Colours Of Life
The Yongs' Pic Album since 1998
World Seva 2011
Robyn's Diary
About the Yongs


13th Year: 2011
- Piano Recital by Robyn, Mosaic Art Portrait & CNY Reunion Lunch
- Chinese New Year, PA Got Talents, Alvin's Birthday & Opening of Clay-Street New Studio
- Bye-bye Heni
Seva Wk 01: Art of Living Ashram, Bangalore
Seva Wk 02: 1st Seva with Divine Karnataka Project & On Course
Seva Wk 03: Sponsoring Rural Village Sport Clubs & Bridge at Chikmagalur
Seva Wk 04:
'WHY DKP' Corporate Fund Raising
Seva Wk 05: DKP Helps Rural Farmers, Gadag & Koppal, Karnataka
Seva Wk 06: Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar, Konark, Puri & Sri Sri University
Seva Wk 07: Tribal School Project, Jharkhand
Seva Wk 08:
Tribal School Arts Festival on Facebook
Seva Wk 09: Tribal School @ Dumuria & Ranchi
Seva Wk 10: Tribal School Digital Contest & Kolkata
Seva Wk 11: Kolkata to Delhi to Himachal Pradesh
Seva Wk 12: Shoghi, Shimla & Tirthan Valley in Himachal Pradesh

Seva Wk 13: Homestay @ Tirthan, Kullu Valley
Seva Wk 14: Sangla, Peo, Nako, Kinnaur Valley
Seva Wk 15: Tabo, Kaza, Kye, Spiti Valley
Seva Wk 16: Demul to Komic on Yaks, Spiti Valley

Seva Wk 17: Kaza to Manali to Gurgaon, Delhi
Seva Wk 18: Gurgaon & Barefoot College,Tilonia
Seva Wk 19: Jaipur & back to Bangalore
Seva Wk 20 & 21: With the Murthys in Bangalore

Seva Wk 22-24: Meridian 101 Ambassadors for India & Bye Bye India
Seva Wk 25: Seva in Africa - Jumbo Kenya!
Seva Wk 26: Seva at the Children's Garden Home
Seva Wk 27: More Seva Projects at CGH
Seva Wk 28: Self-drive Safari to Masai Mara, Lake Naivasha, Hell's Gate
Seva Wk 29: Short Break to Arusha, Tanzania
Seva Wk 30: Safari at Nairobi National Park & Children's Day Celebration
Seva Wk 31: Launching BEADwear for Christmas
Seva Wk 32: Robyn turns 13 in Kampala, Uganda
Seva Wk 33: Rafting the White Nile, Jinja, Uganda
Seva Wk 34: Sipi Falls, Uganda & African Child Mega Dance in Kenya
Seva Wk 35: Nairobi to Mombasa, Malindi & Lamu
Seva Wk 36: Seva@Lamu - Donkey necklace + Kaya
Seva Wk 37: Seva@Lamu - Hands Up 4 Kids
Seva Wk 38: Bye Africa, Hello Istanbul, Homeward-bound Singapore
- Home Sweet Home in Singapore

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SEVA WEEK 3 (21-27 Mar 2011)

r e f l e c t i o n : ON MEDITATION...

The Divine Karnataka Project: Sponsoring Sports Clubs in Rural Villages

One of the social transformation initiatives of DKP is to form Sports Clubs for the kids and youth in rural villages. Dr Seema and Yogendra are 2 inspirational volunteers who oversee 10 sports clubs in rural villages in the ashram vicinity. Yogendra is a 2nd year college student in engineering but he spends his weekend doing seva as a sport coach shuttling among the rural villages. The sports that these kids and youth play are football, volleyball and badminton.

Last week, Dr Seema told us there are 3 new sports clubs waiting to be started once fund is available to purchase the sports items. We decided to help find sponsors from amongst our friends back in Singapore. Jin's DBS colleague, Sharon, promptly agreed to raise the sponsorship amount. So let's start them right away, we told Dr Seema!

21 Mar 2011 - The day after the completion of our courses at the ashram, we sprang into action for our seva. Alvin and Robyn went to Bangalore city with Yogendra to purchase the sports equipment. We went by local bus and the conductor punched our tickets that reminded Alvin of the kind of bus tickets he used to get during his primary school era, over 3 decades ago in Singapore.
Jayanagar Sport Depot in Bangalore

Yogendra and Alvin shopping for sports equipment

It took us a while to locate Jayanagar Sports Depot in Bangalore city, and then waited an hour for the owners to return from lunch. But it was worth the wait as we managed to purchase all the required sports equipment there.

Sports equipment for DKP sports clubs

Yogendra and Robyn with the sports shop lday owner
The sports shop owners were very kind to offer discount when we told her that the money used to pay her was donated funds. We also decided to introduce a new sport to the kids here - Frisbee. So we bought enough to equip all 10 sports clubs. And Robyn would be responsible to 'train' Yogendra till he is frisbee-certified!


24 Mar 2011 - We went to a rural village called Vaderhalli with Dr Seema to observe a woman support group and to launch one of the new sports club at a primary school. Robyn gave a crash course on frisbee to Yogendra, and soon after that he tested his newly acquired skills with a bunch of kids there.
Robyn the frisbee teacher
Robyn the frisbee teacher
Yogendra the frisbee student
Yogendra the frisbee student
Frisbee students of Yogendra who is the frisbee student of Robyn
Frisbee students of Yogendra

Frisbee madness amongst the rural village kids

The children had a whale of a time playing with the bright orange frisbee. It proved to be a hit and guaranteed to get the kids run around enough to tune up their fitness!

They flew the poor frisbee twice into the filthy drain and immediately ran off to get it washed, and resume playing happily after that.

Robyn pronounced Yogendra as frisbee-certified.

We donated some sports equipment and game sets to the children in this primary school in Vaderhalli village.

Dr Seema made specific children responsible for the different donated items.

The children were so excited and they yelled a big THANK YOU to the kind sponsors from Singapore - Sharon and friends.

Excited children with the donated sports items and game sets


24 Mar 2011 - At Vaderhalli, we observed a women empowerment program that Dr Seema started. Commercial artist Seema (same name as Dr Seema) is DKP volunteer who travel for over 2 hours from her Bangalore city home to Vaderhalli village, twice a week, to impart her needlework skills to a group of 15 women.
Art of Living community centre in Vaderhalli village

There was no seminar room or any hall for the group to gather and learn. All there is is a bare 2-room dwelling rented by DKP equipped with 3 sewing machines. inside, the woman folks sat around Seema on the cement floor and the class began...

Volunteer Seema teaching needlecraft

Happy teacher and students in needlecraft

Seema is very positive with the progress made by her students. She is confident that with just 3 more learning sessions, they would be ready to take orders for income generation work.

Seema is a DKP volunteer
Jin interviewing Seema over a simple sandwich lunch
Jin interviewing Seema on her motivation to do seva as a volunteer over a simple sandwich lunch.
Jin and Robyn with DKP volunteers and Yuvacharyas
Robyn and Jin with the fantastic DKP volunteers and Yuvacharyas led by Dr Seema.


22 Mar 2011 - At a slum in Takkarayanak, a group of women met for the first time to form yet another DKP women self-help group. Dr Hema and Rukmani patiently introduced the concept and set out the rules and regulation, while Yuvacharya and businessman Swamynathan encouraged them to work together and support one another, with DKP's assistance, towards self-reliance.
The DKP Team guiding the women from the slum in Takkarayanak to form a women self-help group
The DKP Team guiding the women from the slum in Takkarayanak to form a women self-help group.

Yuvacharya and businessman Swamynathan urging the women to work together for self-reliance
Yuvacharya and businessman Swamynathan urging the women to work together for self-reliance.

A face of hardship in the slum
A face of hardship from the slum...

Alvin and Jin with kids from the slum in Takkarayanak
Alvin and Jin with kids from the Takkarayanak slum.
Will tomorrow be better?
Will tomorrow be better?

A smile of hope
A smile of hope...

Joy amidst hardship...
Joy amidst hardship...
Lines of toughness...
Lines of toughness...
Connection of innocence
Connection of innocence
These kids are so expressive and lovable!
Will you help him grow out of the slum?


22 Mar 2011 - After Takkarayanak, we joined Dr Hema and Rukmani at Sriramapura slum where they conducted an evening training session for another woman support group. It was so inspirational to see their inexhaustible dedication to help the women from the slum. As the evening session progressed, we also admired greatly the determination of the woman support group members to learn and work towards a better life. All they need is a belief in them and a little lift from people like Dr Hema and Rukmani. You can help too.
Dr Hema and Rukmani conducting a woman self-help group training
Dr Hema and Rukmani conducting an evening training for the woman self-help group in Sriramapura slum.

Rukmani, the tireless DKP volunteer who is able to blend tender loving care with no-nonsense toughness
Rukmani, the tireless DKP volunteer who is able to blend tender loving care with no-nonsense toughness.

Determined women with keenness to learn
The woman folks were definitely keen and determined to learn so as to break out of the poverty cycle.

They shared how pranayama helped them gained calmness in mind and enhanced concentration
They shared how pranayama helped them gained calmness in mind and enhanced concentration.


24 Mar 2011 - Today, Siva Shankar took us to a DKP Tailoring Centre and two DKP Computer Training Centres situated in the slum area of JJR Nagar where women and youth from the slum are equipped with tailoring livelihood skills and computer skills to help them in school work and to gain better employability.

This tailoring centre has secured orders to sew dresses for dolls

Siva Shankar has a full time job in the IT industry but seems to have a fuller time seva in DKP. He's dedicated to helping the women and youth in the slum by setting up vocational skill centres like tailoring and computer learning centres.

Woman in action at JJK Nagar tailoring centre

One of the computer training centres in JJR Nagar slum
One of the computer training centres situated in the slum area of JJR Nagar.

Jin addressing the youth at the end of a class in another DKP computer training centre in JJR Nagar
Jin addressing the youth at the end of a class in another DKP computer training centre in JJR Nagar.


26 Mar 2011 - Thanks to Mr Yezdi for so graciously taking us to a wonderful lunch at the Pai Restaurant. I'm simply amazed at the capacity of this man to oversee an organization so enormous as Art of Living and its many social trust as its Chairman. We are eternally grateful to him for our opportunity to do seva with Art of Living.

Lunch at Pai Restaurant

Mr Yezdi


27-28 Mar 2011 - Inauguration of Bridge Construction at Chikmagalur - We travelled with Nagaraj-ji, Pathikji, Ravindra, Ganga and Venkat to Chikmagalur, some 370km away from Bangalore, for the inauguration of a bridge to be built in a tribal community, funded by DKP. As this is an area with Naxalite influence, this bridge carries a special significance in bridging ties and promoting peace by DKP. Enroute, we took the opportunity to visit some temples and in particular two famous ancient temples dating back to 12th century.

Bangalore to Chikmagalur

We began our journey at 6am on 27 Mar, enjoyed some sightseeing and finally arrived in Sringeri at 12.30am on 28 Mar - 18 hour over 370km.

Ancient temple

Robyn with amazing 12th century stone carving

DKP team at 12th century Halebidu ancient temple

The Halebidu temple was built in the 12th century and has thousands of amazing stone carvings that depict the epics of the Hindu gods.

< Robyn with amazing 12th century stone carving.

Amazing stone sculpture
The carving details were impressively refined.

Water pump works!
Yes, the water pump actually works.

The 900 year old ancient temple at Belur was equally impressive and was also built in the 12th century.

Ancient temple at Belur

Ancient temple at Belur

Refreshing coconut Refreshing coconut.

Beggars at Sringeri Beggars at Sringeri.

Jin, Robyn and local ladies
Friendly hello with students at Sringeri.

Breakfast at Sringeri
Breakfast at Sringeri.

Nagaraj-ji and Pathik-ji
The chief and lead pillars of DKP.

Alvin with old friends
Alvin with old friends.

Cow wearing my sandles!

< This cow chose to wear my pair of sandals!


The stream over which the bridge will be built
The stream over which the bridge will be built.

Robyn and armed security man

Nagaraj-ji and the community chief with his extended family
Nagaraj-ji and the headman of the beneficiary community with his extended family.

< As this is a Naxalite area, a security force armed with M16 and AK-47 was deployed to safeguard this event.

Earth breaking ceremony
Earth breaking ceremony for the bridge inauguration by the Superintendent of Police.

"Thank you for building us this precious bridge." >

Thank you for building us a bridge

Art of Living inauguration signboard
This meaningful DKP project is yet another inspiration from Guruji, made possible by Nagaraj-ji.

Superintendent of Police meeting the beneficiaries of the bridge to be built
Superintendent of Police meeting the beneficiaries of the bridge to be built.

Nagaraj-ji and his Yuvacharyas
Nagaraj-ji and his Yuvacharyas.

Superintendent of Police with Nagaraj-ji
Superintendent of Police with Nagaraj-ji.

Robyn with AK-47 assault rifle
Robyn with AK-47 assault rifle.

Praveen with AK-47
Praveen with AK-47.
At Nagaraj-ji's home with his family
On our way back to Bangalore, Nagaraj-ji kindly invited us to his home in Hasan for a poori dinner home-cooked by his wife assisted by his 3 children. It was an honor to meet with his family and enjoyed his wife's cooking.


> Week 4: The DKP Corporate Fund Raising Strategy is ready...


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