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Moments of happiness

Kshana Charitable Trust organises quality entertainment shows for the ‘forgotten’ sections of society

In Sanskrit Kshana means ‘moment’. The aim of the NGO bearing this name is to spread moments of happiness to people who are underprivileged and are forgotten by their more fortunate counterparts. Kshana organises quality entertainment shows for old-age homes, orphanages, spastic societies and other institutions.

The unique idea of offering entertainment to these ‘forgotten’ people came to founder Ritesh Thakkar in 2001 during a college fest. Mr Thakkar was a member of the organising committee and, after the college fest, the group thought of doing more free performances for the needy. “I was staying with my uncle that time,” he said, “when he went to a blind home, it occurred to me that people in such institutions need entertainment and socialising more than others because they are cut off from the rest of the world.” That is when an enthusiastic group of seven or eight students decided to take up the idea seriously.

Kshana was registered as an NGO in 2008, but the preceding years had got it considerable popularity. Since 2001, Kshana has done over 100 entertainment events for its target audiences with a social theme and touched thousands of lives. Its first performance was for Swami Vivekananda Vocational Training Centre. “In the initial days, we experienced a lot of difficulties,” said Mr Thakkar. “People never considered entertainment as a serious mission. They were more inclined to donate for other conventional philanthropic programmes.” But, with time, Kshana’s appeal grew with other NGOs and institutions, who contacted it for organising programmes for the people it worked with.

Today, many corporates seek out Kshana to aid them in their CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiatives. Kshana generally puts up a series of performances and conducts workshops on subjects like personality development, meditation and laughter therapy. Of the founding members, only three have stayed back with the organisation. Volunteers help the members to conduct programmes and workshops, and manage the institution. Kshana also hires spot volunteers for its shows. Most of its committee members are professionals. There are financial analysts, entrepreneurs, engineers and students. Kshana does not require full-time commitment.

“We aim to provide quality entertainment,” said Mr Thakkar, “and we insist on professional performers. There are many artistes who readily perform for free or minimal fees, and are regular at our programmes.” Apart from professionals, Kshana also puts up performances in which children from orphanages and other charitable institutions participate. There are skits, dance shows, orchestras, games and magic shows. “We plan around three events every two months. The duration of events is anything between three to five hours depending upon the theme,” says

Mr Thakkar. The members normally visit the places in advance to figure out the theme and the types of events that would gel with the place and people. Recently, Kshana collaborated with ICICI Prudential for a workshop at Sanjivani Children’s Home in Virar. During Diwali last year, Kshana went to Assisi Bhavan, an old age home in Goregaon, a Mumbai suburb. “There were interactive shows, orchestra and yoga workshops. But the icing on the cake was a retro 1950s-style musical programme which was appreciated by the residents of the home,” said Mr Thakkar.

Kshana’s recent visit to Assisi Bhavan saw the residents of the old-age home brimming with excitement. There was flower-pot painting, movie screening, and a party afterwards. “Entertainment is an important component of human life,” said Mr Thakkar. “We may not notice it, but a life devoid of it is very sad.”

One may volunteer for performing in Kshana’s programmes or aiding in their workshops, or donating money for their activities or sponsor individual events. All donations are exempt under Section 80 (G) of the Income-Tax Act.

Kshana Charitable Trust

Akash Deep Society,
C-708 MHADA,
Versova, Andheri West,
Mumbai – 400 058
Tel: 98207 50480
[email protected]


Share prices still on an uptrend: Thursday Closing Report

Nifty will be range-bound. The first support is at 5,433, while resistance is at 5,620

The Sensex and the Nifty opened well below yesterday's closing following a huge decline in US markets and weakness in all Asian markets. The Sensex opened at 183 points below yesterday's  close at 18,426 and the Nifty started 62 points lower at 5,530. The indices immediately hit their intra-day lows, at 18,391 and 5,522.

Very weak US data raised questions about future demand for Asian exports as well as the likely impact on economic growth. Apart from a weak ISM manufacturing reading, employment data from ADP showed an increase of just 38,000 jobs in the past month, well below expectations for an increase of 175,000. The ADP data is a precursor to official non-farm job numbers due on Friday. Goldman Sachs and several other large financial institutions cut their estimates for Friday's non-farm payrolls figure in the wake of the ADP report.

But the Indian market showed good resilience and the Sensex and Nifty stabilised after the morning lows and moved up to their intra-day highs at 18,541 and 5,568 respectively. This happened on reports of slowing down of food inflation. Food inflation rose 8.06% in the year to 21 May 2011 slowing down from an annual rise of 8.55% a week ago. The primary articles price index was up 10.87% compared with an annual rise of 11.60% a week earlier. However the fuel price index climbed 12.54% compared with a rise of 12.11% a week earlier.

The Sensex fell 115 points to close at 18,494, while the Nifty fell 42 points to close at 5,550.

Major gainers on the Sensex were HUL which rose by 3.53%, Bajaj Auto (up 2.22%), ITC (up 0.77%), RIL (up 0.54%), Hero Honda (up 0.53%). The biggest loser was Reliance Infrastructure which fell by 4.66%, followed by Reliance Communication (down 4.11%), ICICI Bank (down 3.10%), Tata Motors (down 2.81%), and Mahindra & Mahindra (down 2.19%). Among the Sensex stocks, nine stocks rose and 21 fell. The Nifty had 16 stocks which rose and 34 stocks which fell.

Except for the BSE FMCG, BSE Consumer Durables, BSE Oil & Gas sectors, all other BSE sectoral indices ended in the red. The BSE Bankex registered the biggest drop of 1.52%. The advance-decline ratio on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was 606:1142.

Dr C Rangarajan, chairman of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council, today said that the economy may grow by 8.5% in FY12 and he expects inflation to come down to 6.5% by next March.

House of Pearls was one of the top gainers on the NSE, up 20.01%. The company expects revenues to rise by 15% to 20% in the coming fiscal. Clutch Auto rose 18.17% and continued to be among the top gainers today on the news of demerger of the auto ancillary technology division.

Sun TV Network fell 28.31% on reports that former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran could be investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for alleged favours granted to Aircel as a quid pro quo.  Maran is currently textiles minister in the UPA government and served as telecom minister in the first term of the UPA government. His brother Kalanidhi is chairman and managing director of Sun TV Network. Meghmani Organics slumped 7.23%.

The Federal Reserve's second round of quantitative easing, the policy designed to temporarily increase money supply, keep interest rates low and stimulate the economy, ends on 30 June 2011. However, such weak results may make the Federal Reserve consider supporting the US economy by extending its asset purchases, which have been often criticised in Asia as being responsible for driving inflation.


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