THANK YOU ‘Ashayen’ from Odisha E Store

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We first came across Ashayen, when their volunteers came to assist us with spontaneity during the relief work post cyclone Fani in the year 2019. Ratnakar, who spearheads the organisation is a short, frail man, too unassuming for his abilities. As we worked together for few days, what unravelled infront of us about Ashayen was incredible. Their contribution against all odds can be nothing less than profound. Ratnakar is ably guided as well as assisted by Bikram and Manaswini, who are like elder brother and sister to him.

The Children in slum areas are left alone, unsupervised as their parents have to go to work for the complete day. They roam around in the streets and fall prey to all wrong things, intoxication, substance abuse, sexual molestation etc. Their parents would like to take them to work as soon as possible, rather than sending them to school, as it would add one more earning hand to the family. As such there isn’t enough money to send them to school. Besides in the dingy living conditions the children get exposed to a lot more than what their age can take, like frequent domestic violence, drunken abuse etc. 

Its the sheer determination of team Ashayen that they have been able to rescue so many children from the clutches of the demon of destruction of their lives and been able to give them what can be called shadow parenting. The volunteers of Ashayen are indeed no less than family members to each child. Today they have Five centres spread across the city of Bhubaneswar, providing about 200 children with healthnutritioneducation as well as livelihood skills. Manaswini, who is a counsellor works towards their anger management and port trauma healing beacuse of the psycholgical conditions they get exposed to. Children, with whose parents the volunteers had to fight tooth and nail to get them admitted to school have passed their Matric exams now with 1st grade. Now these children have comeback to guide and assist the younger ones.

Developing creative skills helps the children in a great way in inducing discipline and reducing anger. It gives a certain sense of accomplishment to them and a resultant self esteem. Kalyani, an art professional has been doing voluntary work in the organisation. We also have been on and off in helping the kids learn handicrafts when we spotted viable skills in some children. This triggered a thought that why not polish their skills to make them market worthy and thereafter provide our e-commerce platform to them to sell their products. It would infuse sustainability on the long run rather than dependence on aids. Then we started teaching them clay craft, bottle art, making utility items such as coasters, wall handings, trays etc which is underway. 

Developing creative skills helps the children in a great way in inducing discipline and reducing anger. It gives a certain sense of accomplishment to them and a resultant self esteem. Kalyani, an art professional has been doing voluntary work in the organisation. We also have been on and off in helping the kids learn handicrafts when we spotted viable skills in some children. This triggered a thought that why not polish their skills to make them market worthy and thereafter provide our e-commerce platform to them to sell their products. It would infuse sustainability on the long run rather than dependence on aids. Then we started teaching them clay craft, bottle art, making utility items such as coasters, wall handings, trays etc which is underway. 

Besides the children are being given on the job training to handle e-commerce, end to end.

We sincerely hope in the coming days Team Odisha E Store will be proud of having made a difference in some lives and to have lived upto our social responsibility.

Thank you ‘Ashayen’ for giving us this opportunity.

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