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Events 2010

Music Workshop with The Boxettes

29th April, 2010

In a first-of-its-kind initiative, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) called ACORN Foundation tied up with blueFROG, an entertainment venue and music club, brings music to street children's doorsteps.

The concept was created by Vinod Shetty, founder of ACORN Foundation. His initiative is based on the simple concept of giving back to the streets what streets give to people. This workshop teaches children the basics of a particular form of music and the evening wraps up with a concert. The motive is purely educational and it gives the street children a chance to interact with international bands and learn about international music.

The first band to participate was The Boxettes. The Boxettes is a United Kingdom-based band of five young women who create sounds and beats in classical and contemporary forms using their vocal cords and no instruments. During their one-hour workshop, they taught children how to create beats, notes and music and then danced with the children to popular hindi songs.

ACORN Eco Fair on International Earth Day

18th April, 2010

An annual event, now in its second year, the Eco Fair played host to 500 children from schools in Dharavi and from across Mumbai. In addition, the event was attended by teachers from various schools in the city, CEOs of government and corporate organizations, NGOs, artists, actors, writers and firms specializing in water treatment.

The fair featured environmental workshops, nature walks, films on recycling, demonstrations on water harvesting and global warming and alternative energy as well as presentations by students.

The Eco Fair also featured a music event - Rags to Raga – where various musicians played, led by the young band Something Relevant, Ankur Tiwari, Jarrid Wood (Woody) and friends.

Water to Earth Campaign

April, 2010

The Water to Earth campaign was inaugurated on March 22, 2010, by Ms. Beth Brownson, Vice-Consul, US Consulate of Mumbai, along with the release of ‘Water to Earth’ posters. Shankar Mahadevan and Suneeta Rao attended the launch.

The one-month long multimedia campaign, which concludes on April 18, 2010, was undertaken to bring about awareness of issues such as water conservation, water filtration, recycling, conserving oil and petrol, using renewable energy and reducing global warming.

Music Empowerment workshop

The Dharavi Project hosted an evening of music and fun, a workshop for the children and a live performance by Daniel @ Full Moon Rising, on full moon evening, 27th Feb 2009 in Dharavi.

Daniel conducted the 2 hour Music Empowerment workshop for the local Children, teaching rhythm and Singing styles, infused with Yoga, Breath and, as always, a ton of smiles and JOY!

ABS students' visit to Dharavi Project

On the 14th of January, 40 students and 4 teachers of the American school (ABS), Bandra Kurla Complex visited the Dharavi Project to meet our members and see the recycling Industry in Dharavi. The recyclers were struck by the age of these young environmentalists from the 5th grade who were participating in our "waste matters" project.

The International school has children from all over the world studying with them. The 2 buses arrived at 11 am in Dharavi as part of the community and social responsibility project of the school. The Dharavi Project has been chosen as one of the NGO's with which the ABS will be working this year. The 5th graders have already seen the documentary "Waste" and attended my talk last month on the work we are doing in Dharavi.

At every unit the students wanted to feel with their own hands the material being recycled, raising fresh questions, which our committee members gladly answered.

After visiting the segregation, cardboard, footwear, plastic units, the students got back into their buses and went back to school. The students and teachers thanked our members for being such kind hosts and allowing the them to walk into their working spaces and educating them on the importance of recycling.

Eye Testing Clinic

12 January, 2010

The ACORN Foundation's Dharavi Project conducted a successful eye clinic spread over 2 days in Dharavi, where over 150 people had their eyes tested. Many of the Dharavi residents were testing their eyes for the first time, they received a complete eye check-up in the hands of a team of doctors and nurses, and were given free eye glasses from the Lotus Eye Hospital which conducted the eye clinic free of cost, the mobile eye clinic ambulance was made available from Impact India.

Some of the more serious cataract cases were referred by the doctors to other eye hospitals for free surgery. The mobile clinic was a much needed medical service and we witnessed long queues from 8 am onwards, two hours before the start of the clinic The clinic checked the residents eyes, and those who required high numbered lenses were told to collect their custom made eye glasses next week .

The committee members of the Dharavi Project Lakshmi, Rafiq, Sangita, Fatima, Mangla, and other active members under the guidance of staff co-ordinator Anil Sawant were the volunteers for the program.

Events 2009

Children's Workshop with visiting volunteer Ekaterina Nikolova (Katya) December 2009

Acorn Dharavi Project conducted a successful workshop for children of members living in the Rag pickers communities in Dharavi on 13th december, 2009. The workshop was conducted by a visiting volunteer Ekaterina Nikolova (Katya) who used a mix of theatre, craft, games, physical activity, drawing, art and various other teaching techniques to make the children laugh, cry, shout, learn and unlearn about their city and Dharavi.

The three hour workshop was attended by 35 students, and acorn committee members Anil, Vinod, Rafiq, Lakshmi, Sabya, Sangita, Kamble Moushi, and Fatima who assisted Katya. What is remarkable was that Katya was able to communicate with the children despite speaking very little Hindi, and the kids knew very little English.

The workshop started with a introduction of all the kids. This followed by a theatre session, where the children played various synchronized games i.e. clapping, tom and Jerry, blind cat, Hawa chali and role reversal games.

The next session was the Art class which involved the children doing a collage of "My Mumbai" with waste paper, the children could not believe their eyes that they had made the collages themselves, their smiles say it all. This followed with a small lecture in English and hindi on global warming by Katya and Vinod, Recycling and the role of their parents in Rag picking and waste segregation. They also participated in a discussion on what problems that Dharavi was facing and the children came up with the burning issues i.e. water, housing, electricity, schools, colleges, health etc.

Finally the entire group participated in a group drawing of "My life in Dharavi", each group consisted of 5-6 children and they drew to their hearts content using crayons, and felt pens and plastic waste from segregation units in Dharavi which they were familiar with. The workshop ended with some impromptu dancing and singing and after a few snacks and drinks the students received their passing out gifts from Katya teacher, the kids said their goodbyes and headed back to Dharavi to their waiting mothers and fathers to report on their magical day at the acorn workshop, before leaving one small girl with crayon marks on her face asked when the next class would take place.

Diwali Party

October 2009

The ingredients of every good Deepawali party always include enthusiastic guests, rocking music and great food – and all this was in abundant supply at the Deepawali celebration hosted by ACORN Mumbai on Sunday in Dharavi for their members. Around 250 ragpickers and their families set aside for one day their daily struggle for food and a livelihood, and aided by a local DJ and caterer and a smattering of outside supporters, danced, sang and rocked away till sunset on a terrace overlooking hundreds of houses and workshops in Dharavi.

This second annual Deepawali get-together was organised by the committee members of ACORN Mumbai, led by Lakshmi and Rafique, and supported by several volunteers and well wishers, under the leadership of Anil Sawant, staff organiser of ACORN Mumbai. As is the case with all ACORN events, everything was organised locally, and nothing was wasted. “The DJ is from Dharavi, as is the caterer (who served a filling thali of samosas, pav bhaji and gulab jamuns), and all the waste was recycled,” says Shetty, adding, “The gifts presented to guests were from Kumbharwada in Dharavai, the posters at the venue have been used at earlier events and will be taken down for reuse at future ones. Even the thread used to tie up the banners was saved for reuse.”

Eco Fair at the Maharashtra Nature Park, Dharavi

March 29, 2009

Over 300 children and 100 adults attended ACORN’s Eco Fair, making the event a great success. School children both from Dharavi and other parts of cities attended and spent the day learning about recycling, participating in art activities, and learning to make things out of recyclable waste.

The event also featured a screening of the documentary WASTE, performances by musicians, hikes on nature trails, and discussions about how to deal with the urban problems of solid waste management and the concerns of the rag pickers who manage that waste every day.

Well-known musician Shankar Mahadevan performed, as well as Ankur Tiwari, Tknow, Suneeta Rao, and the Sout Dandy Squad. Also in attendance were Bollywood film star Katrina Kaif, artists from the WALL PROJECT, Harun Robert (popular as Rob uncle from MAD TV), POGO channel, and sculptor Arzan Khambata.

RESPECT Event at Dharavi

March 12, 2009

In conjunction with a number of other organizations, the Dharavi Project held an afternoon event at Shri Guru Dutt Gym in Dharavi Kolivada to support the effort to "change climate change" through hip hop music, graffiti art, and sculpture.

Other participating organizations were Timbaland Production (American multi-platinum music producer Timbaland’s company), Indian Youth Climate Network, 21 tigers, Xtrathin Design, Seventy Events, and SNL Pro.

The afternoon opened with an unveiling of several sculptured made by professional artists from recycled metals. Artists from "the Wall Project" also spent time painting urban art murals on designated building faces around Dharavi.

The evening closed with performances from the up-and-coming singer Amar, reggae deejay Apache Indian, American producer and musical artist Jim Beanz, US musical artist Rebel, the Dharavi - based Tamil rap group Sout Dandy Squad, and a number of other musical and dance troops.

Documentary Film - Waste

March 2009

After winning a scholarship with InfoChange, Parasher Baruah has directed a documentary film about the recycling industry of the rag pickers of Mumbai as part of the Dharavi Project.

The film was first released in March 2009 and was selected to be screened at the Munich Documentary Film Festival in May 2009. Filmed over a period of eight months in Dharavi, WASTE explores the importance of the rag pickers’ role in managing the city’s waste and the challenges that these people face every day.

The film follows three adolescent rag pickers, Sameer, Santosh, and Salman, as they go about their daily lives and interviews other rag pickers and residents of Dharavi in the process. WASTE leaves a powerful impact on its audience and prompts viewers to rethink the way they use and dispose of trash.

The film continues to be screened at various schools and events to bring attention to the living conditions of rag pickers and to help audiences gain perspective on how their patterns of consumption impact others.

© Copyright 2010-11. ACORN Foundation India. Dharavi Project.