Monday, 10 December 2018

Pune: Rest Day!

Today was a rest day and the team had the opportunity to visit the Shaniwarwada- a stately mansion built in Pune by the Peshawar in the 18th century at a cost of Rs.16,110.  In 1758 there were 1,000 people living in the palace area.  Destroyed by fire in 1828 which burned for 8 days.  Only the granite ramparts, teak gateways and stone foundations survived.

Interaction with children ongoing.  Our guide was a local Rotarian who explained that Sundays are family time and we encountered many groups of families as we toured the grounds.

We then visited the Hindu Majaraj Shinde Temple located just outside Pune where the great Shinde  who fought and won against the British army at Vadgaon lies.

Team Pune 2018
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Sunday, 9 December 2018

Pune: Modes of Transporation!!

A memorable entrance into Kadus today! After being fitted with bright pink turbans, the team were carried to the school in highly decorated bullock carts, lead by drumming and dancing students. What an honour! 

A cloud of brightly coloured balloons were released before the distribution of 1,000 bedkits to wide-eyed children began.

At the end of their hectic day, the children with their Mums and Dads made their way many means: riding in tuk-tuks, sharing a truck, piling onto motor-bikes, but with the vast majority walking happily down the dusty road, bedsit often carried sedately atop their heads. 

Team Pune 2018
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Pune: Swirls of Colour!

Another one thousand of Maharashtra's children received their bedkits today. The entire day was a hectic swirl of colour and activity, starting with a welcoming troupe of singing, dancing and drumming students who lead the team into the school.

Mothers, aunties, and grandmothers wearing brilliantly hued saris and shalwar kameez created a exotic rainbow of colours as their children accepted their bedkits after sitting patiently for their photo to be taken.

An intricate rangoli made of various coloured sands formed a welcome carpet at the entrance to the school where the distribution took place.

Team Pune 2018
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Friday, 7 December 2018

Pune: 1968 Bedkits Distributed So Far!!

1968 bed kits given out so far! The need here is so great and all the children and parents are thrilled to receive the bed kits.

They respond with “WOW!” when we show them each item.

Our team is working hard, not only to complete all the necessary jobs, but to make sure we spend time interacting with these beautiful children and their families. 

Before each distribution begins, we are treated to some joyful singing, traditional dances and customs unique to this region. 

Our Rotarian partners make sure we have water and fruit during the day and then treat us to a delicious local meal when our day is done. And then there are the many stops along the way for cups of steaming masala chai tea! 

5532 bed kits to go and we are all so excited for every child whose smiling face warms our hearts!

Team Pune 2018
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Thursday, 6 December 2018

Pune: Hassa!!

2 hours of driving took us to Meltham where the SCAW team  received a warm and ceremonial reception. 

After the welcoming speeches, beautiful performance by dancing girls and a showing of the content of the bedkit by our team leader, the distribution started. The flow of the children from changing thru to the giving out of the kits was already arranged by the local rotary clubs.

968 kits were distributed flawlessly.

The excitement was electric in the schoolyard as the children and parents walked away with the bedkits. 

We learned the marathi word "hassa" meaning smile while taking the pictures. Later the team was provided with lunch where we improved our skills in eating with our fingers.

Team Pune 2018
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Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Pune: A Great First Day of Distributions!!

After a two hour drive we arrived at our first Pune distribution site where we were presented with traditional headdresses and welcomed and escorted to the stage by traditional music played by young ladies in traditional dress.

We sat on the stage for the formal start of the distribution, which included greetings from local officials and by our team leader, Chris Hills, while the young recipients eagerly watched and waited.

Close to one thousand  bedkits were distributed by SCAW members; the children received a large bag with handles with the bedkit items inside, plus a backpack filled with school items and a pair of shoes each.  The recipients also received eye examinations sponsored by our Rotary hosts. Each child was accompanied through the lines by a parent or other guardian, which made the handing over of the bedkit much easier for the children whose eyes literally popped open and they broke into a wide grin when they were able to grab the handles of the bag.

Team Pune 2018
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Monday, 3 December 2018

Pune: Packing Of 7500 Bedkits!

The packing of the bedkits was scheduled for Sunday.We split the team and half stayed closer to the city and half of us went to Bhagwan.

Everyone was very excited.Roterians,their families,and volunteers attacked these mountains of pillows, blankets, etc.After many hours of hard work by 100+ people, 7500 bedkits are ready to go!!!

Team Pune 2018
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Pune: Exploring & Pre-Distribution Meetings

There was nothing scheduled today until 5PM so the team took advantage of the free time to take their first tuk tuk ride and visit the Agakhan Palace where Gandhi was imprisoned from 1942-44 along with his wife and secretary.  Then at 5pm we met for a pre-distribution meeting with the local rotary club president and the committee in charge of the SCAW project.  Following the brief meeting we joined the local club and representatives of the 12 other clubs involved for a get together and dinner.

Team Pune 2018
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Saturday, 1 December 2018

Pune: The Team Has Arrived!

The Sleeping Children Team Pune arrived in Pune at 4:00 am to be greeted by three enthusiastic members of the Rotary Club of Pune Cantonment's bedsit distribution team. At that time of day the streets were deserted making our trip to the hotel swift and uneventful. After checking in, the 20 plus hour journey took its toll, and the team all went to their rooms for a well deserved sleep.

Later on in the day we met with Pankag Apte and Sameer Rupani, members of our Overseas Partners Team, to discuss the upcoming distribution of 7,500 bedsits, and the arrangements for our involvement in the following days bedkit packing. 

The team picture shows:
Chris Hills (TL), Sameer Rupani, Andy Greiner, Kathy Greiner, Gail Hills, Diane Barrick, Judy Snobelen, Lita Fearon, Pankaj Apte 

Team Pune 2018
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