Sharana was honoured to receive a visit from her Excellency the Lieutenant Governor of Pondicherry Dr. Kiran Bedi in April 2017. Very soon after Sharana started to work very closely alongside government departments to participate in actions and initiatives organised or encouraged by her. It is our honour to be associated with these initiatives mooted by her office and help our town move towards a cleaner and more effective Puducherry. As an organization, Sharana is happy and proud to be a part of this effort to collaborate with the Raj Nivas (Lt. Governor’s office in Pondicherry) in enhancing the civil sector of our surroundings.
It is a conscious choice for Sharana and its team to be involved and work along with the government and their actions, as it is our responsibility towards our country and our city. The team has often put extra hours of work to ensure that all communities and children related to our activities continue and grow in quality and move towards becoming more independent and sustainable. The eventual aim is to be able to move away from these and provide support to other communities who need Sharana’s support.
Since her visit of our organisation, with her encouragement and request, Sharana has begun working in several areas namely the Central Prison, the Botanical Garden, an Irular community and some schools.
Confluence of NGOs
In March 2017, Mrs. Rajkala and Mrs. Alo, attended a confluence of NGOs and Corporates organised by the Honourable Lieutenant Governor of Pondicherry Dr. Kiran Bedi. They were able to speak about Sharana’s actions to a large and important audience on this occasion.
The aim was to create a platform where NGO’s and government departments could meet and learn of each other’s actions and work closer together. All these meetings are good days of networking and learning. In the future companies interested in funding projects, and different government institutions/departments will also be invited one by one to participate in the same.
Sharana was invited last June to participate in a meeting held at the Central Prison of Pondicherry. The objective of the meeting was to make the prison into a better facility with more humane and educational aims such as to transform the guards into guardians. Dr Kiran Bedi encouraged the current Inspector General(IG) of Police (Prisons) Mr. Pankaj Kumar Jha to completely transform the situation of the prison and turn it around in just a few months; Sharana since then has contributed resource people in conducting art therapy sessions and awareness through sports and games with the inmates.
Prakash is the main liaison and administrative contact for this program. Manuel, Sharana’s art therapist and artist, guides the inmates to paint murals on the compound walls— today almost all the inner and some of the outer walls of the prison are painted with beautiful murals.
Additionally, Manuel continues to conduct art therapy sessions with the inmates. Anbu I. and other social workers conduct awareness programs through sports and games through Sharana’s awareness through sports and games program and Vadivu continues to work with the female inmates. She has conducted games, art activities and paper craft sessions with the women prisoners.
Sharana continues these weekly sessions at the Central Prison and it has been a pleasure to be associated to this transformative program.
Since February, we have extended our outreach on the field and begun working on a new site in T.N. Palayam which houses a community of the Irular tribe. The request for Sharana’s intervention in this community came from the Honourable Lt. Governor’s office. The team of social workers conduct art, awareness through sports and games and other programs with children from this area once a week as part of the weekly Mobile Library program. Also, there will be 25 children from this community who will also have an educational follow up from June onwards through the Back to School program at Sharana.
On several occasions, the team at the Raj Nivas reached out to us to work on certain government schools that lack proper level of education or awareness, especially if they are in a very remote area. Dr. Bedi always requests our team to participate in these schools and communities to add value to the existing school education that the children receive. Therefore this year, the Seeds of Change program (awareness through sports and games) was conducted in the Bahour Barathi government higher secondary School and the Sanyasikuppam Government middle School once a week since several months now. The response from both these schools have been positive and encouraging.
In the last 3 months Dr Bedi’s involvement focused on cleaning and beautifying the Puducherry Botanical garden. She wants to give access of the garden back to the People of Puducherry. She has brought together NGOs, schools and colleges, govt departments and other bodies to work together with this common goal. Sharana has been requested to paint murals towards this purpose, and we have been working on these since April.
Yesterday Sharana received two books from the Raj Nivas: the Raj Nivas workbook as well as the Best Practices- in which Sharana has been mentioned as their Corporate Social Responsibility-CSR partner.
It has been our privilege to work alongside the team of the Raj Nivas and under the guidance of our H’ble Lt. Governor Dr. Kiran Bedi-to be invited to work in projects that need the support of an NGO; she has a vision of a clean, green and corruption-free Puducherry- we at Sharana are proud to participate in this journey in any capacity that we can; we truly hope that this is a partnership that will be change-making and progress-ward in the short as well as long term goals.