Thursday, September 13, 2012

Shanti Store, now open at Karunya Mane

The Shanti Store is now open at Karunya Mane! Actually, it's been open for a few months now, and gives the kids a chance to "buy" goodies and snacks that all kids like to get their grubby little hands on.
Getting ready to shop! Sadiq and Pavan are on duty today, and the boys are waiting nicely in line
(what? a line in India?) for their turn at the store counter.

This is little Jeevan, he's three years old (and really cute) and
attends a nice pre-KG Montessori school nearby.
Each child gets an allowance every month based on age (the oldest kids get 40 rupees, the youngest kids get 20 rupees). Bonus money (5 rupees) is given to kids whose behavior is exceptional during any given month. Disciplining occurs for kids who fail to do their homework (oh no!) -- a deduction of 5 rupees from one's allowance has occurred on certain occasions when one misbehaves.

Today, he decided to buy a candy bar. (The money is "KM Money," created by the kids themselves.)
Two of the older kids are on duty each weekend (Saturdays for the girls, Sundays for the boys) to sell items and record each transaction, including who spent how much on what.

Sadiq serves banana chips to Raju. Pavan records every transaction.
The Shanti Store offers the typical Indian sweet and savory snacks -- banana chips, chukkuli, cho-cho, chili-flavored corn flakes -- as well as, of course, various types of candies, chocolates, and other yummies.

Interesting patterns have emerged. The boys save their money each month in case special items are sold at the store -- last month, two of the boys were able to purchase watches with the money they saved! The girls do NOT save, spend their entire allowances each month, as they say, "oh I'll get more money next month, I'll just buy another piece of chocolate now." What's up with that?

So far, the store is a huge success and the kids absolutely love shopping! They eagerly wait until 5:00 pm, when the store opens, and are learning the value of money, consequences of one's actions, and tracking money and purchases.

If you're in Mysore and want to donate to our store inventory, we take any kind of kid-appropriate snack and goodie found in Mysore bakeries or provision stores, including inexpensive wallets, watches, bangles, necklaces, henna, bindis, fingernail polish... nothing too expensive -- we use actual market prices on our items!