That is the way to learn the most, that when you are doing something with such enjoyment that you don’t notice that the time passes.”

– Einstein in a letter to his son.

Hottogol is a platform for disadvantaged children to come together and engage in positive recreational activities. Since April 2007, we have been meeting every Sunday at a government-aided primary school. We focus on play and creative expression as tools for growth and personality development.

The pitfalls of the modern society are nowhere as apparent as in a child’s daily routine. More so, in the lives of children living in slum areas. Watching mindless TV, roaming littered streets barefoot, getting involved in antisocial activities and losing themselves to drugs and other crimes along the way happen alarmingly often.

This is where Hottogol steps in, creating a space where children come to be themselves in a safe and stimulating environment. Children are energetic beings and all their energy is constantly seeking outlets. Hottogol helps them find ways to channelize this energy in positive ways.

For boys and girls in the age group 5 to 18 years, the Sunday sessions cover a wide range of activities-from art and craft, dance, games, and storytelling to environment and community service projects. Special workshops and life skills programs are regular features while an open field right outside the primary school where we meet allows us to incorporate team games as a significant part of our activities.

The uniqueness of Hottogol lies in the way it is completely child-centric. It is the children who help decide what will happen, with individuality and team work being equally encouraged. They also learn that they can indulge in any creative activity they choose, without having to join a special class and without the pressures of having to be “good” at it!

The basic idea is for the children to have a lot of fun. Fun, which is constructive, engaging and interactive. Fun, which paves the way to self-discovery….