Thursday, 29 September 2011

A 1000 VISIONS! A 1000 DREAMS!

Our mission at Tara Trust is to make learning fun, and we do that by conducting art workshops with the various schools, homes and orphanages we support. We have been tirelessly working on these workshops for the last two and a half years.(

The children we work with either come from homes where both parents work menial jobs, or only the father works at a factory or at a construction site.  Some, children come from broken homes and single parents, some are orphans and also children with special needs.
It has been our endeavor that thru the exercises we do with them, which range from teaching the English Alphabets thru a game to visualizing their future careers and also role playing thru story-telling, we want the children to
  • -       Learn positivity
  • -       Be motivated and encourage to dream
  • -       To learn about people, places, cultures around them
  • -       To learn inter-personal skills
  • -       To gain confidence and be able to face different situations

When, we got the offer to conduct an art workshop in Delhi at Sanskriti Kendra, we could not but think of bringing the children we have been working with in Goa to New Delhi, the capital of our country. This would not only give them an opportunity to see a new place and experience new people, but also it will be like a reward, a dream come true to these children who sometimes have not been even beyond the slum or settlement in which they live.
While planning the operations and requirements of this workshop, is when it suddenly struck me, why not try to organize these workshops all over India, and try and take as many as possible to different cities.
I have a 1000 dreams and 1000 visions every time I meet these kids we work with. They also deserve a decent life, they also deserve to learn, travel, experience like any child from a well off family. Also, they are equally a part of the future of our country apart from the privileged children, and if we have to really move in the path of progress and change these children need equal attention or more, so they can aspire to change their living conditions and move into the educated, informed and prosperous environment.
The only way we can start that change is by taking them to different places, showing them different things, by making them meet new people, see new environments and cultures.

And, as they make their own paper crane, we hope they are all making a wish for their future, a wish that will give them a better life and a better world.

Friday, 23 September 2011

It All Began In The Mountains...

The Jamyang School is one of the educational institutions that Tara Trust supports in Leh, Ladakh, the northern most part of India.

We had a team of  volunteers who were travelling to Leh in May and June of this year, to work with the children on some art workshops. During the discussion of the format of the workshop, the volunteers wanted to conduct an exercise of environmental awareness amongst the children, especially since some of these children were also witness to the Earthquake that occurred in Ladakh in 2008. That’s when Dr. Katharina, the founder of Tara Trust, mentioned the Fukushima disaster.
She had been following up on the devastation that had been caused first due to the earthquake and tsunami and the because of the blast in the Fukushima nuclear power plant, and had a wish to do something for the children suffering from this disaster in Japan. It was while she was reading all the various articles being written about the danger from the Fukushima nuclear plant, she fell upon the story of Sadako Sasaki and the 1000 paper cranes. The volunteers and she, then tried to connect it all, and work on a project to show their solidarity for peace and hope in Japan.
But, then the question was - How do we do pass this message to the children in Japan?
Someone said “We shall make the children paint cards with peace messages.”
Some others said “Let’s send them paper cranes ! But what will they do with the cranes?”
“Let’s Paint T-shirts ! Yes! Let’s Paint A 1000 T-shirts like Sadako made a 1000 paper cranes!” said Dr.Katharina. She said “It will be a wonderful gesture, if our children paint T-shirts with pictures of Cranes and write their peace messages on it, and we will find a way of sending it to Japan. “
And that is how it all started.

The volunteers conducted a wonderful project teaching the children about natural disasters and nuclear energy. This group of children who otherwise don’t have any exposure to the outside world apart from television, found it very interesting to learn about other places, about environmental issues, new cultures and new people.
We then also conducted another workshop with children of another NGO in New Delhi called Udayan Care, who also loved the idea and we excited about the painting exercise.  We have also conducted a short workshop with children of the Loyola School for The Marginalised, Margao, here the enthusiasm was so much that they made a 6 ft large collage of a Crane on canvas, and wrote their messages around.

And, so, began the journey and aim of painting a 1000 T-shirts as our message of peace and solidarity for the children in Japan, just like Sadako Sasaki and her friends make a 1000 paper cranes to spread the message of peace and hope in the world, in 1955.

Monday, 19 September 2011


Sadako Sasaki was 12 years old when she died of leukemia, in 1955, which she contracted due to the radiation from the atomic bombing is Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, during the World War 2, in 1945.
Sadako was like any other normal girl, and the day the atomic bomb was exploded in her city, she was indoors with her family. But, the radiation had crept into the air, the soil and water of these cities. She was  2 years old.
She grew up to be a very loving and energetic girl. She was a good athlete, with the dream of becoming the fastest runner for her relay team. It was when she was about 12 years, that the first signs of fatigue and dizziness, made her parents take her to a hospital to be tested. She was fully aware of the illness, which her mother called “the atom bomb” disease. She knew that a number of people had suffered due to the radiation, but she never expected to be one of them. Unfortunately, the infection had spread in her body and she had to be hospitalized.
Sadako, saw her entire life coming to an end and was quite dejected and depressed. Till one day, her best friend, Chizuko, came to visit her and brought her a beautiful golden paper crane. She told her it was for luck. Sadako did not understand, and her friend told her that it is belief that if a person folds a thousand paper cranes and makes a wish, it shall come true.
The crane came as a new hope for life, and Sadako was ready to do anything to live. So, inspired by the story she began making her own cranes. She made them with whatever paper she could get her hands on, and while folding every crane, she would say “I wish, I'd get better”.
The nurse who took care of her, her family, everyone, started helping her by bringing her paper to make the cranes. Her brother helped her tie up the cranes on a string around her room in the hospital. But, the disease had taken her entire body, and she finally died 8 months after being hospitalized, and having made 644 cranes.
During her stay in the hospital whenever she spoke to her mother, friends or the nurse, she always cursed “the atom bomb” disease (leukemia) and wished and hoped no other child or person should ever suffer from it, and there should be no war, because war creates the destruction.
Her friends understanding her wish and hope, completed the remaining cranes, and lay all the 1000 cranes on her grave, as a symbol of peace and hope for all the children of Japan and the world.
This year in March, a similar disaster occurred in Japan. This time it first came as an earthquake and a tsunami, the completely wiped out certain cities of Japan. The impact of this disaster resulted in an explosion in the nuclear power plant in Fukushima and the radiation once again spread around, making the people of that area flee their homes and cities and move to safer places. The destruction caused by the earthquake, the tsunami and then this explosion was massive.
This made us think, Why? Why are we suffering again and again? Why are these natural disasters occurring? Why is there a nuclear power plant in a country which has already seen large scale destruction because of the chemicals? Who really suffers from these disasters? How can we help? What can we do to try and stop this occurring in Japan or even our own country?
We needed an inspiration to move forward with answers to our questions, and the story of Sadako Sasaki and the 1000 Paper Cranes, became our inspiration. The children we work with face their own conflicts and issues every day, but, to make them understand the bigger picture and realize they are not alone can be a big motivator for them to look at a future of hope and life, rather than destruction and turmoil. 

photographs courtesy -

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Introduction - The 1000 Crane Project

 is a creative effort by the Tara Trust to spread the message of peace and hope amongst the children of India by sensitizing them in areas of environmental and social concerns.
We envision conducting art exchange workshops across India amongst children and youngsters from the marginalized and underprivileged section of society with the symbol of a 1000 Cranes.

The format of the project is to enable the children from our trust to travel to new cities across India and participate in art workshops conducted by us along with our partner organization in that city.
The long term objective is that thru these exchange workshops the children are exposed to new environments and people, and are motivated thru the experience to set new goals and ambitions.
This project has been developed as a program for a minimum period of 2 years with the mission to achieve a pan India presence.
We begin this endeavor thru our first exchange workshop at Sanskriti Kendra in New Delhi, from the 12th of October to 22nd of October 2011.