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St. Judes Day Celebrated with Gusto

Hyderabad: Our Hyderabad Centre celebrated its first St. Judes Day with a fancy dress presentation by children, colouring competition and fun games. Children dressed up and posed as Shivaji, a princess, a military officer, Spiderman, an angel and Subhash Chandra Bose, against a beautiful backdrop of paper flowers and props erected by the staff at the Centre. There was a colouring competition for kids while parents enjoyed passing the parcel game. Celebrations were followed by delicious snacks.

Kharghar: Our four Centres for the first time celebrated St. Judes Day on 1 November separately from the Mumbai Centres. Everybody was in a festive mood and parents, children and staff wore new clothes. Parents took pains to thoroughly clean up the Centres and decorate the facade of the premises. We started our celebrations with a cool slurp of ice-cream in the morning. A sumptuous lunch was provided by St. Judes. After a short post-lunch siesta, the main programme started in the evening with a magic show for children, followed by a musical performance by Tushar and Sabrish from the Rotaract Club, which was sponsored by Inner Wheel Club of Navi Mumbai Sunrise. Fathers sang songs while mothers, staff and volunteers from the Inner Wheel Club enjoyed dancing dandiya on DJ beats.

Kolkata: On 1 November, a beautiful sunny Saturday morning at the Rajarhat Centre Kolkata, St. Judes Day was celebrated with much fun and gaiety. Parents, children, TMs and staff of K 1 and K 2 participated in the day-long celebrations.

K 2 children, parents and staff had an exciting ride in our Tata Winger and Maruti Eco from Thakurpukur, to arrive in the morning at our Centre, where K1's children, parents and staff welcomed them with a vibrant applause. All of them were dressed brightly in the St. Judes uniform to celebrate the day.

Our Centre was decorated with colourful balloons. We had organised for the children in our premises merry-go-around, a toy train, bouncy and tattoos. Children enjoyed the toy train ride and jumping on the bouncy the most. Parents and children got their arms painted with tattoos depicting Chhota Bheem, Chukti, Spiderman and a butterfly. They all relished popcorn from the stall we had put up for instant popcorn.

Mothers and children keenly participated in the cultural event in which the popular Bengali song by Salil Chowdhury 'Dhitang dhitang bole...... Madole tan dole' was sung by the mothers and children danced to the lilting tune. A father from K 2 who is gymnast and a district level champion, performed gymnastic feats which were appreciated and applauded by all.

Anuradha Chakraverty, our TM, was appreciative of the efforts put in by the staff and parents in making the occasion an exciting and joyous celebration. The sumptuous meal arranged for the event marked a delectable finale to St. Judes Day.

Mumbai: With Kharghar having St. Judes Day celebrations independently in their own premises, M1, M2, M3 and M8 got together with their usual zeal to make the Day a memorable one for all.

Children were taken to a fun gym named Funky Monkey. After the first few awestruck moments, even before we knew, the children disappeared into the maze of games, with the mothers struggling to follow and keep track of their children. The Funky Monkey gym is well equipped with toys and adequate care is taken about safety of the visitors. Mothers with younger children were allowed on the slider toy and to re-live forgotten moments of their own childhood. Children enjoyed playing on the slider, trampoline, block full of balls, merry-go-round and other attractions. The hour allotted to us went by quick and none of our children wanted to come back to the Centre! All were hungry on their return to the Centre, but didn't have to wait at all as they were immediately served boiled buttered sweet corn and ice cream, followed by pav bhaji, dosa along with butter milk and fruit juice. It really was some treat!

To give a break to our mothers, fathers took up the task of looking after the children. Every Centre had prepared for the day with some special performance. All our mothers put up a wonderful show. M1 performed a dance based on a prayer to Mother Goddess. M2's performance was a skit based on real life experiences of our families before coming to St Judes. Mothers from M3 had cooked four different dishes from beetroot and one quick kheer and a chocolate, using Cal pro powder. M8 mothers danced to a Bollywood song. Later our mothers played Bombing the City game in which M3 emerged the winner.

Fathers were engrossed in a cricket match. We could very well perceive that cricket is the best stress buster when it comes to men in India.

We all had a wonderful time, with Manisha Parthasarathy, Raja Parthasarathy, Usha Banerji, Yashwant Bhat, and all the accounts and administrative staff from our Tardeo office joining in the merriment.

Delhi: To commemorate St. Judes Day, the Noida centres a day-long picnic for the families to Gandhi Smriti and Humayun's Tomb where children can learn while having fun. Families dressed up in St. Judes attire, with children in bright yellow T-Shirts and the fathers in the blue ones. This time staff too followed the dress code (blue lower and black upper wear). The 40 seater bus was decorated with colourful balloons and a banner of St. Judes Day celebration was put on the front. Families were asked to take their food and enough water along with them. The bus journey was spiced with the morning snacks - Frooti, biscuits, Lays and eggless muffins from Janta Bakery shared by all.

The St. Judes group received a warm welcome by the volunteers at Gandhi Smriti museum, where children and parents learnt about Gandhiji's philosophy and his role in India's freedom struggle, and about how he fell to the bullets of an assassin. They were engrossed in watching the photographs, sculptures, paintings, frescos, inscriptions on rocks and relics in the museum and thoroughly enjoyed the educational experience.

Our next destination was Humayun's Tomb, listed among the top fifteen heritage sites in India. Everyone rested in the lush green lawns and we had lunch there. After a brief rest, various activities that included Lemon Race, Tug of War and Badminton were held, leaving everybody delightfully exhausted. The buses left from there and reached the Centre in the evening when families found a delicious meal consisting of chhole-rice, onion khichdi, gulabjamun waiting for them. Everyone enjoyed the day out and felt rejuvenated from the monotony of their lives. Our teacher, Kopal guided them at every point of the trip.

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