Young Jains Newsletter

Young Jains Newsletter
Oct-Dec 2001
1 October 2001
Oct_Dec 2001 Young Jains Newsletter

If you believe in something or have an idea, which you think will benefit our society, are you prepared to take action and see the idea materialise?  You may have a vision or a dream, which you would like to share with others but have not quite had the time or courage to take that first step.  Well, my advice is do not keep the idea to yourself: be brave and take that first step!

Thousands of non-profit making organisations are formed simply from a dream or an ideal that someone wishes to see in our society.  Take Young Jains, for example: It was the vision of one person.  It now has worldwide recognition and respect, and all because many others slowly followed and believed in the vision.

A recent example of a group who have a vision and an idea is Sansaar.  ‘To encourage and enhance the learning of our language through fun and music’, is the aim or objective of Sansaar. Why? Because if something is not done at the grass roots level now, our language will become almost extinct.  By introducing the Gujarati language to children in a way in which they can relate to it and enjoy themselves, we hope to ensure its survival.

Founded by a group of seven professionals (whose first initial makes up the name Sansaar), Sansaar is moving upwards and onwards. Although all extremely busy in their working, family and social lives, the seven have come a very long way since starting up some two years ago.  Most readers will be familiar with Sansaar (article in Young Jains newsletter of April – June 2000).

Since the Young Jains Children’s party in February 2000, Sansaar’s viability was put to the test in November of the same year, with two live shows at Winston Churchill Hall, Ruislip.  The audience were truly taken aback with the concept and Sansaar knew from that moment that it had something special, and, more importantly, it could satisfy a need amongst parents.

The November 2000 show took over six months to organise, with a huge number of areas needed to be considered:  music, songs, dance, movement, rehearsals, costumes, props, in terms of content; venue, video , sound and lighting crews, hall management, health and safety in terms of behind the scenes work; ticketing, marketing , fund raising, sponsorship , as well as volunteers, training, and post event feedback management.

Speaking with all the volunteers at the post event bash, confirmed our beliefs, because they all wanted to be part of it and indeed many have come on to sub teams since.  The questions then arose as to what kind of vehicle to adopt for Sansaar to enable the idea to go from strength to strength.   Although a very good commercial idea, the Sansaar team were adamant that this was not for profit we are thus in the process of forming a charity.

How will Sansaar achieve its objectives? Apart from our shows, our immediate aim is to produce a CD, audiotape and a book, already in production, and to be launched on 4th November 2001 at our Diwali show at the Winston Churchill Hall.  We wish to bring the Sansaar experience into the home and enhance the learning of our lovely mother tongue.

After 4th November 2001, Sansaar will perform wherever invited by Gujarati communities nationally.  We wish to bring this idea to as many Gujarati communities as possible (contact details are given below).  Thereafter and subject to adequate funds, Sansaar hopes to produce a video and possibly an interactive CD-rom.  A web site is already up at www.sansaar.org.  Who knows, one day there may be a regular television slot for Sansaar.

The possibilities are endless for Sansaar or indeed any group who wish to see their vision materialise.   Since becoming involved in Sansaar the sense of achievement felt by all those involved has been enormous.  We have truly felt that we are doing something worthwhile for our society or community and will continue to do so for as long as we can. 

Also, the seven of us have brought a lot of our professional working skills into Sansaar.   The team comprises of a company director, IT consultants, accountant, scientist, chartered surveyor and a management consultant.  Most of the seven have been involved with other charitable organisations and there are also two highly respected musicians within the team.  This combination of all talents skill bases, and putting to use the latest commercial thinking has huge advantages and has really set Sansaar on to the right footing.

By being involved in such charitable work has also taught us much: including teamwork, diplomacy, listening, public speaking, organisational skills, writing skills, networking and others (as well as singing, dancing and generally acting like a kid).

The satisfaction one gets from seeing these children and indeed their parents so eager to learn our language is amazing.  Safeguarding our heritage is one thing but having fun along the way is a great bonus.  Working voluntarily gives you an opportunity to meet people from all walks of life and work with like-minded individuals.  After the November 2000 show, Sansaar received many letters giving positive feedback on the show and the concept.  It is this kind of response that motivates and gives us strength.

The last two years have been very hard work for Sansaar and there is plenty more work to do before things settle down.  It has not all been plain sailing (in fact far from it).  Time has been the biggest obstacle: meetings, visits, rehearsals  all mean sacrificing something else.  With long working days for most of us this factor was often critical .  Fund raising is always an issue, especially if the organisation is new.  Selling tickets, which are not cheap, was a huge task. Once people saw the effort and quality, the pricing level was then appreciated.  Controlling many differing personalities at times was a test.

But in a funny sort of way, charitable or voluntary work can be very therapeutic.  You are getting away from day to day work and recharging your batteries. Doing work outside of normal employment can be great fun.  Seeing something come to fruition after months of preparation is extremely satisfying especially where you are constantly working on limited (or nil) funds and yet produce something of high quality.  If you ever have such an opportunity, I strongly recommend you try it and see!

If you have never been to a Sansaar children’s show, come to our next one.  It is on 4th November 2001 at the Winston Churchill hall in Ruislip.  There are two shows: the first one is at 11.30am and the second is at 3.30pm.  Tickets are priced at £5 child (one year and under free) and £8 for adults. For further information see web site: www.sansaar.org, or contact Shandip on 020 8909 3859 or email info@sansaar.org.   If you wish to have a Sansaar performance in your area contact Shandip now.

We look forward to seeing you on 4th November 2001.