75% schools don’t have playgrounds

‘75% schools in India don’t have playgrounds’ reports Hindustan Times in their 4th January 2014 paper.


This means that many aided schools, which have to comply with Right To Education Act conditions, are not providing any means of physical exercise for their students.

The resulting epidemic of obesity and other lifestyle diseases in the younger generation in urban India can only get worse, given the fact that the majority of children still attend traditional class room model schools.

Unless the Government actively promotes alternative education and homeschooling, such lifestyle diseases are bound to increase in the coming years.

MUMBAI: In space starved city such as Mumbai, few students have the opportunity to play on the school playgrounds. According to figures from the education department, nearly 75% of schools in the city do not have playgrounds, despite it being one of the mandatory infra-structure norms stipulated in the Right to Education Act.

Deprived of playgrounds on their premises, schools are forced to either rent or purchase playgrounds. However schools complained that there is no government support for schools trying to acquire playgrounds.

“We do not have a playground in the school but we have a big ground next to the school. But for the past few years, they have stopped students from using this ground,” said Chandrakanta Pathak, principal, Hindi Vidya Bhavan, Marine Lines.

Some private unaided schools such as the Podar Education Network group of schools in Santacruz have bought playgrounds close to the school.

“Since we do not have a ground inside the school premises, we had to buy another ground close to the school. Our school buses ferry the students to and from the ground,” said Avnita Bir, principal of RN Podar School.

While private unaided schools can afford to rent or purchase good quality grounds or sports clubs, students studying in aided schools often have to play on poorly maintained civic grounds, said academicians. “Aided schools always lose out on good quality sports as they do not have the funds to rent playgrounds. The government should provide them grants for this purpose,” said Arundhati Chavan, president of the Parents Teachers Association, United Forum.

Photography workshop for Homeschoolers

How to use lights in Photography? What is Product photography? These and many other questions were answered for us by Radha and her mom, Supriya Raj Joshi, at the Photography workshop conducted by them at their home-cum-studio at Dadar on the 18th of August 2013.

Seventh Sense Studio Photography:

Radha started the session with a short video presentation by an expert and his demonstration of different photographs using different sources and angles of lights.





After this she did a step by step tutorial on lights, their importance, different types of lights available and the positions in which we can use them.


She also explained about aperture and shutter, two basic settings of any camera that give creative flexibility.

Mark holding the diffuser cum reflector

Radha showing the strobe light and flash

Supriya demonstrating the diffuser with LED box light.


After this we were shown the products, a wide variety of them, from which each participant chose three items to shoot, with accessories of their choice too.


Products to be shot…

Then we had a hands on demonstration on setting up a studio right there at her home!


The children were divided into two groups and timed as they unboxed the studio light stand, the light [strobe and flashlight] and umbrella cover. They were also shown a foldable diffuser, two types of reflectors and a black light absorber.

A stand was also assembled on which draping of the background was done.


Mark shot a portrait of me too!


My son Mark is very camera shy

Mark selected this product shoot


Each child then got a chance to set their product in the studio, experiment with different lighting, exposure and aperture settings, and click as many as they wanted. Then they had to choose one for each product for the final discussion.

This one is Mark’s own creation

After this there was a fashion shoot for which we had three exotic models with variety of designer dresses.

Shooting the models

These photographs were also displayed at the end of the shoot, amidst much amazement and joy J

Sumptous snacks, juices, dinner and icecream were also provided, since the program ended only at 1030 pm!

Thank you Supriya, her supportive husband Raj Joshi, and their kids Radha and Malvika for this unique and wonderful opportunity!

Home schooling?

What? Homeschooling?

Many people ask me….You mean you dont send your kids to school?

Yes, I say. They all want to know why….

I say, let me ask you a few questions….

Why do you send your kids to school?

Learning at School

To learn, ofcourse, they say!

I ask them: How do you expect your kids to learn at school?

Why, from the text books ofcourse, and the teachers etc…

I ask them, what world are you living in? Don’t you know that if you want your kids to learn something from school text books, you are way behind the times? Knowledge is advancing so fast that by the time the textbooks your child gets are out they are already atleast a decade old?

If you want to find out or learn about anything, where do you go to now?

Smart way to learn

Did anyone say ‘google’!

Oh, it is as if a light bulb popped open in their brain…they wonder…..what on earth!

Then they say, aha, we send our kids to school so that they can ‘Socialise’ and learn to mix with other people.

I look at them and ask again, politely…where in the real world would you expect your child, assuming he or she grows up, to ‘socialise’ only with people his same age??

Are you preparing for the Real World

What kind of artificial ‘socialisation’ are you talking about? Would it not be better if your child mixes with their neighboring kids and with their brothers and sisters at home and around? Learning to share and play together?

By this time, the parent who asked me the question is left wondering why he or she did not think of all this before.

I reassure them, that there is still time. If you believe your kids are the most precious gifts you have, you would do your best for them. Since you thought that sending them to school was the best you could do for them, you did that. Now that you know there are better ways, think about it. Plan it as a family, pray about it. See if you have the necessary time and resources to homeschool.

Hey, homeschooling works!

Then be ready to change!

Hope you have a wonderful day ahead. Life is full of challenges and changes.