Local Mumbai Initiatives
‘Utopia’ which means ‘perfect world’. It was started by a group of individuals in 2012 that came up with an interesting concept to pull children out of the virtual world with a splash of fun and varied activities. The main aim of this Utopian team is to foster togetherness between a parent and child through engaging and designing happy events. Not limiting the bonding to just parent child the event is so crafted that there is bonding that takes place with your neighbors and fellow society members. The only event of its kind in Mumbai where all the members of a society unite and come together and participate as one team to win trophies for their society. The team believes that through such events a perfect world can come into shape.
The events are designed in a manner where the parents and children come together on stage not just try to win medals for their society but take away sack full of happy moments which they could cherish for times to come. 2016 was the 5th year of Utopia with their last event held at the JBCN International School grounds. An inter society event where 25 events spread across 5 different categories like performing arts, Fine Arts, literary, juniors and open events.
For more details, videos and pictures log on to www.utopia.org.in
Crayon Impact is the brainchild of Rohan Sabharwal and Rachana Iyer. Crayon Impact helps to spread awareness on different causes in a dignified manner, dropping the need to pose as a charity with a begging bowl. The more traditional approaches to advocacy such as conducting lecture sessions or workshops that merely cite the problems and what the ‘ideal’ mindset should be, can only go so far. People are only really convinced about something when they experience it themselves. Crayon Impact believes that attitude and behavior change in larger society can be tackled in much more innovative and creative ways that push people to think for themselves and question their stereotypes and prejudices. They bank on performing arts such as film, poetry, theatre, improvisational comedy and visual arts to be the platforms that can engage people in a fun way and still address serious social issues at the same time.
Dancing in the dark is a three-hour dance workshop with blindfolds on. It is an all-inclusive workshop, which means it is for people with disability or vision impairment and people without.
To volunteer to work on their events, donate film equipment for their next workshop or setting up a dancing in the dark event at your office:
Contact: 8828364312 / www.getyourcrayon.org
What stands today as a successful and renowned foundation for the underprivileged, Angel Xpress was born out of pure impulse and the desire to make a difference.
“Angel Xpress is built around a vision to provide keen donors and volunteers with an authentic platform to directly extend their philanthropic support to the society; thereby bridging the gap between the donors and the deprived,” says Anubha Sharma who used her corporate experience and finances to set it up.
“It’s the love I get from the children every time I walk into a center that keeps me going,” says Co-Founder Beenaa.
Angel Xpress claims to bridge the gap of quality education by bringing in committed and dedicated adults who will pledge to help kids from underprivileged backgrounds with their academics, not only as teachers, but also as able guides and mentors for life.
With this in mind, the foundation currently runs two main programs. AFX learning centers are core programs aimed at bringing in mentors to help children from these backgrounds with schoolwork. It currently has around seven centers in shaded corners of major parks. The second program is called the In-School English program, which stations AFX sponsored teachers in vernacular medium schools so that children in such schools are not deprived when it comes to learning the English language.
To get in touch with them log on to www.angelxpress.org
In an attempt to uplift avenues for alternate entertainment experiences, Sharrin and Co-Founder Sudeep Nair founded ‘The Hive’, five years ago.
What started off as initially just a co-working space has today gone ahead to become one of the most sought after venues when it comes to the alternate culture scene in Mumbai.
The name, ‘The Hive’ comes from the concept of the hive mind in psychology, which is a belief that everything in the world is an outcome of collaborative effort. Sharin Bhatti, co-founder, too believes in the same. At The Hive, nothing actually takes place in isolation and it is always a joint endeavor to promote, uplift and celebrate art and its alternate forms.
Situated in one of the typical Bandra style bungalows in Chium Village, The Hive has an entirely different charm of its own. It’s almost as if the space has a personality of its own, which is what the team has actively worked towards. Tiny and rounded stair cases, walls strewn with art works, overcrowded book shelves, a tiny café, and a maze like co working space, along with a small performance area, this art experiment lab is sure to catch the eye, as well as the mind of any visitor.
With almost one event each day, and packed houses on open mic nights and other pop ups, The Hive’s vision of creating and delivering quality alternate entertainment experiences are definitely materializing.
For more details: www.alivehive.org/
Making India easy for Expats
Meet Pallavi Singh, the founder of Hindi Lessons for Foreigners in India, a project which started off as a part time college stint, and has now culminated into a fully functional program with over 200 students.
“I was learning French during my college days, and at times I would just think of how amazingly convenient would it be, if I had someone with whom I could just converse in French, mostly like an everyday casual conversation to polish my language skills. This led to another very vital thought, that I was not alone, and this was the plight of so many foreigners and expats who come to visit or stay in India. When you come to India, nobody teaches you the language, and sooner or later this can turn pretty agonizing.”
It is with this interest in mind, that Pallavi began giving Hindi lessons to people who did not belong to the country and had no clue of the language. The trouble with linguistically inclined courses in India is that there is no infrastructure in place, which grants you with the qualification to be a Hindi instructor, and hence she had to design and execute all her teaching modules single handedly.
An engineer by degree, followed by another major in psychology and economics, Pallavi moved to Mumbai three years ago, to find her niche.
Teaching Hindi to expats who either have Indian partners, or are stationed in the country for work, she helps them articulate India, in its most basic and lucid forms, a great way to transfer not just language, but a major essence of life in the subcontinent.
- Living Local