Shaping Lives
Shaping Lives
October - December, 2011 | Update : Issue 4
Shaping Lives Update

Dear Friends


The cheerful colours, the chill in the air, the smiles and the fervor, all adds to the joy of entering into a new year. A very warm greeting from Shaping Lives (The Le Passage Travel Foundation) to you and your loved ones. It is always very heartwarming to receive such overwhelming support for our initiatives involving special children, from each one of you.

A feeling of gratification ran down our nerves in the last quarter of 2011 when we saw our efforts bringing numerous smiles to the faces of less privileged children from our partner NGOs. This edition of our Shaping Lives promises to share those smiles with you. Read about the volunteer trips of our group of guests from UK, France and Japan, that turned into lifetime memories for them. Also catch the enthusiasm through the Diwali and sports day celebrations with our NGO children.

We are also pleased to share with you that our foundation- Shaping Lives is gaining recognition and has won the award for the most improved TUI Travel Sustainability Customer Communications segment. We hope this issue adds some delight to your life as we share our joy of giving with you all. Please write in to us with your views and suggestions, we would love to hear from you.

Have a blissfull year ahead!

Most Warmly
Arjun Sharma
Managing Director

October 2011
Bobath Group – UK : The month saw our first serious volunteer program in the form of BOBATH Group from the United Kingdom, move into the Deepalaya Special School at Sanjay Colony and over 4 days of fun and frolic combined with serious work, convert the dilapidated main hall and exteriors of this school into a vibrant and colorful warm adobe for our very special children. The children were of course amazed and excited by this activity by 10 foreign young men and women.
The cherry on the cake was when some of the more talented further decorated the walls with quick on-the-spot paintings. When the work was done and lit up in multiple hues, every child and volunteer dipped their hand into a paint of their choice and left their imprints of love and happiness on the walls.

TOSHIBA – FRANCE : Toshiba top management in France brought in their finest dealers on an India trip. With us, their first stop was at Akshar Society school in Jaipur, where they were suitably impressed to make a large donation via their Indian travel host. The next day saw them interacting with Mr Rajender Singh, the ‘waterman of India’ at his farm near Alwar. Rajender Singhji kept his visitors enthralled with narrations of his work, a round of the farm and water well therein, mixed with adequate doses of Rajathani hospitality and culture.

The Toshiba team gifted 20 bicycles to key performers in water management nominated by him beside the donation to his cause. The meeting with Rajender Singhji, who has walked the length of every major river in India, was truly enlightening for everyone present.

Diwali for Project Arman : Our Armanis from Nizamudin were given their Diwali treat as October drew to a close. Changing it into a day event over last year’s evening one, had its benefits, as the children got more time to enjoy the varieties of programs, party games, tattoo and nail and hair aid stalls and much more. This annual event is very close to our heart and volunteers from the Company were present in adequate numbers to ensure that the children felt special and were looked after thoroughly. The Foundation also gifted each Armani a track suit, complete with the CHINTAN and Shaping Lives logos as a return gift. Mr Arjun Sharma, MD Le Passage, and his wife, Mrs Jyotsana Sharma graced the fun and Mrs Sharma especially was visibly active in making the children dance and have fun.

Shaping Lives
November 2011

JAL ONBOARD FLIGHT MAGAZINE SHOOT : The JAL onboard magazine shoot team came in with Mr Iseya, a young and renowned Japanese film star and artist. Shaping Lives did not just organize the meeting with a young Indian contemporary budding artist for them, but we also managed to coax a painting-cum-shoot at the Samanvai Art Gallery, Jaipur by this Indian artist, Mr Chander Shekhar and Mr Iseya. It was a rare sight and event for even the gallery owner, Mrs Reeta Kuhad to see such bonhomie and a painting medley in her studios. The JAL team shooting this event were obviously happy and excited at this beautiful ‘twist’ to their trip. In the warmth of that medley was also born the desire by Mr Iseya to visit Akshar Society’s slum school, when he learnt that it was Mrs Kuhad’s philanthropic and social face. The shoot thus went into Day 2 as the guests visited the school at Kathputli Nagar and interacted with the toddlers being groomed for the higher education being imparted by Akshar in their other centers.

VISIT BY JAPANESE MANAGEMENT TEAM : The next visit was again by Japanese guests. A dozen of mid-level Management Trainees from top electric and pharmaceutical companies of Japan, spent half a day visiting our Deepalaya affiliate at Sanjay Colony and the old age center. They were first made to tour the slum cluster which is the feeder for the Deepalaya school. This background knowledge helped them appreciate the kind of work being done by Deepalaya for the normal and special children of this slum. They were then taken to our NGO The Earth Saviors’ Foundation. Interacting with tiny tots and old inmates within the same environment had them clicking away once more. The open space and the collection of animals that exist in this center also egged on the visitors to shed their inhibitions and mingle with everyone amicably. The team have taken home memories to last a lifetime.

MISC in NOV 2011 : The Foundation for the first time supported the partial education of one college girl recommended by NGO Manzil, with a lump sum one time grant. One waste picker, identified by CHINTAN for a monetary scholarship was taken on board with a promise to see through all education expenses for him. NGO Cankids … Kidscan was also made a quantum contribution during this month for their care for less privileged children afflicted with cancer.

Shaping Lives
December 2011

World Human Rights Day : We merely supported the children from across Deepalaya schools in NCR as they gave a beautiful and enchanting performance of song and dance titled ‘ Melodies for Peace’. The Deepalaya choir numbering over 100 children between the 6-16 years age group received a standing ovation from all present as they wove a fabric of religious renditions culminating in a song for peace, love and oneness amongst all. The alumni of Deepalaya under the name ‘DOST’ entertained the audience with self choreographed and theme based dance skits.

Annual Sports Day - Goa : The St Joseph’s High School at Salcete, Goa was touched by Shaping Lives as it facilitated a very special Chief Guest, Mr Suresh Amonkar, Padma Shree awardee, a man who changed the Goan education system in his lifetime, for their function. The happiness factor was further increased as special headgear was couriered at short notice for the newly formed school band much to the delight and appreciation of the Principal and staff.

Xmas and New Year – Goa : In addition to the above, the Goa team once again got together to make the festive season truly delightful for the charities Shaping Lives supports in Goa. Their philanthropy covered :-

  1. Margaret Bosco Bal Sadan (approx 45 male street children) to a sponsored special lunch and dinner  for Christmas and New Year for all the  children in addition to gifting of black canvas BATA shoes for the children as requested by the Sadan.
  2. Sister Valentina’s Little Heaven (approx 70 female orphans) was gifted Rs 15000/- for one year fee to facilitate monthly visit and children medical check by a local doctor for every month.
  3. St. John Convent (approx 21 male and female orphans) were given three months grocery stock as per list given by them.

TUI Appreciations : The Foundation also received its first international recognition in the form of an award for the most improved TUI Travel Sustainability Customer Communications segment and its case study on Project Arman at Nizamudin was chosen to be included in the TUI’s annual Travel Report. The TUI Travel PLC also found it befitting to include the Foundation in its worldwide Responsibility Communication Campaign titled ‘Spreading Smiles’ and gifted us a camera to send in our entries for this grand initiative to create an ecosystem of smiles across the world.

Conclusion : In conclusion, the year 2011 has seen Shaping Lives arrive and intermesh with the operational units of the Le Passage extended family. Our interventions have brought joy and goodwill between the NGOs, the clients, our travel partners and us and we move into 2012, our feet firmly on the ground with the sole intent of making a difference through worthwhile social initiatives on travel destinations. We close the year with a silent prayer for a wonderful 2012 to all who were and who will be associated with Shaping Lives in the years to come.
Shaping Lives