Over 80 boys from an orphanage in Udupi were brought to Venugopal Temple grounds for a light-hearted and fun evening on the 4th of March. The event was organized by AIESEC LC Manipal and gave people in Manipal an opportunity to interact with the children and ensure that they have a nice time. The VGT grounds were beautifully decorated with brightly coloured balloons and ribbons and lively music were played which set a joyous mood for the evening.
The volunteers were divided into 10 tribes consisting of 8 children each so that activities could be conducted efficiently. Our first task was to conduct colouring and painting activities which was challenging because of the communication gap between us and the children but over time we developed a low-level equilibrium which allowed for some communication and conversation. Once the communication barrier was broken conducting other activities became easier and more fun for us and the children. The evening’s activities included ball games, a soulful musical performance by MAFIA, a three legged race, dinner (much better than FC’s) and a jive. Balakalakar was an apt title for the event considering the art activities yielded some wonderful paintings and colourings from the children who were left free to their imagination.
The event was both refreshing and fulfilling for me. For those 5 hours when I was volunteering I didn’t care about my GPA, my health, my schedule and other things which are typically on my mind. All that mattered to me in those 5 hours was to spread joy to the children. In the process, I learned many things about social interactions and even managed managed to befriend a few like-minded individuals. Seeing the children enjoy themselves and have a blast made me feel content and that encourages me to take part in such activities regularly held by clubs and organizations such as Rotaract Club, RedX and VSO, more often
At the end of the day, Balakalakar was about the children and it allowed them to showcase their talent, express themselves, play games and enjoy a day away from their mundane lives in Udupi. (It was the first time they were visiting a higher education institution) The event was wonderfully organized by AIESEC with smooth functioning throughout and was on the whole, a celebration of humanity.
Picture credits: The Photography Club, Manipal