Daan Utsav 2019 – Celebrations by Ignite, Schools

Daan Utsav 2019 was celebrated with a lot of excitement in all the schools where Bhumi has intervened for transformational endeavours. Here are some snippets from the children and teachers who participated. 

An aura of excitement and positivity sets in around the vicinity, as nine-year-old Priyadharshini, gets ready to talk. “On 5th October 2019, we visited Kaakum Karangal Trust, providing fistfuls of rice and dal.”, she begins joyously, describing her experience being a part of Bhumi’s Daan Utsav, commemorating the Joy of Giving Week. A chirpy student of class 5, she is thoroughly excited about having gotten an opportunity to serve the community, along with her classmates. “Why don’t you say something too?” she urges Sangeetha, her friend who is equally excited and geared up to share her experiences with us.

“Oh yes, not just that, we also made paper bags and distributed them to nearby vendors and school children to create awareness on recycling and plastic ban!” she says bubbling with enthusiasm, calling out to her classmates Jeevitha and Gayathri to join us too. “I want to start first,” says Jeevitha as she quickly settles down to talk, and the latter looks on, waiting for her turn. “On 5th October 2019, we went on a walk to RKM Boys Hr. Sec. School holding awareness posters. We also sang an awareness song on the plastic ban. 180 boys from the school participated in the event”, she says. 

“Yes, it was so much fun and we also got fistfuls of rice as a contribution from the boys for our event!” adds Gayathri. As the kids continue describing their experiences, a smile of content and satisfaction worked its way across our faces!

At Avvai Home Primary school, the mood is jubilant. Jothi, a part of the school’s teaching staff heartily welcomes us as she begins to talk – “When we took our children and distributed paper bags to the local vendors, they were very happy to see the kids in their community take the initiative and said at least now they there will be a change in the mindset of people and they would reduce using plastic bags. The best part was that the paper bags were being made and distributed by the children themselves. We are glad to have been given this opportunity to create awareness among the public on the occasion of Daan Utsav- 2019. Thank you, Bhumi!” she says. 

10-year-old Shanmugam is a happy boy. He is thoroughly thrilled when we ask him to share his experiences – “I was curious about making paper bags. Even after the government implemented the ban on plastic, we could still see vendors and the general public who weren’t taking the ban seriously. This is exactly why we distributed these paper bags to the vendors; to create awareness on plastic ban. Hope they use these bags made by us!”, he says. 

We also contacted vendors in the locality, who expressed their appreciation and encouragement at such an initiative being taken by the kids to usher the public to reduce plastic usage effectively. 

Vishweshwar, a student of General Cariappa Hr. Sec. School, tells us why making paper bags is a phenomenal step towards environmental protection. “On the occasion of Daan Utsav, we are making paper bags using old newspapers and distributing them to nearby shops. Paper products degrade faster than plastic products. Using paper bags instead of plastic bags saves our environment. People should soon switch to biodegradable products than using plastic. This small change can save the environment too!” he explains. 

It is a feeling of environmental responsibility, concern, and accomplishment that drives the students of Lady Sivaswami Hr. Sec. School as they collectively share their experiences – “We rallied across the public to create awareness on ill effects of using plastics. We insisted people not to use plastic products and gave out paper bags. People should stop using plastic products as there are many diseases which are spread because of its usage”, they shared. 

At Madras School of Social work, it is a moment of gratitude, inspiration and environmental realisation. The institution, known for its yeoman efforts towards several social issues, thanked the students of Mary Club Wala for coming to their college and creating awareness on the usage of plastics. “As students, we own the responsibility of saving our nation from the hazards of plastics. We will also be part of this initiative. At the same time, as MSW students we will take this to other people of our community to initiate and implement this change. Thank you for changing our minds!”, they said. 

Wordsmiths: Changedrivers @ Ignite, Schools
Edited by: Janani Hamsini 

Bhumi’s School Transformation Programme supports low-income schools on their journey to becoming exemplary schools in their communities. Currently ongoing in 15 schools across Chennai, and supported by corporates like Qualcomm, FLEX, Greenergy, SEW Eurodrive, the programme also focuses on building the capacities of the teachers for improved content delivery.

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