I've been working with Timbaktu to set up a Support A Child program for the residential children of Timbaktu Badi. A little more about Timbaktu Collective and the children at Timbaktu Badi. Timbaktu Collective is a rural development organization working in the three mandals - Chennekotha Palli (C.K.Palli), Ramgiri and Roddam of India's second most drought prone district, Ananthapur in Andhra Pradesh. For over 20 years they have been working on issues of rural development through Eco-restoration, Child rights, Youth development, Disability rights, Alternative banking with women, Organic farming and producer owned business enterprise development.
During the course of their work they came across children from difficult family circumstances, orphans, and neglected children from poor households. Timbaktu Badi a residential alternative school was established for these children in 1994. The school enables them to enjoy childhood and blossom in a free, joyful and open environment of learning in nature's lap.
Timbaktu Badi provides free food, all round education and caters to health needs of these 65 children. The children explore the world through the use of all their faculties. Arts and crafts, dance, drama are not considered extra-curricular, but are an imperitive part of the learning process. Asha has been partnering with Timbaktu Collective since 1995 through various initiatives including school infrastructure and support, children's rights programs, even organic farming. Asha-Bangalore also supports the children's outreach program - Children's Resource Center (CRC) run in C.K.Palli village that allows village children access to library, computers, arts and crafts (screen printing, woodwork, etc), science labs, etc. Till April 2011, Timbaktu Badi program ran up to the 7th grade after which the children continued to stay in Timbaktu, but study in Prakruti Badi (in C.K.Palli village). Starting this academic year, Prakruti Badi has been merged with the Timbaktu Badi and will be run as a single school at Timbaktu with classes running till grade 10. The SAC program meets all living expenses of the residential children at Timbaktu Badi. Learn more about Timbaktu Badi.
We brought Shifu home 2 yrs back from Sittlingi. She was one in a litter of five Labrador, Alsatian cross. The puppies were five weeks old. We played with a few of them and they would stay with us for a few minutes and then run off to their mother. We had read online that you should look for a pup that is sociable, etc.
We had asked for a female pup and there were two. Sanjeev was worried that Labradors get fat and have hip trouble and wanted the thinner one. Ani played with both and didn't know which one to pick.
Suddenly it was time to pick a puppy and head home. Finally, the puppy picked us. Shifu walked up to us and that was it.
Much later we read in 'The Other End of the Leash' that it is prudent to pick a puppy by flipping them upside down and placing your palm on their belly. Puppies wriggle a little and then stop indicating that they are playful yet docile. These are preferred pups. If we had done this test Shifu would still be out there wriggling.
We got ourselves a high energy pup and we took our time to get trained by her. We would like to document some of our experience and learning in future posts.