Friday, September 04, 2009

Toybank turns 5!

Yes indeed! Toybank turned '5' on the 15th of August! And we are planning to make this 5th year anniversary a fantastic one. Here are some upcoming events in Pune and Bangalore!

Toybank Bangalore
Our last event in Bangalore was with kids at IAR summer camp in May. It's time to gear up for the next distribution event and this time in rural Karnataka - a first of its kind for Toybank Bangalore.

On the 6th of September 12 of our volunteers will be distributing toys to the kids from Govt. Higher Primary Secondary School in Siddarahalli village of Belur, Hassan district. Toybank is working with 2 other social welfare groups to bring in more cheer to the children during the event.

JoinUs2Help - will be sponsoring a parade drum and copy-writing books for the children.
Aakanksha - would also participate and engage the children in coloring, drawing and some craft activities.

We also had a toy collection drive in ANZ, Bangalore. The employee volunteers have collected the toys and they are now going to be wrapped and distributed very soon!

Please mail in at for any queries.

Toybank Pune
After the 1st toy distribution event in Pune with Gyanankur School, Toybank Pune is back in action!
Toybank donated 350 toys to 300+ kids and to the toy library of the school.

We have few events planned to celebrate the 5th year anniversary. But these have taken a set back due to the swine flu attack in Pune. A toy collection drive is planned in one of the societies and dates are being discussed with the management to arrange the drive. Also we are planning for a toy distribution event with one of the schools run by Akanksha with the help of PMC and other MNCs.

Please mail in at for any queries.

Join us in making the rest of the year an amazing one by reaching out to more kids with Toybank. Join Toybank on Facebook & Orkut and spread the word. Get instant updates about our events on Twitter!

You can also send in any suggestions and feedback to us on our website!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Mystic Mahabaleshwar

We finally made a trip to Mahabaleshwar last month and here are the pics. It was a perfect day with a drizzle here and there and clouds all over the hills of Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar.

And yes we managed to pack a carton full of Mapro goodies on our way back!

Oh Yes! am alive and blogging!

I hate to realize it every time that it's been almost 6 months since my last post now!
I was caught up with a few things at work, home and Toybank. But none of these are any kind of excuses for not being in the scene.

In the past 2 weeks I was down with fever and cough, you know the kind of sad cough - I don't even remember having one of these in a long long time! I had sleepless nights in spite of taking all kinds of antibiotics, syrups, home-remedies and now homeopathy too. Don't you worry - I don't have 'the flu'. I am working from home for a couple of weeks now and hoping to get back to the work routine soon.

These days I mostly wait for weekends more than anything else to have some 'me' time. EPL's back with a new season! Though we haven't had the best start am sure things will get better very soon.

And yeah there was 24 to our rescue after we had finished watching Lost season 5. And now that we have successfully finished watching all the 7 seasons of 24 as well, all we can do is wait until January arrives for some action on the small screen! Meanwhile I was exposed to a sitcom - Frasier, a delightful show with unique characters! Hope I can munch on this for a while. We did try Entourage but somehow after 2 episodes I didn't crave to go back and watch more. May be will try it when we run out of all options some day :)

Alright too much of TV there! Let's move on. You know by now that Pune is on the world map for being a swine flu hot spot. All thanks to this, that in the past one month I did hear some really dumb and weird things people did because of the swine flu scare. Definitely the city was under a panic attack for the first couple of weeks after the first casualty. But with the media and newspapers taking swine flu out of all their headlines I must say that things are back to normal now.

I know I have been lazy in updating the blog. But I have been in action on Twitter though. You can catch me here!

3 cheers to 'me coming back to blogging'! Toybank updates will soon follow this post.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Let's get started!

Here are some of the action points from yesterday's meeting in Pashan.

Toy collection will go on for a month's time in Panchvati which is home to many societies/apartments in Pashan. Arvind who runs One Life activities has offered Success Club as the toy storage space for the drive. And we already saw two bags of toys donated by yesterday :)

Everyone will send in their recommendations of any NGOs they have worked with in and around Pashan (and elsewhere in Pune). This'll help us during distribution of toys.

Initially our target will be to do one distribution per month depending on the toys collected and hence reach out to kids in Pune.

And guess what I was thrilled to see some special volunteers at the meeting. Around 6 kids joined us in the meeting yesterday :) . They are willing to be volunteers for the drive as soon as they are done with their exams!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Toy drive in Pashan, Pune

Volunteers in Pune - get ready to join us for toy drives in Panchvati, Pashan.
Toybank toy drives will be on in various buildings/societies in Panchvati.

We'll be collaborating with volunteers in Pashan and One Life to kick start this toy drive.
We have a meeting scheduled today at 2 PM.

Saturday, February 14, 2009
2 - 3 PM
One Life Activity Club,Near State Bank Nagar Society,Panchvati
Pashan Road

Here's the agenda for the meeting.

(1) Chalk out plans for toy drive in various buildings/societies in Pune .
(2) Discuss how we can get volunteers from Pune who can help us in collection, gift-wrapping and distribution with the help of One Life and also by spreading a word across all societies.
(3) Involve Volunteers from One Life in our distribution events and hence encourage inclusive play.
(4) Identify NGOs in and around Pashan so that distributions can happen in same area.
(5) Discuss on how we can schedule monthly or fortnightly meetings/follow ups.
(6) Discuss any other ways how we can collaborate with One Life to spread the message.

Please mail us at in case you have any queries.

Also there are toy drives happening in Juhu Vile Parle, Mumbai starting from 16th of February till 7th of March. Find out more here.

This is a toy collection and distribution drive set up all through JVPD Scheme, Mumbai. Students from the MBA Tech program from the Mukesh Patel Institute are initiating this Toy rally all through mid February and March. People living around these areas can fully support this activity if interested. Please write in to for more details.

Let us give back the right to a childhood!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

LokSabha Polls - Corporatized!

Well the dates are out for the LokSabha polls. While I read the newspaper an idea struck my head!

Me: All these candidates with nominations for LS polls should go through a test before they are given the candidature. Who ever fares well will contest the election from that party!

Kunal: You wish. The test will be rigged!

Now that's the kind of confidence all of us have in the transparency of politics in India. I later realized how stupid my idea was. It sounded very much like a dream but I definitely want that to happen very soon!

I strongly feel politicians should take a test for contesting in elections.
I am not sure on what basis each party gives them a candidature. The ones who are loyal to bosses and the madams or may be the ones who make money speak for them!

I as a citizen of this country would definitely want the leader from my constituency to know a few basic things based on which I would choose him because he's being chosen to deliver what I want!

The test can revolve around things like these -

(1) How much does the candidate know about the constituency?
Sonia Gandhi and Sushma Swaraj both contested from Bellary few years ago. But did they know what the people of Bellary wanted in the next 5 years?! And what the problems were and what kind of development was required?

(2) Problems to be handled on priority in his/her constituency in the term
Every candidate must be aware of what are the bottlenecks bothering the people in the constituency and how to deal with them if he/she wins. Their agenda should be known to the public before they contest.

(3) The challenges India's facing with regard to the global scene
The candidate should be able to understand and relate to the challenges India's facing and contribute to the development by developing his/her own constituency.

And finally when all the above said things are on track (I hope I'll be alive to see it if and when it happens that is) - well the best part - 'the results' should be conveyed to everyone in the constituency once every year. And the candidate's agenda should be updated for the next year.

More importantly I feel all the results against the agenda should be 'quantifiable'.
Well only if the Election Commission took note of all this gyaan from the corporate world!

It's true - India mein mufat ka 'serious' gyaan bhi milta hain :D