– a non-profit organisation has been set up with
the aim of providing toys to children who come from a
weak socio-economic background.
At Toybank, we strongly hold the belief that every child,
irrespective of his social & financial background
has the right to make the most of his/her childhood. While
accessibility to a decent education is of prime importance,
one should not overlook how important a role can indulgence
in extra-curricular activities help in shaping/ moulding
the lives of these children as and when they grow to evolve
as strong, responsible individuals. After all, these are
the very same children who will represent the face of
a better globe, a responsible globe.
We, as the citizens of the largest democracy constantly
complaint how our system (political) has time and again
failed to live up to its expectation. But just because
the system has failed to deliver, it does not necessarily
mean that we grow indifferent. Why wait for the system
to react to a catastrophe rather than we, as responsible
individuals act. What’s the harm in doing a bit of our
own to bring about a change in the lives of those who
aren’t blessed with a fair chance to achieve success in
Vision: To reinstate the joys of childhood
& become a strong medium investing in the overall
development of a child (belonging to a weak socio-economic
background) who has been deprived of a fair chance to
achieve something worthwhile in life.
If we were to travel down memory lane and recollect the
best days of our lives, undoubtedly it would be the days
of our school time. A carefree life indeed with time slots
meant for only 2 activities, namely PLAYTIME (the more,
the better) & HOMEWORK TIME ( the less, the BEST).
(The current scenario is obviously different altogether
with channels like POGO, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon
etc strongly vying for attention.) Simply put, it is almost
impossible to think about childhood or young children
without thinking about play. In fact, for children play
life itself. Through play, they learn concepts, relationships,
cause-effect theory, sizes, colours, textures, feelings,
emotions, sounds among others. They learn many things
about themselves, others and the world through toys. While
an aeroplane can instill an ambition, a G.I.Joe or Superman
can build a sense of power and confidence or a Barbie
doll could bring about compassion.
At a more serious level, apart from us (grown-ups), when
children themselves contribute toys for a cause, it shows
their generosity and willingness to part with something
very personal to them. A bright future in the making.
The operational procedure has been divided so as to achieve
maximum mileage through minimum hassles. The areas defined
are primarily - Educational Institutes, Churches, Corporate
Firms & Residential Complexes
• Attend PTA meetings and encourage active participation
by the parents in their own way
• Involve teachers in encouraging students to practice
contribution of their toys. Keep it simple – One student.
• Ask the class monitors to volunteer in the collection
of toys from his respective class.
• Toybank posters to be put up at the notice board
• 2-minute talk about Toybank ( by the father) during
• Have a carton box at the church premise which acts as
a collection centre.
Huge Corporate Firms:
• After seeking the permission from the CEO, have a notice
circulated inviting contribution / volunteership from
• Allocate one of the dept. say the HR to take charge
of the collection.
• Approach the society members (secretary/ chairman) and
put up posters/ pamphlets on their notice board.
• Encourage discussions about Toybank during their general/weekly
Every alternate weekend (for churches & societies)
and Fridays (for educacational institutions & firms),
a vehicle covering one particular eg. Andheri (east)
Municipal Schools, Municipal/Govt. Hospitals, Orphanages,
Construction sites, Slums.
At Municipal Schools/ Hospitals:
• Set up a room almost like a crèche wherein the kids
come and play with the toys on a regular basis. Eg. During
a free lecture (in schools)
• As and when the number of schools covered under Toybank
grows, the toys can be shuffled say once in 3 months so
that the children experience variety.
At Construction Sites/ Slums:
At these places, there’s always a feeling in the minds
of the potential contributors (of toys) whether their
contribution will be utilized properly or will it be sold
for monetary needs. To tackle this, pro-active games can
be organized for the children. A competition (eg. Sac
race, count from 1 to 10, running race, sing a song, dance)
wherein the winner gets a prize. There are no losers however
as every kid gets a participation prize. Having earned
the prize, the kid will be reluctant to part with it.
projects covered so far:
day: On the eve of Children’s day, the 13th
of November,2004, Toybank ventured on its first project.
The area covered was Andheri’s Asha Kiran Charitable Trust
who have taken up the cause of educating street children
in Mumbai. They have 5 branchs in all as of now operating
in and around Lokhandwala. Three cars, 1 mid-sized tempo,
1 bike, 14 toybankers –3 joined the band-wagon post-lunch,
over 500 toys and last but never the least over 350 smiling
faces. Aided by Mr. Sharma, who led the team to all their
centers, the first center was outside a shop, Glory (Four
Bungalows), where the team’s interaction with the children
was a good and encouraging start indeed. Thereafter, the
Toybankers went to Nana Nani Park (Yari Road), followed
Juhu-Versova Link Road, MHADA and to an orphanage Sneha
Sadan (Amboli) and the children’s ward in Cooper Hospital
by noon. In the second half of the day, we went to the
Juhu-Versova Link Road, Nana Nani Park and MHADA branches
of Asha Kiran to distribute more toys. By the end of the
day, Toybank had distributed more than 500 toys. The most
exhilarating part about the venture was interacting with
the children and getting to know their dreams and aspirations
and yes, their talent. The smiles on the children’s faces
were unmistakable, especially the ones at Cooper Hospital.
The eve of Christmas was dedicated by the toybankers to
adding MUSKAAN into the lives of around 25 kids. Muskaan
is again an NGO working towards providing education &
shelter to around 25 little angels mainly in the age-group
of 2-5 yrs. Muskaan has taken up the responsibility of
nurturing these kids till they reach a state of self-reliance.
We were fortunate to be invited by them on Christmas eve
to be a part of a small get-together they had organized
for the kids. One of the toybankers – Vikram dressed himself
as Santa Claus and gave away the toys. The children were
jumping up with joy on seeing their favourite Santa amongst
them. The distribution of toys numbered roughly around
Day: Sticking to our motto of adding joy and
love to the lives of small children, Toybank geared up
for its third project in co-ordination with Mobile Creche
who are working towards educating young kids of construction
site workers. They are doing a commendable jod having
set up around 18 centres in Mumbai itself, apart from
other cenres across India. Owing to time constraint and
the location of the centres situated wide apart, we were
able to cover only 3 of their centres situated in the
vicinity of Mulund. In the forthcoming weeks we plan to
cover the remaining centres as well.