An experience to remember

Ishita Roy

Suravi, organised by School and Mass Education Department GoO at Unit 9 Boy’s High School in Bhubaneswar is an annual event where children from across the state are empowered with different sets of skill sets.

Bakul Foundation had a workshop ‘Best Of Waste’ and it was an instant hit with children joining in to make it a platform for plenty of excitements and fun. The energy of the youngsters with their open and artistic minds, was very inspiring to us volunteers and the onlooking peers of visitors. ‘Best of waste’ workshop was aimed at opening the eyes of youngsters to the plethora of ideas which could be made by utilising waste products or materials which cannot be used again.

The preparation for this event was met with a lot of enthusiasm by the Bakul volunteers, with them giving much of their time on preparing and readying things beforehand for the event. With the help of them, we could get all the necessary preparations done to ensure the success of the event.

On the morning of 14th November, our volunteers met at the ‘Best of Waste’ workshop to set the materials up for children to use. Even before the event had started, we had children coming inside our tent, impatient to start on the crafts. For the first activity we wanted the children to make a sunflower out of plastic spoons. We let the older children make two big sunflowers as installations for people to see and get inspired by them. Our main objective was for people to not throw away things and instead make new things out of them. The activity was met with a fervour and energetic interest by the children.

For the next activity, we had the children make hats out of newspapers. They had a lot of fun making different types of hats, putting them on and getting their pictures clicked by our photographers. They kept us volunteers on our toes by asking for more newspapers to make more hats. Needless to say, we happily obliged.

On the next day, as per the weather prediction, we had heavy rainfall over our city. Though it did dampen our surroundings, it failed to dampen our enthusiasm. The children were equally interested that day as they were on the first day. We had them make wind chimes, pencil stands and mobile stands out of ice cream sticks. This was met with much fun and energy with the children, having received the freedom to paint their aforementioned crafts painted them in according to their imagination. By this time, our stall had a dazzling amount of colour and beauty to it from the objects crafted so meticulously by the children.

On 15th, our last day of Suravi, we had planned to make bags out of T-shirts, paper plate animals and weaving on CDs. The children were very enthusiastic to learn and had a lot of patience as they weaved intricate designs on the CDs, a feat many would’ve given up on. As an arts enthusiast myself, I enjoyed working with the children and helping them at every stage. We had Press come in to interview us on our objectives and aim and I had a great time telling them all about ‘Best of Waste’ and what it is all about. We had a lot of parents and adults come in and look at the many admirable crafts made by the students. Many showed interest in the crafts and asked us to tell them how the children made them.

At the end of the event, the children promised us that they would spread whatever they learned from us, to their school, their friends and their families. The mere image of watching the children take their crafts and walk out with large smiles on their faces, was enough to feel pretty proud of myself for doing something good and useful to the society.
The whole experience was very exhilarating for me and this was an experience I would never forget in my life.

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