Sunday, April 5, 2009

‘Let’s Spread the Love....

‘Let’s Spread the Love....
'A community service project by Malaysian Students Association of India & Putera MIC India

Date: 22nd Feb 2009
Time: 2pm – 6pm
Venue: Bala Mandir Kids Home, T Nagar, Chennai

This event which was initially supposed to be held on Valentines Day had been brought forward to the 22nd of Feb due to the protests in the city. As the bulk of the crowd seemed to have problems locating the home and were delayed, those who were there on time started off with an ice breaker. We mingled with the kids and played a few games and got to know them. They opened up quickly and warmed up in no time.

The event then started off with the kids being divided into a few groups as there were 60 kids who were about 5 to 10 years of age. Each group had a few volunteers with at least one Tamil speaking volunteer. However, this could not last as the kids were getting agitated. So, all the groups were combined. A couple of games were played, including passing the parcel. The kids were really excited to see balloons and they all seemed to want more and more balloons so a game was played to see who could blow the biggest balloon. It continued with the paper dance game. The kids’ hidden talents really came out in this came and we saw many potential dancers in the crowd. The best part was trying to get the kids to grasp the concept of this game, as most of them seemed a tad bit preoccupied. However, with all our help, they managed to get the game moving.This was followed by a wonderful dance performance by the kids.

They danced for two songs and watching them perform for us really put a smile on everyone’s face. The songs they danced to were reflections of the Hindu Gods and Goddesses. To watch these kids endure so much hardship and yet dance to the glory of God was quite a sight.

Then it was our turn. Devi from Saveetha University performed a traditional Indian dance, much to all the kids’ delight. This was followed by the souvenir presentation of a stationery set by Major Maniam, President of MASI & Mrs. We then took a group photograph of all the volunteers and the kids at the main compound of the home. We stumbled upon the younger kids who were out for the evening, and they simply melted everyone’s hearts!

We then retreated into the home once again where refreshments were being served. One of the kids was unaware that we were getting refreshments as well, and she offered what little food she had to one of the volunteers. That was a humbling moment. Despite the fact that these kids had so little, they were still willing to share. It’s funny how young adults can learn so much from a group of kids without roofs over their heads.

More food stuff was distributed to the kids, courtesy of a few of the volunteers and donors.. The kids were over the moon when they saw the pudding and nata de coco, biscuits, chocolates, and etc.They were also given crayons for them to bring out the van Gogh. This was followed by a treat by the kids for our birthday boy, Venkates Rao, who was coincidentally celebrating his birthday on that very day. Then it was time for the kids to leave the hall and return to their dorms. We gave them a good farewell and sent them off.

Among those who were kind enough to come were Major Maniam and his family, Mr Lim and students from various universities in Chennai such as Meenakshi , Saveetha & Ragas Dental College. The group from Sri Ramachandra Medical College formed the bulk of the crowd and they did an amazing job at organizing the events of the day. “The main objective of this project is to mold and engulf our Malaysian students on the spirit of serving the less fortunate kids as well as our community and nation in the upcoming future” said the student leader, E.Venkates Rao.

By the end of the day, all of us were dead tired, but the satisfaction of brightening someone’s day left a lasting impression on all of us. Sometimes we take things for granted and complain about the smallest setback we face. Knowing that these kids have almost nothing, and yet they are so carefree and grateful for something as simple as a sweet, really puts things into perspective. In a nutshell, this event was a success as we managed to achieve all the objectives we set out to accomplish. Most importantly, we managed to put smiles on 60 kids faces that day, and that feeling was beyond words.

Prepared by:
Sandiya Supramaniam

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