Waesa Kids

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.

 


Kindly do not re-post my content without permission. Connect at The.Mavericks.View@gmail.com

Copyright Mia

Advertisements

Validation.

I have thought really long and hard about this and have come to the conclusion that the most basic reason for people to get influenced by peer pressure is: validation. And then I researched to backup my conclusion.

And, I was right. Studies have shown that the reward-giving part of the brain lights up when someone agrees with us or validates our point.

Everyone needs validation and we find it in different places, our parents, siblings, friends, and the list goes on. However, within the teenage demographic, this need for validation is much higher,because the teenage is when people learn a lot about themselves, this is a make-or-break age. Teenagers are very sensitive to change and are very impressionable, this age determines their outlook on life and how they are shaped into individuals.

 

img_20180212_223020.jpg

 

Children learn a lot about the world by seeing others, and then they start to imitate the same. This is true for teenagers too. It’s a monkey-see-monkey-do world, and the people that surround you do have an effect on you.

And then there are Hollywood clichéd stories, where the protagonist is an unpopular nerd/outcast, who wants to be like the populars of the school and does everything in her power to be just like them, and she succeeds. After a lot of drama and heartbreaks and revelations, she realizes that this is not what she wanted and that everything she needed, she already had. Luckily for her, she rights all the wrong that she has done, people forgive her and she moves on with life, happy as she is.

But, life is not a movie, and this is not how things work out. People are not as forgiving, or even close. Righting wrongs takes a lifetime, even if people are in a forgiving mood, mistakes are not forgotten and grudges are forever held.

And coming out of peer-pressure is not as easy as shown in movies. The worst thing that could happen is not a party where you breakup with your bestie. There is depression, substance abuse, anxiety, self-esteem and mental health issues and so much more. And even if someone makes it out, the aftermath effects are just as bad, if not worse.

And social media makes this problem so much more worse, because instead of seeking validation for people around you, you seek it from the whole internet. Social media had become such an important part of our lives, that we feel the need to constantly tell the world what we do. And everything you post gets pulled out of context, critically screwtinized and picked apart, and as much as everyone hates to admit it, the rude comments leave us feeling bad, undervalues and gross. And you try to be better, prettier and skinnier. This becomes a vicious circle that is very hard to come out of.

Like all things, validation can be good and bad. And peer pressure can be good and bad too. It’s all about what you make of it and how you choose to handle it.

The good type can help you achieve good marks, push you to be better in both academics and sports and sometimes even saving you from suicidal thoughts. It can make you a better person and helps in all-round personality development.

The bad can go as bad as lowering self-esteem and making you feel worthless by body shaming or trolling/flaming on social media or getting hooked on various addictions to as extreme as drugs.

But everything is not black and white, there is this grey area that is both good and bad.

The same way, people who give validation also seek it. There will always be two sides of a coin. Sometimes it’s a battle and nothing comes easy. So you fight for what you want or you don’t.

IT IS A CHOICE!

Sometimes you win, other times you lose it all.

 

 

Kindly do not re-post my content without permission. Connect at The.Mavericks.View@gmail.com

 

Copyright Mia

Securing Smiles: An experience

Screen Shot 2018-01-07 at 8.28.56 PM

As long as I can remember, I had been told that I was way too young to make decisions. To try to change things. All except my mum. She always told me that size and age did not matter; and I grew up, being taught, that I could do anything, if I put my mind to it and worked towards it. She always told me nothing was unachievable.

I did believe her belief in me and tried to implement it. But sometimes people surrounding me influenced me into believing otherwise, and I always found a reason not to do something because I was fearful, or discouraged by others. And my morale went down hill. I became good at finding excuses and avoid doing something I was good at or wanted to do. But my mom still believed in me and I wondered how and why. Both her belief and support did not waver, ever.

When I wanted to change, my mum supported me, after giving an earful for avoiding it in the first place. I wanted to change myself and change the world.

Doing engineering I wondered how? I didn’t not want to wait. It was now or never.

I wanted to contribute to society, wanted to write… to blog, wanted to make myself heard. Be a voice for those who wanted to be heard.

All this came beautifully together in way of my associating with a NGO called Securing Smiles, formed by a couple of friends from Deccan College. Fresh of the pan, not yet registered. So I thought to myself, well what can be better. So, with the much enthusiasm, I dove into it. Stanley was the first college collaborating with them, so both sides were very excited for this event.

A friend and I joined and helped find funding from our college students. We talked about the NGO, how our principal had made the decision that the NGO is the official NGO for the college, and what we want to do for this event.

The enthusiasm that I had dwindled away on the second day when people outright ignored our voices. But, I was in this for the win. After a week we had a substantial amount of money with which we bought food and medicines for the slum affected areas.

And can I say how good it felt? Well, I felt amazing that I was a part of helping someone.

There were few people who thought I was naïve. That I too young to wield any kind of power to change the world. But, this time I didn’t listen. This was my decision and I would stick by it.

I know changing the world is hard. But, I will not back down.

So, instead of feeling discouraged, like I would have before, I felt determined and empowered. This was no longer about making a change, this was about growing to a person that would be able to make that change.

So when it was announced that we were having posts from the Council body for the NGO in college, I applied. And I got it. I am now the Head of Content and Creative department for our college branch.

I along with the team of Stanley and Securing Smiles have big plans that begin with small steps that will grow in leaps and bounds…

and you will definitely hear from us again…

Kindly do not re-post my content without permission. Connect at The.Mavericks.View@gmail.com

Copyright Mia