…Initated a plethora of social service projects
I was the President of the Interact Club of St. Gregorios High School in the year 2017-2018, under the aegis of the Rotary Club. We carried out 4-5 significant charitable projects, made money out of enterprising activities, which was channelled to orphanages , windows, and old-age homes.
My second set of learnings came from finding deserving beneficiaries. I was exposed to the “other world”, the world of “one set of clothes, 2 meals and a simple smile on the face”. I realised that the fact that about 700-800 million people out of 7 billion in the world are still poor is more than statistics: there are people out there suffering for reasons not entirely in their control and I should try to create an impact- not in terms of numbers but in terms of lives.
The first activity that the interact team had undertaken was a stationery-collecting drive in our school. We collected unused pencils, writing pads, erasers, sharpeners, rulers, pens, colours, etc. from all the students of grades 6th-10th, and donated it to “Sevadaan Special School”, a school for the under-privileged children. We donated around 3000 pens and pencils each, 25 pencil pouches, 15 writing pads, and around 500 erasers and sharpeners, among many things.
The Sandwich and Samosa fundraising projects
I organized a sandwich drive in our school. 160 students of the ninth grade got ten sandwiches each from their homes. Giving specifications for standardised sandwiches was itself a task, right to the detail of cheese slices and not cheese shavings. The 1600 sandwiches were sold to students from 6th-10th at Rs 20 each, and Rs 32000 was collected from this Project. Accounting for the cash, counting the cash and discounting our worries was another mini-project again 😊.Following the sandwich canteen, we also conducted a samosa canteen in our school. We outsourced samosas from a place, and sold them to all students and teachers for ₹15 each, thus making a profit of ₹4100 which was used in the activities below.
Of the Rs 32000 collected, we donated some money to an old age home called “Home for the Aged run by Little Sisters for the poor” . We sponsored a Lunch at the Local Orphanage (see snaps below).
Finally, as a courtesy around Diwali, we spent rest of the funds on buying Diwali sweets for the auxiliary staff of our school – the janitors, peons and security guards.
We sponsored a nutritious lunch meal to the children at Mankhurd Children’s Home, an orphanage. We served food to around 400+ children over there.
Food provisions drive
The Manager at the orphanage informed us that if we had given the Orphanage kitchen provisions worth Rs 20,000, these provisions would have lasted for 8-10 meals. Thus, we launched another drive through the Interact Club where we asked students to get food provisions from home – wheat flour, rice, pulses and cooking oil. We managed to collect a few 100 kgs of rice, pulses, and oil which we transported to the orphanage ourselves. This time, we managed to feed the children at the orphanage 8-10 times compared to what we had done before.
Street play on Consumer Awareness (“Youth Empowerment Mission”)
I directed, wrote, and participated in a Nukkad Natak (Street Play) competition under the “Anant Vikas Project” at the Rotary Service Centre in Wadala. Under the “Youth Empowerment Mission”, we presented a short nukkad natak, on “jago grahak jago” (Wake up, O Consumer), thus spreading awareness among consumers.