On a humid Sunday afternoon, two lads meddle with the coconut twigs and rat skins at the bund of Rajakilpakkam Lake, near Tambaram. The young boys, aged 3 years and 5 years, spend the afternoon playing with the skin of the rats caught by their father a day ago. Hailing from the Irular tribe whose occupation is to hunt snakes and rats, these kids make use of the leftovers from the catch.
“I have never thought about giving my children toys. Even if I wish to, I can never afford it,” says a 40-year-old Varadan A, the father.
Just a few kilometres away from this settlement, in Sholinganallur, a family sells a bag of used toys to a recycler, for as less as Rs 30. The kids in the family have grown up and the used toys were only occupying space in their home. There are hundreds of families in Chennai who dump their used toys in the dustbins. If these toys reach the street children in Tambaram, their joy would know no bounds.
Marathon for the marginalized
In order to promote the cause of donating toys for poor tribal children, Aid India, a non-profit organisation is organising its 9th annual Eureka Run at Elliot’s beach on Sunday, February 24th. The run will be sponsored by CanFin Homes.
Dr R Natraj IPS, MLA, Mylapore Constituency, Chandru, Retired Justice of Madras High Court, and educationist Dr.Vasanthi Devi are among the various guests who will participate in the event.
Aid India uses the annual Eureka Run as a platform to create awareness about issues that plague the field of education and its impact on the lives of children in Tamil Nadu. Eureka Walk ‘n’ Talk English program has helped thousands of children gain the confidence to engage in simple conversations in English. The theme for this year’s Eureka Run is “Toy Joy”. Through this, the organisation aims to kick-start a large-scale campaign of providing toys to thousands of tribal and marginalized children from extremely disadvantaged backgrounds.
|Citizens can donate new or gently used toys at the collecting points organised at the Eureka Run. To register or to donate toys, call firstname.lastname@example.org|
“Toys are the most important and joyful part of childhood, playing a significant role in a child’s overall development. It is a stark reality that thousands of children in villages and slums grow up without any toys or playthings. The entire funds raised through the registration fee for Eureka Run, will be used to gift children the simple joy of playing with toys,” said Gowri P S, Project director, Aid India. She has assured that the organisation is taking all the efforts to not litter the beach, during the run.[The information above has been compiled on the basis of a Press Note from AID INDIA]