studying for her H.S.C in Science. She isn’t sure what she would like to do in the future, but she feels English is important for any path she chooses. Safina has lived in Dharavi all her life and speaks Hindi at home. She comes from a big family, and her father is a craftsmen who makes jewellery boxes from home. She has a sewing machine and enjoys making salwar kameez and other clothes in her spare time.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Reality Gives Mother's Day Special...Gift your mother the gift of giving!

On May 12th is Mother's Day so we thought we give you a helping hand to find the perfect gift to honour your mum AND help the mothers of our community in Dharavi at the same time. How?

Here is the deal: you donate towards the FMCH (Foundation for Mother and Child Health) Nutrition Initiative on behalf of your mother and we send her a special greeting card by email or post on Mother's Day*.

Does that sound good? Then read further.

FMCH is an organisation dedicated to the eradication of malnutrition in children ages 0-6 years from economically under –privileged families. FMCH believes that early health care and balanced nutrition are critical for a child to reach his /her full potential.

To reduce malnutrition, FMCH activities address mothers to educate them about the most important determinants of malnutrition. This means emphasizing disease control and prevention activities, education to improve domestic child-care and feeding practices in one on one nutritional counseling, cooking demos, home visits and micronutrient supplementation. Read more on our website or in this recent blog article.

With the support of Reality Gives they started their successful program in Dharavi in July 2012. Today we have 87 registered children and more mothers approaching us every week to join the program. That's why we plan to open another location for these weekly sessions in June 2013. Now we need YOUR support to implement this project on a higher scale. Help the mothers of Dharavi to fight malnutrition by providing space, materials and counseling.

It's easy: visit our paypal donation channel, enter an amount of your choice and then send us your mother's name and email or postal address by clicking on 'Add special instructions to the seller' before finishing the donation. That's it! You can also add a personal message which will be sent with the greeting card.

Show your mum how much you care by helping the mothers of Dharavi care for their children. It's the gift of giving!

Donate now here.

*By postal service it might reach the given address later than the given date.

Reality Gives Stories...YEP Students Zaiba, Afshan and Vaishali

Zaiba, 20 

Zaiba came to the Youth Empowerment Program to improve her English and computer skills after completing both the HSC in Commerce and a tailoring course in Dharavi. Zaiba hopes to enrol on a telecommunications course at Bhavans College, Churni Road. She is a talented painter, and wanted to become a graphic designer, but her parents would prefer her to find a job in computing.

Afshan, 19

Afshan has just completed the HSC in Commerce. She joined the Youth Empowerment Programme because she wanted to learn more about computing and to improve her fluency in English. Afshan is very creative and she would like to become a fashion designer, designing ladies’ clothes. She is currently searching for a suitable course at Charni Road and plans to apply once she has completed the course.

  Vaishali, 18

Vaishali feels upset that she is unable to speak English like those around her. She is very concerned about her future and feels English will be helpful for finding a secure job that will allow her some independence. If she marries, she thinks it will also be useful for helping her children. She likes to dance, and would really love to be able to play the piano, although lessons are too expensive for her family.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Reality Gives Stories...YEP Students Paresh, Jiten and Nisha

Paresh, 19 

Paresh is currently a second year commerce student. His ambition is to become a chartered accountant or to be a real estate broker. He has lived in Dharavi all his life. His father is a carpenter and his mother is a housewife. Paresh thinks English language will be essential for job interviews, and for his future business ambitions. He would also like to be able to speak with his friends in college. In his free time, Paresh likes to hang out with friends and to play cricket.

Jiten, 18

Jiten helps his mother and father to sell saris and dresses in various places across Mumbai. He has been sent to the Youth Empowerment Program by his family because they need him to be able to speak English in order to communicate with customers. He has also recently transferred from a Gujarati medium school to an English medium school. He is interested in computers, and his ambition is to become a computer engineer.

Nisha, 23

Nisha is married and has two small children. Her husband is a carpenter. She needs to learn English in order to help her children with their school work. When she reached 8th Standard, her parents would no longer support her education, and she feels the Youth Empowerment Program is now a huge opportunity. Her mother-in-law looks after her children while she attends, but Nisha has many other household duties. She works hard to be a good mother and a good wife. 
She would like to have a part-time 
job in the future to support her family. 

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Reality Gives Stories...YEP Students Reshma, Ahmed and Sharukh

Reshma, 20

Reshma is a first year student on an Arts degree programme, which includes a mixture of languages, geography and economics. Her father works in a bakery in Dharavi. She is very busy, juggling college classes, the Youth Empowerment programme and caring for her mother, who is unwell. She eventually hopes to become a teacher in a government school. Once she has finished her degree, she will embark on a two year teacher training program.


Ahmed is currently working as a tailor in Dharavi. He learned his skill at his uncle’s factory. Nobody in his family speaks English, and nobody has been given such an opportunity to learn, so he is determined to take advantage of this course. Ahmed would like to go to Dubai, where his brother is already a salesman, and either set up his own tailoring business, or become a salesman. Ahmed would like to get a good job so he is able to donate money to the mosque. He hopes that this money 
can help people in his community.

Shahrukh, 18

Sharukh has lived in Dharavi all his life. He father works as a taxi driver. He is currently studying in a private college to complete 10th Standard. Sharukh would eventually like to become a mechanical engineer. This requires a three year training, which he hopes to undertake in Aligarh. He will need English language skills to help him secure a good job at the end of the training.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Reality Gives Stories...YEP-Students Afreen, Gowardhan and Pratiksha

Afreen, 23

Afreen lives in Dharavi with her mother, four brothers and one sister. She has already completed the HSC and the theoretical part of a nursing course. Once she has done the practical element she will be in a position to apply for a job at a government hospital. When she is not busy with household duties, Afreen does yoga, which she learned from a TV channel, in her free time. She wants be able to speak English as easily as she speaks Hindi or Urdu.

Gowardhan, 30

Gowardhan needs to improve his English in order to support his two sons at school. There is an expectation that parents can communicate with both their children and the teachers in English, and at the moment he cannot do this. Gowardhan is a carpenter, and he would like to get a job on a cruise liner so his better able to support his family. He will need English skills to find such a job.


Pratiksha would like to improve her vocabulary and fluency in English in order to secure a job, possibly in an accounts office. Pratiksha is an only child and lives in Sion. She was studying in Sion for her BCom, and has now graduated. She enjoys reading books and newspapers, listening to songs and watching TV. Pratiksha also dreams of being a successful lawyer. She hopes that she might be able to pursue her legal training if she improves her English. 

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Reality Gives Stories...YEP Students Asmabee, Kuyaram and Pankaj

Asmabee, 25 

Asmabee has lost her parents, and works hard at home to look after her five older siblings. When her mother was sick, Asmabee felt that the nursing staff didn’t give her mother a good standard of care. She is now determined to undertake a nurse training course in Santa Cruz so she can help others. Asmabee reached 5th standard at school and wants to grow as a person and move on in life through taking part in this course.

Kuyaram, 19

Kuyaram'a family owns a general store on 90ft Road in Dharavi. He works part-time in the store while he studies for his HSC in Commerce at a local college. At the moment, Kuyaram feels embarrassed in many situations - job interviews, talking with friends - when he cannot communicate in English. He wants to improve his fluency by speaking English every day. His ambition is to undertake a 5-year training course in Chembur to become a lawyer.

Pankaj, 18

Pankaj was born in Dharavi. After completing the 10th Standard, he had a job as a movie cameraman for a year and a half. Pankaj loves to travel, enjoys karam and likes to play games and access the internet on his phone. Following in his father’s footsteps, Pankaj would now like get into the leather import-export business. English is important to him because it will help him in this business and to make new friends.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Reality Gives Events...World Health Day

Tasleem guides through the program in front of all YEP students and many more guests.

Yesterday was International World Health Day (anniversary of the founding of WHO in 1948). For Reality Gives Health plays a very important role for our social activities in Dharavi's communities as it is the foundation of every individual's development. Successful education and livelihood projects are based on good health and therefore it all starts from there.

We have celebrated the World Health Day last Saturday already as it is a better day to reach out to as many people as possible in our community.

First we started with a special program for the Youth Empowerment Program, hosted by Community Centre workers Tasleem and Nazia. The students performed a play scripted by FMCH (Foundation for Mother and Child Health) and Reshma gave a speech about the importance of health. 

YEP students bring a lot of emotion into their play about health and nutrition.

Reshma speaks about the importance of health.
Also the Jazz Dance Class gave a very lovely performance of their skills which was followed by a b-boying demonstration of Akash, one of Reality Tours' guides. As the founder of the dancing club "Slumgods" he also spoke about the importance of dance and other exercises for a good health.
The Jazz Dance Class gives a little show.

After that the students were encouraged to all give a small demonstration of their dancing and singing skills - all had so much fun! Yoti, Soft Skills Teacher for the Youth Empowerment Program brought the event to a conclusion with a final speech and pointed out the poster exhibition about health issues and how to solve them.

While our guide Akash shows his b-boying skills...
...his tour customers are happy to wait. 

Later in the afternoon the FMCH session was conducted a little bit differently than usual to celebrate World Health Day. First the nutritionists played a little tricking game with the mothers: with bandaged eyes they were guided to feel different healthy cooking ingredients like lentils, beans and mustard seeds and had to guess what they feel. 

Guess the ingredient game.
Afterwards the teachers of the English Language Program performed a lovely puppet show which especially addressed the kids in the audience. The story was about a little boy who refused to eat healthy homemade food from his mum and rather had junk food. After becoming very sick and dreaming bad he realised his wrong behavior and aimed for a healthy lifestyle. 
This little puppet rather eats junk food than healthy homemade meals. Will he learn his lesson?
The teachers got the full attention of the kids - the same kids that usually make the nutrition sessions very noisy!