The children went for a stay in Belekall Betta, which is an isolated hill surrounded by forest. The forests are full of elephants, and there is a temple and a guest house on top of the hill. The vacation was very relaxing for all involved, and we had visitors from Ingersoll Rand in Bangalore who came to spend time with us.
We had a summer educational workshop with 19 children to help teach the children and to help the staff develop a cohesive educational plan. Some of the goals of this workshop were: to evolve reading and practice material from existing Kannada literature and presenting the selected material from a historical perspective; to educate the children about science in terms of concepts such as water, air, energy, solar system, etc. in a holistic manner, rather than in the fragmented way it is usually presented in 5th-10th standards; to teach basic mathematical concepts such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, geometry, and algebra; to read plays and understand the various aspects of them such as direction, costume, stage,etc; and to have the children help us grow and cook our own food. This workshop took place in Bada, a village about 8 km from Dharwad in southern Karnataka.
After the tragic December 2005 tsunami hit the east coast of India, Vishwalaya teamed up with an NGO called Vanavil to hold a theater workshop called BettadalliMalebillu to help affected children from the seminomadic Adiyan community in Nagapattina cope with the trauma. After the workshop, the group of children, including twenty-seven from Vishwalaya and fifty from Nagapattina, performed two plays and a musical in the J.S.S. Auditorium in Jayanagar, Bangalore. Read the article about it
An exhibition named Art for Children 2005 was held in Bangalore, with art from twenty Japanese artists and six Indian artists, including S.G. Vasudev, Yusuf Arakkal, Babu Xavier, K. Muralidharan, Shailesh, and M.F. Husain. This event was organized by a Japanese painter, Tomoko Mukasa, who was touched by Vishwalayas commitment to activities aimed at developing pedagogy and material for art as a medium of education and vocational skill for less privileged children and women. Read the article about it here.
Town Treasure Hunting
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The children performed at the Japan Habba, a festival for Japanese and Indian performing arts sponsored by Bangalore Universitys Department of Foreign Languages.
The children staged a proscenium play called “Nai Mari”, written by Vaidehi, which was directed by Krishna Kumar Yadav. They were invited to perform at the Bangalore Habba (a performing arts festival), and the show was staged six times in six villages. They also created and performed a one-hour-long musical based on Kannada school texts from 4th to 7th standard of the government school curriculum.
The children staged a proscenium play called “NayeThippa”, written by KotiganahalliRamiah, about a child who wants to come to the city to work with his friends, and is rescued by his grandmothers wit. They performed this play 22 times in 6 villages.
We trained the children in a street play concerning health and hygiene called “GadeGurrakka”. The children performed this play 18 times in 6 villages, and were very well received by the villagers. See a short clip of the play on Youtube!