For some, being nostalgic about playtime is a luxury.
In India, kids enter the workforce as early as 11 of age. They are forced into adulthood, skipping an entire phase of growing up that should be about playing catch, hula hoops, Snap & Happy Family.
Enter Toybank, a bank with toy deposits and joy dividends.
Shweta Chari, an electronic engineer, started Toybank in 2004 for street children in Mumbai. It was a simple project to just put toys in these kids’ hands.
A email chain was started. Toys started pouring in. They were restored, redistributed. They found a place for kids to visit and play.
Together with a team of volunteers and mentors, Shweta registered Toybank as an NGO in 2009. Since then, she has collected thousands of toys for over 30,000 children.
The smiles on the kids’ faces are priceless.