NGO Kshana organises events for the underprivileged, for the sheer fun of it
By Shahid Judge
Thirty-four children, along with their parents and guardians, were treated to an evening of games, music and dance, food, making it a rare experience for the young cancer patients and their families, otherwise used to a clinical atmosphere and grim tidings.
Moments of fun
Put together at the behest of the Cancer Patients Aid Association (CPAA), an NGO that works for the welfare of cancer patients in India, the event was organised by Kshana. Named for the Sanskrit word ‘kshana’, which means ‘moment’, Kshana is a Mumbai-based NGO that plans and executes events for underprivileged communities in Mumbai, working with the poor, the elderly, the disabled, children and medically ill patients.
“We focus only on entertainment,” said Roshni Dadabhoy, now in her seventh year with Kshana. “There are many other groups that work for the benefit and betterment of the underprivileged, so we’re trying to be a bit different and help organise events, usually with certain themes, purely to entertain and bring happiness to the less privileged.” Dadabhoy added: “All we hope is to spread smiles.”
And that they did on Sunday. After a round of introductions, announcer Aditi Kanakia gave out instructions for the first game. Excitement and anticipation filled the room as a parent or guardian lined up with their respective wards to play ‘Passing the Parcel’. The Kshana volunteers also joined in the game, upping the energy levels. Squeals of laughter accompanied every halt in the music, as the eliminated pair was given a ‘punishment’ — to sing the Gujarati version of ‘Amplifier’, dance to a famous Salman Khan song, recite poetry or crack jokes.
For the second game, the children were divided into five groups. An obstacle course was set up, which one blindfolded team member had to navigate while the others shouted directions from the side-lines. Of course, the fun was in guiding your own teammate while misguiding the others.
An impromptu dance session and a snack later, it was time to go. The emotion was unanimous: “I had so much fun dancing with ‘Didi’,” said Gauri Shinde. Another young patient, Vinay Gupta, who recently finished his Class 10 exams, said, “NGOs come and teach us things all the time. What really made a difference was the fact that the volunteers also had fun with us. We enjoyed it because of that.”
Now in its 10th year of operations, Kshana’s plans have changed a bit this year. For the first four months, the NGO focussed on events at old-age homes. In the next four months, its efforts are concentrated on the Acworth Leprosy Home and CPAA. But, like most NGOs, there’s a shortage of funds. “We send emails out to everyone on our database, and we talk to several corporates that look for groups to help as a part of their Corporate Social Responsibility,” said Dadabhoy. “We often get offers or donations from people who are sincerely interested in the work we do, so we somehow manage to cover all costs for the events we hold.”
The efforts seem to be worth it. After Sunday’s event, several parents congratulated and thanked the Kshana team. “My brother learns a lot from these events,” said Faiz Siddique, whose brother Saif is undergoing treatment for cancer. “But I haven’t seen him smile like this in a long time.”
To know more about Kshana and make a donation, go to www.kshana.org.
Contact: Roshni Dadabhoy on +91-98207-50480 or email@example.com