Published: 17th August 2021
This Hyd teenager collects fun toys for the needy and he calls his initiative The Happiness Chain. Check it out
Prateek Piyush Dak's noble idea started with recognition of the fact that during the ongoing pandemic, underprivileged children are in need of toys as well and that this should be paid attention too
While all the essentials were delivered and online classes were running smoothly, there was still something that kids longed for. Toys! Playtime is just as essential and when this thought occurred to Prateek Piyush Dak, he acted on it almost immediately by initiating The Happiness Chain. Putting his tech prowess to full use, the first step the 14-year-old took was to use the graphic design platform Canva to make posters. "I haven't explored art before, but online art worked out well with the help of Canva, which I have used before," says the youngster who was born in Mumbai and is now based out of Hyderabad.
But what was the plan brewing in this teen's mind? The digital posters that were circulated in July 2021 were basically a clarion call for all those souls who would like to donate toys to the needy. To that effect, Prateek created a simple Google Form that inquired about the toys one would like to give away and their contact details. Those interested had the option of dropping off the toys at two strategic locations — Secunderabad and Banjara Hills. The only request from Prateek's side was that the toys in no way should be damaged or have anything missing and to this end, they (meaning Prateek and his supremely helpful parents), did a quick quality check of every toy they received. The trio found that within three weeks, they accumulated 300 toys and decided to donate it all to Hyderabad Children's Aid Society, Attapur.
On the job
When Prateek visited the children's home, he was welcomed warmly and had the chance to interact with the children as well. Board games, Barbie dolls, toy musical instruments, books and even water bottles plus tiffin boxes that The Happiness Chain had collected were all received with wide smiles. "They showed me around and spoke with me, it was a great experience. We have now started collecting toys for the second round of The Happiness Chain," says the teenager and adds, "It was wonderful to see how much the toys meant to the children."
In the ongoing course of helming The Happiness Chain, Prateek is gaining the chance to grasp several essential skills. Running the Instagram page of The Happiness Chain itself has been a lesson. "The initial response to our drive was fantastic but after three days, it dipped. That's when I started being more active on social media and actually saw a substantial change in the response," shares the Class IX student at International School of Hyderabad. But most importantly, what the youngster learnt was about being grateful and the importance of spreading happiness.
Prateek has been interested in theatre since Class I and has participated in many school plays. He is currently contesting in his school elections to be the Class Representative
The toy story
- The earliest toys known were marbles. A set was found in a child’s grave in Nagada, Egypt, dated 4000 BCE
- In the medieval period, wooden toys emerged. Yo-yos, tops and cups and many others
- In the 18th century, toy horses, dolls, kites and other innovations started to emerge
- When printing came into being, jigsaw puzzles, cards and other toys started gaining ground
- Once the industrial revolution began, more mass-massed toys became available
For more on them check out instagram.com/the_happiness_chain_hyd