Aham Bhumika ran it's first Winter Camp in the village district Mahabadia in Bhopal. The week long camp ran from the 24th to the 30th of December 2012. The winter camp organised by Subrat Goswami was held at the local school at Mahabadia. This is an all girl school and the age groups in the camp spanned from 4 to 18 years. We had the suppport of all the residents and teachers in Mahabadia. Kamalabai who lives next to the school was an absolute joy. She made sure meals were ready on time and did this with a smile. Kamalabai is also always available for help and support in her village. She works tirelessly and is ready to go help deliver a baby in the middle of the night or help organise travel to the city when required.
This camp saw a lot of local volunteer support other than the out of towners. This is exactly what Aham Bhumika needs to continue with their initiative of bringing education, healthcare and a basic livelihood to the villages of Bhopal. Aham Bhumika constantly needs local volunteers to pitch in on a regular basis. After initial introductions on the first day the children of Mahabadia were immediately introduced to Phonetics. Phonetics works wonders with children who have grown up learning local languages that function on logic. Kids are able to read words that they initially figured were quite difficult.
One of the volunteers Dr. Kanika from Bhopal had establised a special bond with the elder girls. Dr.Kanika also regularly held a health & hygiene talk with the children. Older children were also asked to speak openly about issues they may have. Many of the girls in this age group were already married. They had an incredible passion to learn all that they could in this one week.
Sonam an engineer from Indore was charming and put all of the children at ease immediately. English, Math & art were supervised by here. She also initiated the children to dance and have a great time. Mayuri also from Indore silently got the kids to take part in all of the activities while enjoying them herself as well.
Mrs. Rama Naik was a brilliant extra-curricular activity volunteer. She taught the girls embroidery which they took to immediately. Mrs. Naik made sure they had this skill down to perfection. Activities such as these also may turn in a source of livelivhood for these children at at a later stage. Mrs. Rupa Goswami a "Gond" artist taught the girls the art of "Gond". This form of tribal art is extremely striking. The children absolutely loved painting and even left their regular camp activities to paint. The children also created a block printed bedsheet and pillowcase under the supervision of Deepa a regular volunteer. Devendra a co-founder of Aham Bhumika and an establised artist gave tips and tricks during the art activities.
The last two days were reserved for fun actitivies. The children were encouraged to dance, sing or tell a story. The last day of the camp was a field trip to Sanchi's Stupas. The children were fascinated just at the prospect of getting out of the viilage. Mr. Mukul a co-founder of Aham Bhumika and also an expert on the history of the Stupa's guided the children around the stupas. He explained all the stories carved into the stupas and also deciphered some of the Bhrami script for them. The day ended with a buffet lunch and and some free play in the garden.