Chennai: When we wake up, it is common to read negative news in the papers and on our phones. This generally upsets people, leaving one to wonder if there’s any empathy left. But fret not. Founder of The Kindness Project, Mahima Poddar, an expressive art therapist, has launched ‘The Kindness Week’ which began 14 February and runs till 21 February. Mahima conducts myriad activities focusing on children’s well-being among others.
“The work I do through the Kindness Project is to primarily inculcate a mindset of being kind to others,” she told News Today.
She organises workshops and events across the city, teaching children the importance of non-violent and compassionate communication. She goes on to add, “We do events like The Kindess Week and see our teachings in action. I believe the best way to preach is to practise what we teach,” she says.
The idea of the Kindness Week is to share good experiences with each other rather than being isolated.
She talks about the necessity of being kind. “When we talk about being helpful to others, we always think about charity but researches have shown that if you don’t have a calm mind then material satisfaction is pointless,” says Mahima. “The idea is to bring people into a space and talk about the experiences that made them happy.”
During Kindness Week, various partners and private organisations open their doors. For instance, Funky Monkeys Play Center at Phoenix Mall in Velacheri was a venue for one of the sessions organised by Mahima and her team of volunteers. “We took kids belonging to an NGO and they had a wonderful time,” she recalls.
Likewise, Mahima and her team of volunteers invited a group of senior citizen women to a restaurant. ‘This is something these women hardly experience. I feel doing something like this will give them a good time,’ she says. She goes on to add that many private firms have never charged them. “They do it for goodwill,” she smiles.
The Kindness Project team reached out to Sathyam Cinemas to ask if they could screen a movie for children. “They accepted and hosted us really well, offering snacks and conducting magic shows for the kids,” says Mahima.
Mahima confesses that when the idea first came to her mind, she was skeptical if it would work. “I wondered if people will find it valuable but today I am very glad that many are a part of it,” she says.
“I also receive calls from our partners who ask if we can organise more events again.”
For details, visit their Facebook page, @thekindnessprojectinyou