14th of April is always a special day for "Taare Zameen Par(TZP)" who conveys a positive impact on the mental health of families as well as parent-child bonding.
That's why Team Stay Featured had a quick conversation with Mrs Sejal Ray from her busy schedule, these are some glimpses of our conversation for readers
1. Turning point to start this initiative
While I was on Sabbatical leave, I started conducting life skill values classes for children from 8 to 16 years in the year 2016. I used to interact with a lot of parents as well as children on regular basis. During these interactions, I realised that there are multiple aspects where there is some gap between parents and children's perspectives. It also helped me reflect on my parenting. Though both, parent and child were correct from their perspectives, a gap was visible in understanding and communication at times. So I started giving assignments that would need involvement and communication from both - parents as well as children. Slowly and gradually, these assignments started serving as a tool to bridge the gap. This made me look at the bigger picture. As these were physical classes, they would always have limited scope and I started thinking about how can I create an impact globally. That’s when the idea of coming up with an online platform struck me. I realise the online platform is the only way to create an impact at the global level. This is when “Taare Zameen Par” online platform was born.
"Taare Zameen Par(TZP)" is a platform to showcase talent and in turn create a positive impact on the mental health of families as well as parent-child bonding. It is a community of 11K+ parents. It is one platform where more than 240 live performances of children have been done in one year and are completely free. TZP has been a kick off the platform for children to start their journey of passion and doing what they love. Children have received World Records, learnt completely new skills, gained self-confidence, overcome stage fear, improved communication skills, received recognition in their immediate circle and developed a strong bond with their parents due to TZP platform.
2. Major problems We faced
TZP is an online global platform and there are rules and policies to be followed. The platform consists of different members from different places and cultures. Individuals might have their own goals and would seek support from the platform. It is important to maintain a balance between following the rules and also ensuring that the platform can be of support to genuine members. This is one major challenge faced while running an online platform.
A similar challenge was faced during the Shining Star Award process. The awardees for Shining Star Awards were selected by juries but there were multiple requests received to include the names of children who were not part of the process from the beginning.
The entire TZP team and I have always handled such challenges by being straight and communicating what is possible and what is not as per the set rules. Clear communication and transparency have always helped us in doing the right things.
3. Future vision
There are few plans for the future.
1. At TZP, we have children from India performing live on the platform right now. Children from Indian culture from other countries like US, UK, and Dubai have also participated. As a next step, we want to bring in culture and talent from other countries on the platform and have amalgamation of different cultures through this platform
2. Shining star Award event was done in Maharashtra state in Sep’21 where 51 children were selected and awarded. We plan to extend this event to other states of India and gradually have talent across India be recognised
3. We also plan to have State Ambassadors and Regional Ambassadors for TZP across India to have parents and children from all over India join the platform
4. We also plan to start an initiative where children and families who do not have any passion as of now can discover their passion through different tools and counseling
BIG Thank you note to everyone who contributed to this work
My entire TZP Core Team Ekta Mehta, Aastha Katara, Vibha Shinde, Farhat Pedekar, Surbhi Thakkar. This team has been with me right from beginning with sole purpose of contributing to the society. As TZP is non profit community, its only voluntary contribution. Hats off to all of them without him TZP would not have been possible.
TZP Extended Team – Sheetal Nanal, Nidhi Bhandare, Kavitha Krishnamoorthy who have always been there to support with any support required anytime even in adhoc manner.
My Family – my husband, both daugters, parents, parents in law. They have always given me wings to fly and never tried to stop me from doing anything that I want to do.
All my friends who supported me in this journey
To stay in Touch
FB group: www.facebook.com/groups/taarezp
FB page: facebook.com/taarezampar
Insta PRofile TZP: https://www.instagram.com/taarezp/
Personal FB PRofile: https://www.facebook.com/sejal.ray.7
Personal Insta profile: https://www.instagram.com/ray.sejal/