Dhanak Din: Living Together in Harmony

a three-day Nehru BAL MELA for children, teachers & parents

New Delhi: Transcending barriers of class, caste and religion, encouraging active involvement with science, nature, culture & history, fostering values of harmonious living in a fun way that makes learning an enjoyable process are the aims with which Nehru Memorial Museum & Library (NMML) organized its three-day annual Nehru BAL MELA festival last week.

Art Exhibition previously on in India.
From Thursday 27 November 2008 to Sunday 30 November 2008
Launch Thursday 27 November 2008, 9 a.m to 5 p.m.

Puppetry image

Published by anonymous on Monday 01 December 2008.
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Titled Dhanak Din: Living Together in Harmony, this festival saw hundreds of children from different parts of the country, including from remote rural villages of Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, mingled with Delhi’s school kids. The festival brought forward a dazzling view of kids indulging in wide range of activities like pottery making, clay modeling, toy making, paper craft, free writing, mehndi applying, face painting, skipping, dancing, music and much more. While some of the activities required prior registration many others were open to all. Those who wished to participate could choose one registered activity and any number of unregistered/open activities.

The Community Radio Workshop proved to be one of the most eye-captivating event as children from remote villages of Rajasthan taught lessons of radio production to the urban kids. These students successfully managed the live broadcasting of the radio program. While many spectators were busy with the ongoing exhibition on Bhagat Singh’s life (Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna), a small group of students were found deeply engaged in what they referred to as Kabaad se Jugaad. The activity encouraged people to experiment and make meaningful use of seemingly useless things. Most students willingly volunteered for Heritage & Nature Walk around Teen Murti for a simplified perspective of the historical monuments, flora and fauna while understanding the significance of history, ecology and city design. A large number of students also enjoyed t-shirt painting and brought various hues of the rainbow on t-shirts provided to them by the event-coordinators. The confidence of young students on stage, the innovative science toys, the attention-grabbing photographs and posters and back-to-back dance and music performances all marked a remarkable beginning of the fair.

Woven around the theme of peace, nature and creativity, the fair is inclusive, earth nurturing, peaceful and celebrates diversity with a wide range of learning oriented fun activities. It is the right opportunity to let your child free and have fun alongwith a deep meaningful engagement with his favourite activity. Dhanak Din, especially designed for the children between the age group of 5-18 years, also encourages the active participation of those who love to work with and for the children. The fair breaks the restraints of ‘channel surfing’ through stalls as a mere spectator but allows a deeper involvement with the participants which makes them co-creators and owners of the event.

Said Ms. Mridula Mukherjee, Director, Nehru Memorial Museum & Library: "The mela simply reiterates that “fun is serious business’. It is, however, not a stand-alone event but the celebration of a longer process of deep engagement which we have encouraged through children and parent workshops throughout the year. For this mela in particular, we have planned a series of events including talks, film screenings, fun games, exhibitions, scientific experiments, nature trails, puppets, magic, theatre and music by and for children.”

More significantly, Dhanak Din is designed not as a stand-alone event but a celebration punctuating the longer process of deep engagement that includes workshops and interactions with schools and children and would continue even after the fair. Young people who have demonstrated social leadership will also be the part of fair. Abiding by its pledge of providing a platform to the unprivileged, NMML ensures that kids and students from the remote parts of the country get a fair chance to participate and work hand-in hand with the kids from urban society. These participants are also felicitated with certificates based on their level of participation.