The Tuk Tuk Challenge

Some pictures of the grand welcome of our TukTuk heroes!
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Meet the team, or should I say OUR HEROS 🙂 . Thank you all for your support. The Challenge is Complete! See Video

 

 

 

 

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Tuktukupdate: We did it!! Our team has successfully reached Kanyakumari!! Thank you all for your support!!

 

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Tuktukupdate: Todays Drive from Kochin to Trivandrum takes 5.20 hrs by car, so it will be about 8 hrs by Tuk Tuk. 

 

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Tuktukupdate: Yesterday Our team successfully completed 180 Kms of Tuk Tuk Drive from Neeleshwar to Kalikut. Amongst all the currency change going on in India , getting simple things done is also a task.

 

 

 

14992077_1278592655536365_4453953258203584950_nTuktukupdate: Pitstop with teammate Achal, a successful dentist from UK. Achal is one of the many professionals from UK doing this challenge to raise fund for our girls.

 

 

 

The Adventures of Tuk Tuk Challenge!(Day 4)

rupa-pr-with-tuktukOur Tuk Tuk team had a tough day today. Rupa prabhu shared a glimpse of his adventures below:

Today is a long one 289 km from Panjim, Goa to Kundapur, Karnataka.

Starting was not so good, I was driving on my side and a car overtook us and even though there was no one coming, he cut into us too soon and the back of his car hit our front side and jolted us. It was not too hard so I managed to keep the auto rikshaw on the road. I then tried to chase the guy who obviously did not bother to stop or anything, but soon he was gone!

And guess what? after 100 kms on road, in the middle of no where, our accelerator cable broke!

I stopped one guy on scooter and he kindly called his mechanic who was about 3 kms away and agreed to come. In the meantime our back up car was nearby and came, but everything seemed to go wrong today as they had the wrong cable with them ?

After that the mechanic came and changed the cable however we lost one hour in this. But we are now back on the road!!

We will reach Gokarna and hopefully have darshan of Mahabaleshear Shiv lingam. Mahabaleshwara Deva temple is located on the shores of the Arabian Sea in the holy town of Gokarna.  The history of this temple img-20161110-wa0003comes from a legend related to the mighty Ravana of Ramayana. The deity here is about 1500 years old. According to the legend (Read More..)

 After the temple visit  we will still have about 150km to go!!!
 
Its not good at all as the rikshaw does not have lights and at night on road it is a nightmare, two days ago we had to use a torch to reach our destination and we really could not see anything!!!Please send in your good wishes so that we can keep going despite adversities. I guess this is why we call it a Challenge ?

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Ranga,Ganga,Champa three of our girls in striking Before and After photos.

Food for Life Vrindavan( FFLV),  a not for profit charity, working for the empowerment and betterment of Vrindavan’s destitute women and children, are pleased to announce the launch of our 2016 TukTuk Challenge.

Fifteen working professional from all walks of life, including a dentist, filmmaker and award winning hair dresser will fly in from the UK to Mumbai this Saturday to begin two days of preparation and training for their arduous 1,800 kilometer journey from Mumbai to Kanya Kumari in a three wheel 9BHP auto-rickshaw.

Leading the press conference and flagging off will be one of India foremost contemporary actors and philanthropist, Mr. Vivek Oberoi.

Mr. Oberoi is the International Brand Ambassador for FFLV has been actively supporting the charity for the past ten years and has been instrumental in a number of initiatives that have helped change the lives of the poorest of the poor .He will be answering questions from the press regarding this unique charity challenge this Saturday 5th November .

We are honored to have your presence at the press conference – details below:

Saturday 5th November 2016, 6:00 PM, at the Sun and Sand Hotel, 39, Juhu Beach, Mumbai.

Media inquiries to:

Ravin J. Ganatra
Phone: +91 875 538 1273
email: ravin@fflvrindavan.org

Weblink www.fflvrindavn.org

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Our Sandipani Muni School in Vrindavan has more than 50 girls yearly graduating and they all really want to continue higher education or University. With friends from UK we have organised a Challenge, driving a TukTuk (three wheeler) from Mumbai to Kanya Kumari, 1,250 miles ride on Indian roads. Your contribution will keep me going for those 12 days on the road. Please help our girls fulfill their dreams! Click here to contribute

 

rickshaw-1Participate in the TUK TUK Quiz Contest and Win Exciting prizes: Click to know more

Little Hariram’s Birthday

img-20161021-wa0000 img-20161021-wa0002Hari Rama is a young boy from Australia that came to Vrindavan to celebrate his 5th birthday. He visited our Sandipani Muni School to play with the kindergarten children that are about his age. Most of them are newly enrolled in our school and they are more than 100.

He distributed a chocolate bar and a tulasi necklace with a nice pendant to each one of them. Being an auspicious period of Navaratri(when the people in India worship Mother Durga), the family organized an outing with all the children to the Vaishno Devi temple. Whoever that have visited Vrindavana must have seen the huge statue of Mother Durga on the main road. We were not allowed to take photos inside the temple premises, so we took a group photo  outside. It was a very very hot day but the kids really had a lot of fun!

A very special birthday for little Hari Ram even if, being a girl’s school, he was the only boy with all the girls :), but for kids all this does not matter

Rare Sanjhi Art Workshop at SMS

img_8960In a 3 days workshop at Sandipani Muni School, our girls learnt a beautiful art form called Sanjhi.

Sanjhi is a word derived from word like “Sajja, “Shringaar”, and “Sajavat” which all means decoration. This art painting is rooted in the folk culture of the Braj Region. Presently, the art of Sanjhi Painting has become rare and is practiced by only a select few and remains a living tradition only in some temples of India.

img_8957The teacher Shri Sumit Goswami , is the principal representative of these arts among the present day generation.

The training also included making Sanjhi Painting on water. The girls were stunned to know that something like that was possible. Everyone who saw the artwork was amazed at the talent of Shri Sumit Goswami and his team.

The girls loved the workshop and benefitted greatly from it. We are grateful to these talented artists who came and delivered such a wonderful workshop.

FFLV Honored by Bharat Vikas Parishad

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From the left, Neeraj Saigal(Vice President FFLV), Sunil ji, Seemant ji & Rajendra ji(The principals of our three schools)

We are pleased to share with you that Food for Life Vrindavan has been awarded certificate of excellence in the field of Girl Education by Bharat Vikas Parishad.

Established in 1963, Bharat Vikas Parishad is a service-cum-sanskar oriented, non-political, socio-cultural voluntary organisation. It is dedicated to the development and growth of our country in all fields of human endeavour – cultural, social, academic, moral, national and spiritual – by promoting a sense of patriotism, national unity and integrity. It is a happy and proud moment for us and would not have been possible without your support. Thank you so much!

Breaking the cycle!

Just as one candle lights another and can light thousands of other candles, so one heart illuminates another heart and can illuminate thousands of other hearts. Leo Tolstoy

Time goes so fast! This is what we envisioned years ago. What a joy it is to see it happening infront of our eyes. The girls who innocently walked into the gates of our school years ago, dressed humbly and rugged hair have now grown into graceful young ladies. They got education and skills at the school, they got jobs and broke their cycle of poverty. The most beautiful part however is that many of them are now helping other girls in the area climb up the ladder.

We are talking about our school girls who are now giving a couple of hours every week to teach vocational skills to other village girls at a small school in the area. Sharing some pictures of our school girls teaching singing, dancing, karate and embroidery to other village girls. So proud 🙂 !

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Our little Neetu

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Lovely dance performance by Neetu

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Neetu teaching other girls

Anuradha and Radha with herfather

Radha and Anuradha at the time of admission

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Radha teaching music

 

 

 

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Anuradha teaching embroidery

 

 

Thank you to The BodyShop

Dear Friends,

Bodyshop1We are pleased to share with you that our friend dscn0411-300x300and supporting organization, The Body Shop has again donated generously towards our cause. This time they have sponsored the books and note books for our 1300+ school girls for this whole year.

We really appreciate their support. The girls were overjoyed to see their new textbooks and notebooks.

At Food for Life Vrindavan, our goal is to make sure that no girl child in Vrindavan remains illiterate. The Body Shop has been a very important pillar of support for our organization. With their generous donation our 1300+ girls will receive books for an entire year.

It is noteworthy that in the year 2014, The Body Shop India sponsored the education for 100 girls for an entire year. They have been very active in this field and organized programs to spread awareness on the importance of girl education. Our  girls also participated in these programs. We hope that this partnership will always continue to blossom and empower more and more girls through education.

Our Brave Neetu

Neetu at the time of admission

Neetu at the time of admission

From a small tree, a mighty trunk may grow- Aeschylus

We take pride to share this story with you of a girl who joined us when she was but a little bud. Over the years she grew in the courtyard of our school. Little did we realize that this flower would blossom so beautifully…

“Being terrified but going ahead and doing what must be done—that’s courage”

Neetu stated this very well in the incident below.

Neetu (16 yrs) was returning home in the evening, from her food distribution service at school. She was riding her bicycle when she noticed that a young lady (who was an expat) was being followed and harassed by an auto rickshaw driver.

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Neetu at Evening Meal Distribution

The road was lonely and suddenly the man pulled that lady into his vehicle and rode off. The lady was panicking and asking the man to stop and let her get down. Neetu could just not stand there and watch. Seeing no one around to turn to, she followed that rickshaw on her bicycle and saw that the rickshaw had pulled over at a very lonely place. Neetu didn’t wait for anything; Her hands were shaking but she mustered up all her courage, picked up a big stick and struck the driver from behind. The driver shocked and in pain, hurled abuses at her, but Neetu didn’t care. She took the lady by her hand and asked her to sit behind her on her bicycle and off she went.

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Neetu being awarded for her bravery

She dropped the lady in a safer area. Teary eyed and grateful, that lady offered Neetu her silver bangles as a token of appreciation, but she refused. The whole situation was so overwhelming that no names were exchanged. It was a gesture of care from one girl to another.

The next day she shared this incident with her friends and teachers. We informed the principals who awarded her for her bravery in front of the whole school. She shared the incident with other girls who felt really inspired hearing this. Neetu made us so proud and we thought of sharing this incident with you all who are contributing towards the education and grooming of many these Neetus in our school.

About Neetu and her family:

In her family, her father was born in Agra and is currently an unemployed carpenter. Her mother was born near Kolkata, West Bengal. They moved to Vrindavan where her mother joined Food for Life Vrindavan as a cleaner. Her older sister Poonam, who graduated from Sandipani Muni School last year in 2015, is now in college. Neetu loves to dance and is also a very good singer.