Joyfest ’11, in its 3rd year, is a nation-wide endeavor that strives towards the well-being of humanity. It’s a movement where students involve themselves and those close to them in acts of giving, and unite to spread some “joy” amongst the underprivileged. The Entrepreneurship Development Cell, STEP, BIT Mesra organized this fest on the college campus and that of other socially active institutes, from October 10th to October 16th in collaboration with NGOs like Pratham, Needs, Jan Swa Shatki Samiti, Samvedna, Cheshire Home, Vriddha Aashram and St. Michael’s Blind School.
Day One-A New Beginning….
The first day saw the college students working in collaboration with representatives from Pratham to make learning a lot more fun for the underprivileged students of the school in the college campus. The target group was that of the students of class 3 to class 5. Much emphasis was laid on English Grammar and Basic Mathematics. Needless to say working in close proximity with these young buds inspired the volunteers enough and they soon started coming up with innovative ideas to make learning enjoyable for them. Simultaneously the students of the 8th and 9th standard were given a Drawing Class, organised by the Fine Arts Society, BIT Mesra. The children were even asked to write short stories and bring them the next day to keep the spirit going for this week long event.
Day Two: ”You know that the sky is blue, the grass green and water colourless. They don’t.”
A quote by one of the college students really touched many hearts.
In an unprecedented initiative taken by the organisers of Joyfest’11, students of BIT Mesra participated in a socially committed and thought provoking visit to the St. Michael’s Blind School, Ranchi; a hundred and three year old residential school for blind children run by the St. Michael’s Trust. The volunteers found a delightful surprise waiting for them at the Blind School as they were welcomed to the school premises with a heart-warming welcome song. An interactive session followed where different groups of students shared their stories, ambitions and quite a few precious moments with the volunteers. The volunteers had no trouble mingling with the students of St. Michaels and soon enough they were singing, reciting poems, and they even played Antakshari! At the end of the session, our volunteers distributed chocolates among the gathered children and as they bid their goodbyes, the children thanked them for the wonderful afternoon and requested them to visit their school again.
The third day of Joyfest’11, at BIT Mesra had as its major attraction, a Cultural Program organised by the students of BIT Mesra, in which Blind Children from St. Michael’s Blind School and Physically Challenged children from Cheshire Home performed. The show began with chorus welcome songs sung by the students from St. Michael’s School and Cheshire Home. There were dance performances by the blind and physically challenged students, and the BIT students sung some inspiring songs.
The fourth day of Joyfest’11 saw another beautiful , “Ageless” event organised by the students of BIT as they visited ‘Senior Citizen Home’ (A unit of Aryan Gyan Prachar Samiti) at Bariatu, Ranchi. In the interactive cultural session that took place there were dance and song presentations by the students of BIT Mesra that brought smiles to the faces that have long since been bearing frowns.
The students and the many “Dadaji and Dadijis” of the Aashram played a ball-passing game, Dumb Charades- and the winning team and runner up team were both given prizes and tokens. The residents also sang a ‘Bhajan’ called ‘Aashirwaad’ with which they blessed the volunteers. In the evening, the College Campus saw a brilliantly written, choreographed and well-acted “Nukkad Natak”. The play also drew attention of the audience to the stalls put up there by different NGOs like Needs and Jan Swa Shakti Samiti for raising funds.
Students of different classes from the same school where the volunteers had been teaching for the past few days, added colour to the last day of the Joyfest as they participated in a drawing competition organised by Fine Arts Society .Special interactive classes were also held by Pratham at the school behind the Outer Co-operative BIT Mesra. It was a joy for the volunteers to see so many delightful shades of life that seemed untarnished by the fact that they were displayed in dim light under a tattered roof!
The last two days of this event were centered upon raising funds and collecting clothes,stationary and others such items of use to be spread amongst the underprivileged through organizations such as Goonj.
In fact all along, students of BIT Mesra had been raising funds amongst themselves, amongst the faculty and other socially active companies to contribute to this social cause and to the Orissa Flood Relief Fund. The students raised an overwhelming amount, even on such a short notice. Equally delightful was the face that so many clothes and stationary and other such items were collected for this joyous occasion. One could almost feel the excitement amongst the volunteers for Joyfest ’12 from now itself!
Cheers to this wonderful initiative!
For more information: http://edcbitmesra.wordpress.com/category/joyfest-11/
Viraj Shah is a third year Mechanical engineering student of BIT Mesra.