When I heard about the project, my first thought was that I might be in for some construction work and I honestly did not rely upon my architectural skills to build anything that would stand more than 5 minutes.
Curiosity got the better of me and I signed up for the venture nonetheless.
The Help, consisting of a group of MITians succeeded in gathering a good number of volunteers from various colleges under Manipal University and Sunday morning saw a bus full of enthusiasts and a confused girl driving towards Christ Jyoti Convent, a place that houses partial orphans.
Contrary to my initial notions, our first task was easier and non-life threatening. The dormitory of the children were to be decorated with chart papers cut out to depict various stories, scenery or simply the English alphabets. The mood was light and jovial as the sound of laughter and conversations filled the air as everyone got creative with scissors, glue and paint.
The cricket pitch, after being cleaned, bore witness to a friendly cricket match between the students and the children, for whom the scorching sun could never come in the way of fun. The swing set shone brightly with new paint and everyone had a smile on their face despite the tiredness of the day.
Some of the volunteers and members sat with the children and painted with them. Everyone interacted and played with the kids, be it on the swings or picking up a little man on the shoulders for a ride.
To these compassionate people, the language barrier was not an issue and the genuine desire to make a difference triumphed all.
At the end of the day, The Help presented chocolates and snacks to the children and provided books and board games. A brand new water cooler was also installed at the convent.
The feeling of deep happiness peaked when the children gathered around and sang a thank you song and one boy came forward and thanked us in English under the guidance of the Sister. Suddenly getting up at 6am in the morning on your only holiday of the week, getting roasted under the sun, getting paint in your hair – everything seemed trivial. It was heart-warming to just look at the innocent faces and know that you were the reason behind those beautiful smiles.
I would personally like to thank The Help for the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful experience and to that friend who forced me to go for this venture in spite of my million excuses and protests.
We all complain about what’s wrong with the world, how people only think about themselves, and how one person can hardly make a difference. If every person vows to take a step, however small, I think the world wouldn’t be such a bad place. Instead of asking for a change, be the change you want to see in others. Make someone smile today. Don’t think. Just take that first small step. I’m happy I did.