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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Working with the acclaimed director Amol Gupte during the filming of Stanley ka Dabba and Hawa Hawai, Nyla Masood, a costume designer by profession in the Hindi film industry, met many underprivileged slum children. And it was too saddening for her to see that the blooming lives of these kids were actually at loggerheads with the happiness that a child must enjoy and deserves at such a tender age. She thought that the young lives of these kids were being wasted in the mad hullabaloo race of food, money and shelter as many parents want these young shining faces to earn living for their families by doing all sorts of odd jobs like begging, child labor etc. So she came up with the idea to give these children some recreational time and founded the NGO- Project Dhai Akshar. For the nomenclature, Kabir should be quoted here-

Pothi Padh Padh Kar Jag Mua, Pandit Bhayo Na Koye

Dhai Akshar Prem Ke, Jo Padhe so Pandit Hoye

(Having read piles of books and scriptures, people died, but failed to become scholars,
Only the ones who read two and half letters of love, gained scholarly wisdom.)

Dhai Akshar gives these children the recreational time that they so deserve.

Nyla Masood says, “Our NGO, Project Dhai Akshar, provides these children with a recreational learning centre where they can productively use their time. We have rented a place close to where these children reside, where we have a kitchen, a bathroom, a reading room and a main room where the children indulge in a variety of activities and at the same time learn practical life skills.”

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Because these slum children do not have access to toys at home or their own library, Dhai Akshar gives them a space where they can play, learn various arts and enjoy. The NGO remains open for four hours every day, Monday through Saturday, and sometimes even on Sundays. The children are given snacks and food that they have together every day, learning becomes fun for them, they’re given a tangible free play time, regular check-ups are done and theater classes are organized regularly. A well stocked library is maintained. Saturday is ‘movie’ day where animation and children’s films are shown. Children are taught the basic values about life. About not lying, not stealing etc. The NGO has what is called ‘circle time’ where kids are encouraged to talk about problems they might have, not against each other though. Also, they are taught to say something positive about a child that they may have noticed during the day.

The hardships that these young children face at such a young age deflower their innocence. And to keep the innocence intact, indulging in recreational activities becomes a necessity. And that’s what Dhai Akshar is all about.


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On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.

Ravi Kumar will take on Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan in the last-four, while Punia will be up against David Morris Taylor of the USA.

Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).

Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.

India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.

He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.

Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.

The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.

Punia, the silver medallist from the 2019 world wrestling championships, then set up a clash with China's Lin Zushen in the quarterfinals and defeated him 6-3.