In the last team meeting, when the President of the NGO ‘Securing Smiles’ told us that for the next event he had a health camp planned for the kids of a government school, I was skeptical.
There were a lot of reasons for my scepticism, we were students (engineering students) – novices at this – and we knew nothing about organizing a health camp, or even how to go about conducting one and even if we did, how could one day even change anything, change took a lot of hard work, time and money…and how could we possibly aim to impact health in one day?
There was also a discussion to provide basic school necessities like books, pencils, erasers and sharpeners along with teaching children about basic health care and hygiene.
I went home and thought long and hard about this and then I realized that many of us, including me at times, have taken our education and health for granted because we had our parents to worry about it. But not everyone has this privilege. Some people cannot afford medical care or education or even the basic things in life like food, while many of us sail through life oblivious to the struggles of others.
I realised that even one day matters. It may not change things drastically or in a big way, but it would start a change… as every drop of water makes the ocean.
For this event, I knew that we would need way more than what we collected the last time. We discussed this and I came up with the idea of collaborating with the Methodist College of Engineering and Technology. We approached them and they were more than happy to help us.
So, with the collaborative powers of Securing Smiles, Methodist College and Stanley College combined, we almost reached the monetary goal of 45K we set for ourselves. With this we bought school bags with books, pens, pencils, erasers, scales and sharpeners, and medicines for the health camp. Each school kit consisted of 1 bag, 4 books, 2 pens, 2 pencils, 1 eraser, 1 sharpener and 1 scale.
The name of the chosen school was ‘Waesa Primary School’ and it was situated in Mallepally, it had a total of 80 students from grade one to grade five.
As soon as we arrived on-site we were greeted with sea of smiling faces of children. The children were very friendly and seemed curious of us, following us with their eyes and shyly asking us questions.
We were busy the whole day, sorting through things and setting up a table and chairs for the doctors who extended medical advice and assistance. The material that had to be distributed among the kids was done by all volunteers.
Anxiety and excitement was evident when we were prepping, but as soon as we started with the program, everyone within the team was very decisive about what needed to be done and how. For some reason the nerves and concerns we all had vanished and everything fell in place.
It had been a very long day and all of us were bone tired, but all of it was worth it in the end. We had so much fun with the kids and had bonded so well that many of us didn’t want to leave at all.
I left feeling amazing and hopeful for the future. This event had been successful and there were so many things we wanted to do and we know that plans take time to be implemented, but we have our whole life ahead of us, to do so many things and to change so many things. This was just the beginning for a lot of wonderful things to come.
Change. One step at a time.
First of all we would like to thank The Principal, teachers and support staff of WAESA School who have made this event possible.
The Securing Smiles team and I would like to thank Dr. Amtul Hafeez and Dr. Gopal Naik from SVS Dental Hospital and Dr. Neha Naaz, Dr. Sadiqa Begum and Dr. Zoha Sultana from Deccan College for lending their expertise for this health camp.
And three cheers for the team effort of all the volunteers of Securing Smiles, Methodist, and Stanley.
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