[edit] Vibha Children's Day (UKG) - Hope School, KB Sandra - Sep. 13th, 2008

- Arvind - Vibha Bangalore Team

It was midnight!!! Well, seemed so at least until I realised it was my alarm and not some duet in my dreams!!! :(

Pulled myself up; got ready and headed to HSR where Jeydev was to pick me up. Reached my pick up point right on time, way beyond my expectations. Jeydev picked me up in awhile. Saw a new face in the car, who introduced himself as Janardhan. I generally am at ease breaking the ice but for no good reason I preferred to stick on to my sleepy self. Purushotham, aka Puru, was also in the car - some ‘HI’s and ‘HELLO’s exchanged. Next stop was for Mr.Biplab Roy, aka Roy, at Koramangala. We reached ROTARY at 07:05 to find Venky, Sunil and Ashish waiting there already. As Ashish and Sunil got introduced to the rest, Abhay joined us too, and we were all set to go to HOPE. We stopped for tea on the way in one of the udipi-trademark "SOME-sagar" restaurant and then reached HOPE. Thanks to Jeydev once again for guiding us all there. By the way, just in case any of you didn’t know, Puru and Janardhan are brothers, in that order.

So off we started with decorating the walls; Puru, Ashish and Roy were at full flow hanging down colored paper strips from every possible space, using every inch of their creative cells available. Abhay, Venky and Jey were framing out the logistics and deciding where to hold the events since we now had two campuses, both at walkable distances from one another. Sunil and Janardhan lent the helping hands, for creating model sketches, which the kids would use for their drawing sessions. Meanwhile, Rajesh and Shekar joined us with their rejuvenation kit – the cakes and drinks.

Finally as the décor was over, Jeydev summed it up, “Looks very much like the place is decorated by men.” Guess we missed the presence of Payal, Pooja, Ramya, Charu, Vinaya, Michelle and the Ayeshas.

Then group A, with Ashish, Puru, Roy and Arvind (My self), along with Mr.Co-ordinator Abhay headed to the alternate church campus, for conducting the Jodo and Beads, while Venky, Sunil and Ashish preferred staying back in the school’s campus, for the drawing sessions.

We thought we would redesign the games we had last time, and pat came help from, as I say, Puru – the guru! We designed something like a relay, wherein the kids get to button up a shirt, sew ten beads of the same color in a rope, take it to the next point where they would put together 5 pieces of building blocks, and finally create a small structure with the jodo kit. The Tracks were drawn with Ashish and Roy in full steam; any kid stuck up at some point, Ashish and Roy were there in a flash and you could see them lending a helping hand; I should thank Roy for his efforts which didn’t sag, though he was on a fast, over the whole day.

I must say that the kids instantly loved Puru and his vigor. You should have caught a glimpse of the train he started and the crowd that clung onto it; The kids just flew in from all directions; and he kept evading them too to increase their energy; not just that, he managed to ‘run’ the train too with so many clinging on; He could give Laloo a marathon run for his money.

All this while, Jeydev and Abhay were silently running between the schools; Jey, for capturing all the incidents on lens as a souvenir and for all those missed the event; and Abhay, for having the show run smoothly interacting between the teams at either campuses. Their industrious efforts are indispensable.

We had 5 rounds of the race we had planned and selected the fastest 5 and consequently, selected the best with another round. It really was electric, especially to see Puru, Ashish and Roy give the demo, with a fake race. We then decided for a break. Hoping that the drawing sessions taking place in the other school would have been a hit, we arranged the cup cakes and chips outside, and waited for the kids to get it. The orderliness and the discipline they maintained; miles ahead of what we see on our roads, for their age. The train game started again; just that there were “Lunch Special” trains, like we have the summer specials, from Jeydev and Arvind too. The kids were slowly getting out of control when Ashish and Roy intelligently directed another train to the classrooms so that we could watch over them more safely.

We waited as the kids’ groups were exchanged between the schools for interchanging their activities. As soon as the next batch of kids arrived, the same set of games were tried over again. And the kids loved and enjoyed thoroughly. The cheers of “Vaishali!!! Vaishali!!! Vaishali!!!” or the “Andrews!!! Andrews!!! Andrews!!!” almost got the kids in the other classrooms to the floors, let alone the volunteers. What abysmal energy they had! Each and every one of them made our day.

I couldn’t give an insight into the drawing sessions since I was in a different place altogether. But I could see the brightness in each child’s eyes when they flaunted their crayon boxes with so much pride. It wasn’t over yet. The team from the school campus, then brought along the kids to the church campus so that we could have the certificates distributed. But before that, who would not want to have the “Jinka Marina” session? Just as we started the music, unlike the previous session which needed some catalytic push, the kids were already up on the dance floor. The floor was pumping with energy; with Ashish, Venky, Roy, Sunil, Shekar… Rajesh was in among them too, like in the previous dance session, although he wasn’t well, appreciate his participation a lot! There were kids hanging onto Janardhan’s arms, and he was showing some inbuilt merry-go-round technology. I tried but failed miserably :(. The volunteers were absolutely involving.

Finally, Jeydev did the honors of distributing the certificates, amongst the usual confusions between the same names, and the initials. I remembered the days when I used to sit in class among a group and shout “absent” for all the names I hear while the attendance was going on, for creating the chaos; the same happened with the kids here too. Handing over the absentees’ certificates to the teachers, Ms.Kala, the HM of the school, thanked us; and so did we for giving us another opportunity.

We packed and got ready to leave. We forgot our hunger in the kids’ presence. There are numbered occasions in life when you get to live your real happiness; one such time, was this. So much so that Puru and Janardhan started talking about the days they played cricket… I wonder when it was!!! I am really happy to be a part of VIBHA; and would love to be, for as long as I can.

I wish VIBHA many more years of wonderful service and development.

By the way, we had a sumptuous lunch at Bobby da Dhaba. We were so engrossed that we could not take snaps for those who missed it though.

A big thanks for all the volunteers who participated in the event:
Arvind, (Hope I didn’t miss out on anyone, apologies if I have!!!)

and also, one for those whose goodwills were with us.

And a special thanks to the teachers who assisted in explaining to the kids who struggled to understand us.

[edit] Pictures from the Event

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