They try to bring back smile on faces

They try to bring back smile on faces

The rich community can easily contribute more for underprivileged by giving away the extra articles.

The name “Creative Mohalla” may appear to be a bit unusual as it is not exactly a “mohalla” (a particular locality) that exists in the map of Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad town, which is famous for its brass industry.

It exists elsewhere.

The “mohalla” that lies within the soul of over 250 members, who have been engaged in “creating” things to lend a helping hand to the poor children in receiving education.

The efforts may appear to be small but the aims are really big.

The members hold workshops in which children from the affluent families take part.

They are trained in different art forms like jewellery making, waste
recycling and pottery.

The money raised at such workshops is used to fund the education of the poor and needy children.

“These workshops provide a platform to artists to showcase their talent also,” says Minal Goyal, one of the founders of the “mohalla”.

The combination of both the ideas gave birth to Creative Mohalla.

“It is not that beneficiaries are only poor children... the rich and artisans also benefit from it,” she says. The rich get an opportunity to learn different art forms.

The idea of the “creating mohalla” struck its founders Minal Goyal and Rupali Gupta some 20 months back, when they saw a few children begging on the streets while they were traveling in a car.

“Begging by children is not unusual in the country.

But on that day, when a couple of them came to us and begged for money, the idea suddenly struck us,” Minal, who hailed from Delhi but lives in Moradabad after her marriage to an exporter, told Deccan Herald.

“We decided to form the mohalla. We began with adopting three poor girls Preeti, Ekta and Aishwarya and admitted them to a school. We also provided them books and other essential items for education,” she said.

Rupali said that initially they worked at personal level but very soon they felt the need to expand it. “We had a lot of poor families approaching us for help. We met a lot of poor girls who had big dreams and wanted to study,” Rupali said.

The “mohalla” soon reached social networking sites and within no time its membership increased substantially, she went on to add.

“As the time passed, we realised that the rich community can easily contribute more towards the underprivileged by giving away the extra clothes, toys, stationery, etc., for the poor children,” Rupali said.

And thus was born the concept of “SMILE BANK”. “This is a place that would be created during our workshops. Here, all interested people can donate old toys and clothes that would, in turn, be donated to the poor children in various villages,” she said.

Rupali remarked that the rich children had many costly toys to play with but the poor ones cannot even think of having them.

“The pleasure one gets in bringing smile on the faces of the poor children cannot be achieved by doing anything else,” she said.

The message was “YOU can bring SMILES on their faces.

” They made it clear that no cash donations will be received in the “SMILE BANK.” “We hosted our first workshop in February 2014 and had over 100 children who attended it. We were fortunate enough to adopt a few more children after that,” Minal pointed out.

The “creative mohalla” not only takes care of education of the poor and needy children but also supports their medical, clothing and other needs.

Impressed by the work of the “creative mohalla”, many other people, including those drawn from the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), and some experienced artists and expert in handicrafts have also joined it.

Minal and Rupali know very well that what they were doing was not enough.

“It is just a drop in the ocean. There are so many poor children in the country who need help. They also want to study and they can also contribute to the development of the country,” they said.

The duo wants to further expand activities of the group so that it can help more needy children. The two, however, take satisfaction in the fact that they are trying to do whatever they can.

“We would request those who are capable and have the resources to spare sometime and do something for these children. It will be a great service to the nation,” they said.

Famous Urdu poet and film lyricist Nida Fazli’s lines “ghar se masjid hai bahut door chalo yoon kar len, kisi rote hue bachhe ko hansaya jaye” (the mosque is quite far from the house... lets make a child, who is crying, laugh) seems to be the motto of Minal, Rupali and their group.

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