Projects

Overview

Over the years, our projects have reflected the fact that we are an ever growing community, a diverse, multidisciplinary group of people. The fruition of our projects has always surprised us by being even more magical than what we had envisioned. That is no surprise when the Intent be Love, and the partner in co-creation be the Universe. As we continue to envision further projects for the community of the earth and its well being, sharing with you some of our projects – some still active, some dormant currently, some waiting to express, some germinating! One thing is for sure – they are all attempts we make, small steps towards realising a new world order, where respect, empathy, compassion as well as well being are not needs or wants, but basic essentials always available to all.

Our Projects

Merahelpline.com

16th April 2001 saw the beginning of a unique experiment – the launch of an internet portal for helping people find themselves. merahelpline.com began simply as a helpline, where people could share views, ideas, and talk to each other, without judgement and prejudice of any kind whatsoever.

A portal for building confidence in individuals. One that connected people, empowering to trust others. A portal for building a community, a network that extends across families, neighbourhoods, cities and beyond.

The mission was clearly Society Welfare. The portal addressed people of all age groups – an audience that ranged from the 10 year old to the 75 year old.

Separate sections on the portal focussed on social issues as well as problems critical to different age groups – starting with the Preteens, to Teenagers, Young Adults, Adults and all the way to our Senior Citizens.

The Aim of the portal was “Ownership of the portal by the user”. Much before social media, here was a portal drawing people from all parts of the world. We had chat rooms, online private counselling rooms with a panel of twelve experts, discussion boards, a volunteer programme (volunteers manned the chat rooms at all times). It was a first of its kind.

An important section of the helpline was the Viewpoint section, where members of the community could write on the topic of the week.

Somewhere along the way, we noticed there was an immense need for spiritual well being, and which led to scheduled chats with experts and masters on various topics dealing with daily living and awareness tools. We also had online meditation sessions in the chat room.

The dream envisioned by Puneeta Roy was beautifully given form and structure by Amitabh Vira and Saurabh Narang of Netprophets Cyberworks. UNIFEM came forward to support us in the first year.

We ran merajelpline.com 24×7 for three and a half years, in which we energised and envisioned an internet which was a safe place, where trusted help could be had, not just in practical matters but also in matters of mental health and spiritual well being of the individual and the community.

Srishti Stambh

The Centre for Creative Expressions is dedicated to empowerment through creative expression of all kinds and using all mediums.

Children figure very high on our priority list.

One, because they have not lost the skill of creative visualization, and

Two, we would like to equip them with tools to lead a productive, responsible and empowered life.

We at the Centre believe very strongly that an empowered society can only become a reality if the individuals are empowered themselves. Therefore, though our vision might be universal, our focus is always the individual.

Children have responded very beautifully to our exercises, and have shown the potential of a progressive, impressive and empowered future to us. We love to tap the potential that children have.

One of our very ambitious projects was the launch of a monthly newspaper in 2005, managed, reported by and designed by the students of Delhi schools. The aim was to make the children of Delhi the eyes and ears of Delhi society.

The Centre supervised this project as also trained students for effective and alert reportage, responsible writing and creative expression. The paper was distributed free to the students of Delhi schools. We also distributed the newspaper free in all colonies in all parts of Delhi ourselves, on our own steam!

Obviously, the numbers were monumental. We persisted from July 2005 till December 2005. However, due to lack of funds and no corporate support coming forth at the time, we had to close the printing of the newspaper at that time.

Perhaps it’s an idea worth keeping alive – perhaps for children to make their presence felt online.

We would like to see this project become a truly community project by all adults taking their children seriously.

Deewanon ki Mehfil

From 2006 till 2010, we hosted a Saturday afternoon activity called Deewanon ki Mehfil – a weekly meeting of our theatre club.

We welcomed all theatre lovers – actors, directors, writers, technicians, artistes, musicians – budding or blossoming to peaking; from all walks of life and various strata – to come and workshop, share, create, present! We believe a lot of talent found its spark, and many projects inspired in those sessions. We learnt and were enriched by the experiences. Entry was free! We had school going and street children mingling with college students, IT professionals, journalists, teachers, budding activists, politicians, home makers, bureaucrats, retired people, security guards, drivers, cooks – everyone! We explored breath, theatre exercises, emotions, singing, voice work, tai chi, martial arts, body posture work, play readings, creative writing, sense and imagination work, poetry – the works!

Food for Thought

A performance, a workshop and food to top it all!

Food for Thought is a space created where we workshop, witness a performance and create some magic with food!

For all those who would like an evening of enrichment and joy, of learning and creativity, this is the place to be in!

Food for Thought is an idea we have been bringing alive at the Centre.

It could be cinema, music, or Kerala cuisine, it could also be dance, theatre, or just fun!

Contact us for more information.

Exhibitions

Over the years, as we recycle, and express ourselves creatively, we have been inviting people to unique exhibition experiences. The exhibition is not just a gallery or showroom to look at objects. It is where you interact with the artist at work, possibly even learn from there. It is also a space to feed all your senses – your taste buds for we always have delicious food fare to offer. We always like to bring in a performance, a reading, a concert, a meditation, a workshop into the exhibition space.

To know more, contact us.

Show Biz

Our theatre work and discoveries in sensory, emotional and creative expression seems subtle and esoteric. However, whenever we have been invited to lead and facilitate in the world of showbiz, we find our processes appeal to all!

At Kingdom of Dreams, Mrinalini and Dilip were invited to be the Show Running Directors for ‘Zangoora – the Gypsy Prince’ from its launch in 2010 till 2012, and for ‘Jhumroo’ in its first year. We found we could inspire and carry the cast and crews of both the shows using our humble tools with a great degree of success. We grew a lot, as we were dealing with top, senior, middle  management, as well as the workers at ground level. To knit feelings of well being and joy was our task, and we contributed to our hearts’ delight!

Puneeta and her team at Yuva Ekta Foundation create similar love vibrations every year even at a busy hub like the Jaipur Literature Festival. Year after year, they bring together children from Jaipur schools and NGOs from the neighbouring areas, where workshops lead to performances.

Film work

Our participation in cinema projects see us expressing ourselves as co writers, associate directors, Casting directors, Acting trainers, Design consultants. We have found that our training at the Centre has helped us negotiate the big bad world film world with as much ease.

Some of the projects cast at the centre have included Shadows of Time, Valley of Flowers, Darjeeling Limited, Life of Pi, Angry Indian Goddesses.

A Centre for Creative Expressions

We envision one or several spaces of well being, where on offer to the visitor is peace, aesthetics and sublime food for the senses. This is not a dream for those that already have access to such facilities. This is more a dream towards creating a space where anyone and everyone from all walks of life can come – a labourer, a rickshaw puller, a house help, a mason or an electrician, along with children, young adults and people from all strata and walks of life. Utopian you may ask?  Not really. Much needed? Indeed. We also would like in the same space a hospice for care to the sick, a medical advice centre, a counselling centre, a library, a studio space, a performance space, rehearsal rooms and studios for various expressive arts classes and workshops, a studio, community radio. Ambitious? Yes. We are working on it!