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celebrates

JOY OF GIVING WEEK 2013 at

BITS Pilani K. K. Birla Goa Campus In association with

“What we spend, we lose. What we keep will be left for others. What we give away will be ours forever.” David McGee

The Joy of Giving Week is our nation’s festival of giving! With growing participation every year, this week has sparked an emotion in many and brought smiles on the faces of millions. It is a festival where people from different walks of life come together to give back to their society and share happiness with people. It is also an opportunity for people to realize the importance of taking such initiatives and connect with the community more effectively. This year, the week was celebrated in BITS, Pilani - K.K. Birla Goa Campus facilitated by Nirmaan Organization’s Goa chapter with over 9 events, including the Old age home and Orphanage visits, Meal of Joy and Cloth Collection drives in and around the campus, each of which celebrated the noble spirit of giving. The smiles of the inmates of the old age home and the children of the orphanage that we visited, give us a reason to smile everyday. The mesmerizing experiences that we had in celebrating the week will surely be cherished by each and every one of us. We have tried to share our experiences by describing all the events held in the week in this newsletter. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed celebrating it.

Nikhil Bhagat


The Joy of Giving Week kicked off with the Meal of Joy. Scores of students came forward to serve the people who serve us daily. The mess workers, cleaning staff and security guards were served lunch in the mess. The volunteers enjoyed serving the food. A first year student said, “This feels great. It’s nice to see people smiling and knowing that you are the cause.” Another volunteer said that such an event should be organised more frequently. He added, “I got my hand burnt while serving the food and now realise that the workers here serve food unconditionally. We now respect their effort and the dignity of their labour.” One of them said, “These workers serve us throughout the year, this is the least we could have done to thank them.” The mess staff had their share of joy. They could not help smiling. “It feels great to be here, with all these people. This is the first time we are having lunch with so many people in the mess.” Another mess worker said, “The food was good. We really loved the gesture. Thank you for all your efforts.” The gardening staff and the workers in Visitors’ Guest House, who had already had their lunch, were not neglected. The volunteers carried the gulab jamuns and ice cream to their spots, making sure the joy was spread everywhere. The Nirmaan volunteers and organisers were thrilled with the turn up for the event and it was expected that similar energy and participation would be seen throughout the week.

It was 8th of October, the day of the much awaited Joy Fest. With a number of performances lined up, it was bound to be a grand event . The day started with 'Father Agnel's Orphanage' children dancing to the beat of Bollywood songs followed by short informal games in which the winners were awarded chocolates. The children also got to see the helicopters fly over them, courtesy of the Aerodynamics club. We were also joined by the inmates of an old age home - Our Home, Bogmalo. . The Music Society and the Dance club of our college displayed their talents on the stage, followed by the kids of Hamara School who performed a group dance and an awesomely synchronised pyramidal dance. The audience also enjoyed the tunes of violin played by these children. One of the Father Agnel's girl mentioned, "It is a great coincidence that I have my birthday today and have never enjoyed with my friends as much as I have today. It is the best birthday gift for me." The day ended with volunteers interacting with the children, clicking photos, and sharing anecdotes with the elderly. It couldn't have ended on a better note. The organisers thank the Department of Backstage, the Music Society, the Dance Club, the Department of Creative Works, and the Aerodynamics Club for making the event a huge success, and the Department of Photography for covering the event.

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The morning of the Old Age Home visit wasn’t a regular, lazy Sunday morning. In fact, it turned out to be very special. As it was a first time for most of us, we could only imagine how these grandmothers and grandfathers would be, and how the place would receive us. During our journey, Varsha advised us to be very compassionate and caring towards them. We were in for a pleasant surprise when a lot of smiling old faces came down to see us. We made them comfortable and started talking to them. Most of the women there were spinsters, and were at ease when they spoke to us. Almost all the inmates seemed to be leading a happy life there, as they called each other their brothers and sisters. It was very touching to see this kind of selfless attitude among these old people. They were constantly checking on each other, asking if they were fine and whether they had eaten. One lady never seems to go off my mind every time I think about the visit- a camera shy Martha. She had gone through a lot of hardships in life, yet, always wore a smile on her face. She told me that she enjoys doing embroidery and loves talking. We even came across some dancing talent there. “Jack in the box” as he is fondly called, is one of the best dancers I have seen till date. Another lady by the name of Veina Monteina also got cheers from us for her graceful dance moves. On the whole, it was a very rejuvenating experience. It set me thinking how in spite of all their hardships, these people remain ever so cheerful and spread so much joy. Special thanks to our photographers for the day- Sarath Menon and Kunal Baweja for clicking moments to be cherished for eternity.

A large group of students from our campus paid a visit to Fr. Agnel’s Orphanage in Verna, Goa. All in all, it was a magical experience for the kids of the orphanage, as well as for the students who chose to spend time with the kids. The visit began with a drawing competition, sponsored by Classmate and organized by the students. The kids spent an entire hour lost in their world of colours, creating beautiful pictures. The kids’ drawings were filled with the innocence and charm of childhood. They found the topics for the drawing competition - “My Favourite cartoon”, “My Dream” and “India As I see It“ very exciting. For Std. 8-10, we organized a slogan writing competition, for which the topic was “Saving Animals”. It was a major challenge for us to choose the top 3 in each category, as every child’s drawing had its unique perspective towards the topic. Yet, the winners were chosen, and were awarded gifts. The drawing competition was followed by an interactive session with the kids, which included playing musical chairs, Antakshari, and dancing. It was an amazing experience. Some of the older children went out to play basketball with the members of the BITS Goa Basketball team, and were very happy to learn a trick or two on how to play the game. As the visit neared its end, all the children had smiles on their faces and so did we. After all, that’s what Joy Of Giving Week is all about.

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The Evening of Joy was held as part of the week and was one of the major events in the week. Kids from Father Agnel’s orphanage visited the college campus and had a wonderful time. Activities were organized for their entertainment and learning. An origami workshop was held by Kala, the arts club on campus, for kids belonging to the 10-13 age group. They also learnt how to make different attractive shapes. Our volunteers were awestruck on seeing how quickly they grasped the technique of making various shapes. By the end of the activity, the children were coming up with their own nice little creations, which was very heartening. For kids aged between 13-15, a computer workshop was organised, teaching them the basics of Paint and Microsoft PowerPoint. Computer education is a very important requirement today, and this workshop was conducted keeping that in mind. The kids were very inquisitive and showed the urge to learn, and it was very satisfying for us, as volunteers, to teach them.

Mr Gautam Krishnan, one of the faculty of our college, took a career counselling session for the kids over 16. He interacted with the children and kept them thoroughly engaged in a discussion about various career options they can choose from when they grow up. He even talked about the great inspiring personalities that have graced our past and present times, and told the kids that they too, one day, could become someone who everybody would look up to. It was a very informative session for them, and they got an insight into the vast world of opportunities that lay ahead of them. A dance workshop was held for them as well by the Dance club of our college, and they were only too delighted to dance along and learn steps they had never attempted before, which was very evident from their excited and smiling faces. The kids had a great time on campus, and all those who volunteered to help for these events couldn't have been more satisfied to see the smiles on the faces of the children. None of the kids felt like leaving when the evening finally came to an end. None of us realised how quickly the time flew past as we enjoyed a memorable evening.

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As part of the week, we also thought of giving back to our environment by planting trees. We got the kids of Zari to plant close to 40 saplings, so that they also cultivate a sense of environmental protection and take such initiatives themselves in future. Mr. Imran, a senior member of the maintenance unit on campus, and Mrs Alka Damle, member of the Jagrut Nagrik Manch and a noted social activist, based in Vasco, helped us in arranging for saplings, mud, bricks and labour in order to carry out a successful tree plantation. Another initiative was taken to involve the community with us and our work. We got the people together and painted a wall inside the temple complex in Zari. It proved to be a very successful way of working with the community to achieve something constructive. We also wrote slogans on the finished wall, emphasising the importance of education and cleanliness. The kids of Zari were all excited to get atop the ladders, splash the paint on the wall, and were the happiest of the lot when the wall was finished. It was a very colourful experience.

A massive Cloth Collection Drive was conducted by Nirmaan Organization — Goa chapter, across the state of Goa. Clothes in usable condition were collected from the campus residents and from various schools and corporates across Goa. An impressive total of 3.5 tonnes of cloth was collected through this initiative. 7 schools and 3 corporates also supported this initiative and collected a total of 1.5 tonnes of clothes. SESA Goa, the travel sponsors for the event, also collected and donated around 1 tonne of clothing. In our campus, cartons were placed in the common rooms of all 14 hostels throughout the week where students could donate their old clothes and books. Even the faculty members enthusiastically participated in the drive and donated various items such as stationery and toys, so that they could go to those who are in need of these things. Clothes collected for children were sent to Goa Welfare Charitable Trust and the rest of the proceeds were given to GOONJ Organisation, which has expertise in processing and distributing the clothing through its universally appreciated "Cloth for Work" programme. It was a highly successful event well managed by all the volunteers. Even the faculty members appreciated the exemplary job done by the organizing team.

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A faculty cricket match was held in the memory of the late Prof. Suresh Ramaswamy. Student volunteers made arrangements for the game including the equipment. It was a 10 over game, and it was real fun to see our teachers try their hand at batting and bowling. They themselves had a great time and we were flooded by questions of when we would arrange a similar contest for them in the future. Dr. Raghu was the winning captain of the day,

while Dr. Sachin Waigaonkar was proclaimed Man of the Match for his exploits with the bat.

This new idea was quite successful. Over 1000 handwritten messages were delivered to the faculty and students of the college to their hostel rooms and chambers. It was a pleasant surprise for the receivers to wake up and find out what all people had to say about them.

This event presented an opportunity Wish Tree was a new concept for our

for all the BITSians on campus to

campus. It was aimed at collecting

share their talents and knowledge

contributions from the faculty for

by spending an hour of their time

causes requiring monetary support.

with the Zari kids coming to the

Wishes for specific causes catering to

classes conducted by the Nirmaan

educational requirements of school

volunteers. Many students volunteered to par-

Volunteers got together and made

kids, empowerment of the SHG wom-

ticipate and taught the kids various

notebooks out of unused paper,

en, and a school for the blind based in

interesting things like Magic Tricks

collected during the end-semester

Panjim, were written on slips of paper

and Vedic Maths among other

collection drive. They even decorat-

on the tree and anyone who could

things.

ed the notebooks with drawings and

help the wish come true with sponsor-

All in all, it was a heartening experi-

designs of their own. A total of 92

ship from his/her side had to just

ence for the kids who enjoyed every

notebooks were bound which were

pluck the slip and sign. The concept

bit of the activity and cheered us all

distributed among the school kids in

was much appreciated and more than

along.

Zari.

6

â‚š 20,000 were raised.


Rangoli made by Ankur Omar and team inside the institute building during the time the week was on, kept the festive mood going.

Nikhil Bhagat Meera Haridas Gokul Krishna Harith Kumar Ganesh Rao Sarvesh Patel Bhavya Aggarwal Mrinalini Padmanabhan Ridima Chamadiya Shivam Srivastava Shreya Chandra Akshay Biniwale Aman Shrivastava Arushi Pandey Avani Dwivedi Dilip Ramesh Hamrazdeep Singh Gauri Shelat Rajee Gupta Rohit Agrawal Saurav Sengupta Siddhi Ozarkar Tanya Bansal Varsha Rao

Sarvesh Patel Tushar Agarwal Arushi Pandey Dilip Ramesh

Follow us :

Mrinalini Padmanabhan Radha Vaidya Rohit Agrawal Abhinav Setia Archit Aswal Ashwini Patil

@NirmaanGoa

Karthik Prasad Saurabh Swami Srishti Sharma Surabhi Ranjan Syed Shamoail Haque Tulasi Ravindran www.facebook.com/goanirmaan/


Joy of giving week newsletter 2013