STORY PREVIEW

2018

"MUDITA"

MGM Clover Dale School

Maharashtra

MENTOR

Mallika Nair

STUDENTS

Grade VIII,

Step 1 FEEL

ANSWER: We brainstormed to identify the following key problems from our surroundings: 1.Garbage around entrance of school main gate & sports ground. 2. Pollution 3. Motivating support team members- Mamas & Maushis 4. Insufficient Parking area 5. Potholes on the street 6. Non- potable water

ANSWER The problem we choose to address was to motivate the support team members of our school. We noticed that our mamas and Maushis were not as privileged as us and were missing out on the simple joys of life. We felt that learning and growth opportunities should not be privilege of few but should be equally extended to all members of our school ecosystem.

The people affected by the problem were all the mamas and maushis of our school support team. Through interviews and dialogues we sensed the following primary concerns: a) They had very monotonous and routine lives at work and at home. Often, they did not have opportunities to learn, grow, and also simply enjoy themselves. b) Some bottlenecks were that mamas & maushis were not educated enough, had limiting backgrounds & were not confident in their communication & expression. c) Many of them had a feeling of inferiority & felt they were lesser than other team members & teachers.

Step 2 IMAGINE

ANSWERS To make the school more inclusive and welcoming for the mamas & maushis we imagined the following programs and experiences as solutions to our stated problems: a) Change in our attitude: In our hearts, we knew the starting point of our solution was to bring a change in our attitudes and the way we treated the support team. We decided to mindfully wish them, thank them and also ask them about their day. b) Home visits: To meet the support team in their settings and give them the feeling that they are accepted and one of us. c) English Speaking Sessions: To enable them to communicate more effectively and confidently with teachers and parents. Also to help to them to be able to take better care of their own children and families. d) Drama Dhamaka: Support team could be given a theme on which they could creatively present a drama for an audience of teachers and students. This could make them more confident and would also identify the hidden talents in the team. e) Fun Games with teacher team: Students could organize games session every month for mamas & maushis and teachers to make them feel more included & give them an opportunity for enjoyment. f) Health and hygiene awareness session – We could organize sessions which would help the support team members to take better care of themselves physically, emotionally & spiritually. g) Yoga and Meditation sessions – To help the support team in enhancing their well-being and inculcate a positive attitude towards life. h) Institution of Mama and Maushi Day – To celebrate their presence and make them feel noticed and respected. i) Mudita for support team – Offering the support team the opportunity to contribute at the Children’s ward of MGM Hospital

ANSWER Rather than pick only a few out of the proposed solutions, we chose to implement all the solutions over a period of two months since together these initiatives could be a wonderful way to encourage & elevate our support team & make our school more inclusive.

Step 3DO

Our solutions included the following: • Change in our attitude • English language session • Regular Home Visits • Fun times – Drama Dhamaka, Games, Sports Day • Mama Maushi Day • Health and Hygiene Sessions • Yoga and Meditation Sessions • Mudita for Support Team at MGM Hospital’s children’s ward

As we started this Mudita – engagement program for the support team, slowly we saw them opening up, working with more energy and generally smiling more often. Our Director and teachers also noticed and appreciated the positive change of attitude in the support team. They were more enthusiastic engaging in their work with full zeal and energy!

We were truly humbled to see the power of one good idea reaching out to more than 100 Mama’s and Maushi’s and more than 2000 students.

Testimonial from our Secretary Shri Ankushrao Kadam, “In all the institutes under the Mahatma Gandhi Mission Trust, I find that the MGM Clover Dale School truly invests in the well-being of their support team living upto Gandhian philosophy and principles. Very proud of these bunch of young children for their courage and compassion in taking up this initiative! “ Feedback from Mhaske Mama, The way I look at my job is totally changed. I am enjoying my work & feel lighter and happier now. I am getting time to learn new thing. I also take pride in my work and know that is as important as any other work in the school.

Hesitation of support staff and to change their attitude came up as the biggest challenge that we faced. We reassured them, gave them time and space to open up and get involved with our project.

MORE THAN 30 DAYS

Good health and well being

Our project is all about Finding joy & delight in the well beings of others- ‘Mudita.’ In today’s fast & competitive world finding happiness in the well-being of others is a key way to make our world a peaceful place.

Step 4 SHARE

We shared Mudita with other schools and colleges on our campus. Our Mamas and Maushis also went out and started encouraging the support team of other institutes to engage in similar programs. We were amazed to see how the idea was quickly adopted by four other institutions on our campus and reached out to more than 100 Mama’s and Maushi’s and more than 2000 students. We are so happy to share the project on the DFC platform and are sure that through this we will be able to reach many more like-minded changemakers :-)

More than 100

Our next project is to help in the education of the children of our Mama and Maushis. Also, to help them create alternative sources of income which they can pursue on off days and in the evenings.