Shanti Bhavan Newsletter, Fall 2012

Dear friends,

The holidays are just around the corner, and to share in the joy and laughter of the season we have three heart-warming stories from Shanti Bhavan. Our kids have been busy studying and preparing for their exams, but they have also taken the time to celebrate special occasions and participate in unique events. Please sit back and enjoy this little treat from Shanti Bhavan.


Ghandi Jayanti – by Catherine, 12th grade

The day started with anticipation and was filled with the delight of children’s voices wishing each other a happy Gandhi Jayanti. It was a holiday and a day of remembrance, which brought smiles to the faces of students and staff alike.

Ghandhi Jayanti is celebrated in India to mark the occasion of the birthday of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the “Father of the Nation” who is commonly known as Mahatma Gandhi or Bapu. He was born on October 2, 1869. It is one of the three certified National Holidays declared in India and is celebrated in all Indian states and union territories. On this day, the government offices, banks, schools and post offices remain closed so as to pay homage to the “Father of the Nation”. Mahatma Gandhi popularized the principles of truth, non-violence, and honesty in our nation and across the globe, and they are still remembered and widely used today.

As the first light took over, everyone was clothed in their best outfits. Breakfast was at nine o’clock, filling everyone’s waiting stomachs. The younger children from the toddlers to the sixth grade got to enjoy a movie in the morning, while the older students had prep time to finish their homework for the next day.

Lunch was soon served and followed by a refreshing nap. Then we were all ready to play matches of cricket, soccer, and basketball. In the evening, all the students gathered to talk about Gandhi and what he meant for India. It was a great and lively discussion and opportunity to remember and pay respect. Finally, it was time to watch movies and enjoy a special delicious dinner of fried rice and chicken that was sponsored by one of the previous volunteers, Saibhang. Everyone was exhausted by the end of the day, and ready to go to sleep and dream of next year’s Gandhi Jayanti.



International Day of the Girl Child – by Babu, 11th grade

The first ever International Day of the Girl Child was celebrated this year on October 11th, and Shanti Bhavan was part of it! The day was celebrated with the hopes of encouraging educational opportunities to underpriveleged girls around the world. At Shanti Bhavan, we had a special three day celebration for International Day of the Girl Child, from October 9th-11th with Intel and our partners at She’s The First.

The students and the faculty at Shanti Bhavan all worked very hard in preparation for the big event. Lokesh and Meena Devi, from the ninth grade, were the main hosts for our visitors and guests and they did such a good job as student-ambassadors.

Intel held two special training sessions. The first was a twenty-hour entrepreneurship workshop for all the girls from the 9th, 10th, and 11th grades as well as a select few interested boys from the upper grades. In the workshop, we learned to create our own business plans for potential future investors. Intel also hosted a training session for Shanti Bhavan’s science teachers focusing on hands on, inquiry-based learning. The workshop inspired so many new ideas and techniques for our teachers to take into the classroom.

Additionally, five girls from the senior classes worked on seemingly unsolvable problems facing girls’ education that they presented at a summit hosted by She’s The First in New York City on the 11th of October. Those ideas will eventually be sent to the United Nations! The girls debated and discussed the worldwide and regional problems that most female students and women face. After much work and brainstorming our girls sent their solutions to She’s The First via Skype and email. It was very exciting to be part of such a special project.

Even our choir had a chance to do something new. They worked on an original song that was presented on the day of the celebrations. The song was used as background music for the video broadcasted by Intel after the event.  Watch the Choir celebrate International Day of the Girl Child.

The whole school was abuzz with activity and excitement for the day. It was another small step in creating awareness for girls’ education and what they can accomplish if only given the chance. We were part of something special and we all knew it.


Halloween – by Lizzy Rainer, OSA

Halloween isn’t usually celebrated in India, but we decided to do something special for Shanti Bhavan. On Sunday, the students and the graduates who are at Shanti Bhavan during their break from college went trick-or-treating on campus. They made three stops–the volunteer quarters, the teacher’s quarters, and the guest house where one of our volunteers who comes every year is staying.

The students got themselves decked out in their Halloween finest, and came to collect candy. At the teacher’s quarters, the children collected cookies and chocolates, as they went door to door trick-or-treating. From there, they went on to the guest house, and were met with more cookies and spooky stories. Finally, they came to the volunteer’s quarters, which had been turned into a haunted house. Only after braving the eerie halls and the darkened corridors were they rewarded with candy. After lots of screaming, they headed outside to have some photos taken and do a bit more screaming and scare each other as much as they could. It was a perfect Halloween, even if it did fall on November 4th!









Help Our Mission Succeed

These stories are only possible through your continued support. Each dollar makes a difference. Each dollar changes a child’s life. It is through donations like your own that the children of Shanti Bhavan are provided a home, clothing, medical care, food and a great education. Join us now and be part of something amazing. Donate now and help a child break the cycle of poverty.

Thank you!