Learning Camps

Lack of education has always been one of my deepest concerns. I can’t help but wonder about the number of children whose lives and dreams are sacrificed because of lack of education.
This issue really bothered me and I just wanted to do something about it. Rather than waiting to grow older to take some action, I decided to initiate something. Learning camps.

The idea was to teach underprivileged children English, ICT and Character Building through student volunteers from our school. This meant, I had to gather Underprivileged children, devise a plan, a syllabus and take approval from school authorities, and gather student volunteers. I knew from start, that this would take up a lot of time and effort, and so a few of my friends suggested me to not continue with it as my “CAS Project” was already over. But the fire in kept me going.
I was confused of where to start. After a lot of thinking, I came up with the idea of orienting the didi’s and Bhaiya’s in my school about the learning camps and gather their kids and teach them. In order to communicate with them effectively, I had to use their native language, Gujarati, for all communications. Though I know Gujarati very well, it was a challenge for me to type and create presentations and forms online in Gujarati. It took me about 3 hours and lots of google translates to finally come up with a presentation and a participation form. Slowly and steadily everything fell into place. Volunteers and kids were all ready. After about a month of planning, the day had finally arrived when we began the learning camps.

The learning camps were after school. Which meant, that after 9 hours of school, we had to stay back in school till 7:30in the evening and teach these children. The challenge in the start was that there weren’t enough student volunteers for 5 days. So in the first two weeks, I stayed back thrice a week, went to school and studied for my 12th. Despite the extremely busy schedule, I kept going on and stayed committed to this project.

Through this project, I learned about the difference children can make. I learnt about my level of commitment to something I so dearly loved doing. And I learnt about the extent to which I could work hard, and keep going.



The purpose for my participation as the Executive Board in the FSMUN was to encourage young people to understand global issues and discuss them with and international mindedness.
I was the Vice chair of the most important committee in the MUN- the security council.
During the conference, I really felt that rather than genuinely discussing and understanding the issue, the delegates were more keen on just winning the prizes. This really disturbed me and so I did something that I didn’t HAVE to do.
I paused the formal procedures for an hour and informally just took a session with the delegates to explain our agenda in depth and discuss why it really matters. To my surprise, the delegates responded very well and kept their foreign policies aside to express what they personally felt about the issues. It was one of the best 1 hour of my munning experience as a chair or delegate. The next two days didn’t matter, who won didn’t matter, who lost didn’t matter either. Because all of us knew, that we were going away from this conference as not only better diplomats, but as better global citizens who had just understood their home, their world better. We knew that day, that this MUN had been a rewarding experience because it gave some of us our purpose and defined our responsibility as citizens better.

Organ Donation

When one of my friend’s mom suggested us to do something regarding Organ Donation and its stigma in India, I instantly knew I wanted to do it.

Since then began brainstorming of ideas and research on what Organ Donation exactly meant, and what was the best possible way to execute it. My friend Vinit and I were both involved in initiating this experience for ourselves and few of our other classmates. After intense research, we realized that stigma against donation of one’s organs was more in India, but was still present around the world.

Hence, we decided to script a short play on Organ donation, act it out and upload it on social medias so that it could reach maximum number of people.
However, due to lack of knowledge about direction and acting, it didn’t go well, despite weeks of hard work. It really brought our moral down, and we wanted to quit. But we knew, how important this was. Through our efforts, even if one person’s life could be saved or enhanced, it would all be worth it. We motivated each other and came up with the idea of drafting a script for a street play and act it out on one of our city events called “U-Turn”.
We had only about 2 days to execute all of this. Urgently, we encouraged a few of our friends and made a team of 5 people. We drafted the script and practiced continuously and we very excited to perform.
The biggest challenge I faced was when we had to wake up at 5:00 in the morning and reach the venue. My parents were not in town, so I had to rely only on myself to wake up in the morning on time. Once I did, I felt the hardest part was over, but it had just begun. It was raining cats and dogs, and our play was to be held in open. We called each other with great apprehension. All of us supported each other and decided reach there on time, and see what happens next.

Luckily, the rain eventually stopped, and we started enacting our streetplay. People stopped to watch, and many even walked away in between. We felt really bad, but we kept on going and performed it atleast 15 times that morning. We got 30 people to pledge their organs, and that made it worth it.

It was wonderful and challenging experience that taught me that if you stay committed to something, you will always succeed, sooner or later.


Learning Camps

I agreed to volunteer for learning camps but that was not something that I was looking forward to. My friend explained me why it was important to invest in the education of these children and how much impact it can produce, so I did. I’m very self-oriented, and I only tend to do things that I like or I would learn from. But I decided to do this purely out of service.

I engaged in this activity of teaching them things that they would have not learn from their surroundings. I was able to engage a large group of 50 students, and that was quite an achievement for, since I have not always been confident about addressing a group of people. I also understood how privileged I was, and yet I used to complain about the smallest of things. I decided that I will put myself in the shoes of these kids and then look at the kind of problem I would be in.

I did Learning Camps for more than a month, and I began to consider that I took the right decision to be a part of the Learning Camps. As it started, I also began reflecting on what am I doing and how are they benefitting from this concept of Learning camps.

I had a discussion with Riya over phone and shared my opinions. We realised that it was not possible to give them full-fledged education of maths/sciences/english but we could instead give them crash courses – which they would love to attend and learn substantially from the process. And we also realised that these subject mostly won’t be relevant to them in their life.

So we redefined the goals of Learning camps to make them understand the world we live in, to equip them with the right kind of thoughts and mindset, to break stereotypes and prompt actions of social welfare.

If we could just make a dozen of kids good citizens and people of good character, that would make our efforts worth it.


Student Council

Now, I had started to push myself to everything that was out of my comfort zone. I had the responsibility to effectively communicate the Grade’s issues and resolve it in a manner that would be reasonable to the school body as well as the student body. One of my strengths was that I was more approachable by my classmates, which would facilitate the required communication.

I was hesitant at first to speak out my thoughts and opinions, in the presence of Bhumika ma’am/Vardan sir and people from different grades that I have never talked to. I was insecure about the fact that I would be judged. No matter how may times I have tried to convince myself that it doesn’t matter what people think, I was unable to be fairly open about myself. I used to speak only when I thought I had a really great point to be made.

As sessions passed by, I had started to become more vocal. I learnt that from the students of younger grade – that although they make a repetitive or baseless point, they do it with confidence. I did see a huge improvement in me over a few months, and I am really grateful for that.

Another key point to note were that I had made the decision to miss playtime to attend Student Council. I still sometimes feel that it would be great to have one more playtime in the cycle, but then I congratulate myself to choose long-term growth over short-term temptations.

One of the ethical implications that came my way were to let go of my personal bias in any decision that were to be made. For instance, the decision to not play football in assembly was taken, which really affected me, but it did make sense that it had hurt many people and should thus be discontinued.


Surat Cage Football 2016

We had identified the gap in the market and the idea was ready – but months passed by and we hadn’t gone beyond planning. We investigated the idea, its viability, its lucrativeness, the market and the demand. Made a rough plan for marketing, operations and finance. It seemed doable and we gained confidence.

However, we were afraid to implement the event a large scale, since if not successful, we might incur a great loss. The idea was getting delayed but then, we made up our mind and made  a firm decision.

Initially we were planning to do it in a society, which had a good concrete ground, and almost perfect for a cage football tournament. However, we faced rejection from the society’s secretary despite several attempts. This what seemed as an obstacle turned out to be one of the main reasons for the event’s success.

We finalised another ground but because this was owned by a for-profit sports cafe, it demanded huge costs. It would cut our profit margins substantially, however we were destined to do it for the experience and learning. We also increased the registration prices.

We were able to held a tournament of 32 football teams, with city-wide marketing. The players seemed satisfied with the how the event was conducted and that pleased me.


Doing business with the owner of the cafe, we learned tremendous number of things. I learnt the importance of maintaining good relations with the one in power, I learnt that people are not the way they showcase themselves, I learnt analysing what people say from a business perspective, I learnt negotiating, I learnt many skills particular to organising a sports tournament, and much more.  We also acquired practical knowledge of various things of that business concepts I had studied.

The first time we went to approach a firm for sponsorship, we were really unconfident and if they said they were not interested, we would just nod and go away. It felt very uncomfortable to go to so many shops and face rejection. I just didn’t want to do it anymore. But we continued thinking that there’s no harm just asking. We began having better sponsorship pitch after every rejection, we persuaded greater, analysed our shortcomings and improved the benefits we provided. I could say that if we had not continued due to initial rejections, the event wouldn’t have been successfully implemented.

I also identified that I had a thing for designing. I went on to design all the social media and print materials for the event, which attracted a lot of attention.


On-day crisis, we happened to arrive a little late at the venue, and we were supposed to hang 5 banners on the cage. We were able to put 3 banners before the first match, and one banner was supposed to be hung inside, where the match was going on. So during the half-time of the matches, we rushed inside with the ladder and somehow tied 2 sides. Then again in the next match, we tied another 2 parts. This way, we managed to save up on the turf-time.

We had only 12 hours of booking and 16 matches were scheduled very tightly that we couldn’t afford wasting time. So at various times, we shortened the half-time breaks, took the photo-session outside the cage, called all teams to report 1 hour before time, among others complete the matches in a timely manner.

We worked insanely hard in the last 3 days. Amidst the hassles, we forgot to print banners for one of the sponsor. When he got to know, he got very furious and said he wouldn’t bring the footballs and trophies that he had sponsored if his banner is not made. It was 10 in the night and all printing shops were closed. We were able to manage the print from a shop, which was 30km away.

What I learnt and experienced was way more than what I wrote in the reflection – all I can say is that I has made me competent to organise a even bigger and better event.


Garba Fest!!

Garba Fest was the first Navratri event which was organised by my friends in school.I volunteered for being the co-head of the food department and I also managed to help the decoration team for making Rangoli which is a sand art. It is made on this occasion as it spreads positivity and adds beauty. The challenges which I faced during the presentations was that I wasn’t able to coordinate with my partner as whenever he did some work, I wasn’t informed which became a problem.However, we then divided our work in a way that both of us know what we are doing and the work gets completed on time. It was my goal to help as much as possible and manage the work well so that we don’t have any problems at the last moment.


My skills helped me a lot to work cooperatively with others and help them whenever needed. I am very nice in arts and I am very cooperative. Using these skills I thought I did my best in my job of managing the food department. It was a great experience as it was the first time I had taken leadership. It built my confidence and taught me how to manage a sector of an event. The task was not easy as I had to decide upon a menu which everyone liked. But I think I managed to complete my task in the best way possible.

Plantation – Cas Reflection

One of the nature clubs in my city decided to organize an event where they invited people to help plant saplings in an effort to combat climate change and increase air quality in the city. I participated in this event as well. This activity gave me the opportunity to contribute in making the world a greener, healthier, eco-friendly place, for which I would like to acknowledge Nature Club for taking us to Kendriya Vidyalay School in Piplod on the 4th of July, 2016. For this event, all the participants had gathered in the morning and tools and saplings were provided to us by the organization. The main job for us was to plough the ground, plant the saplings in them and add soil back to support the plant.


I was very inclined to participate in this activity because of what I have learnt in my environmental system and societies classes. One of our discussions was about how the environment was being destroyed by human activities such as deforestation and this really motivated me to bring a change in our society.


Although the activity seemed really simple and easy to me while registration, during the activity I found out how wrong I was. The activity became really challenging because of the unexpected heavy rainfall. Due to the rainfall everything got really muddy and it also made ploughing very difficult. We had to work really hard to get the water out of the holes we created for saplings. That is when I realised about my responsibility of as a citizen of the place I live in. I couldn’t believe I was contributing in making that location greener. This responsibility made me continue planting more saplings one by one, regardless of the rain.


To conclude, this event not only helped me realise how big changes happen by making small contribution, but also taught me the skill of planting trees properly. I am grateful to Nature Club as they are involving local people to engage in such significant issues of Surat.


Monologue Competition – Cas reflection

In the first week of August, 2016, I had participated in a monologue competition that was organized in our school. The competition required students to select and prepare a monologue of their choice and then to perform it on stage in front of all the teachers and students of IBDP. For my monologue I choose one of Hamlet’s soliloquy – “Am I a coward?” by William Shakespeare.


Before this event, I had never voluntarily registered myself in a competition where I was required to be on stage. This was mainly because of my extreme stage fright and lack of confidence. Ironically, it was because of stage fright that I participated in this competition. I participated because I wanted to get rid of my stage fright and I knew the only way to do that was to participate more and build my confidence. I thought this would help me take a step towards my goal of not being afraid to go on a stage.


Not only did this activity helped me reduce my stage fright and build confidence but it also helped me improve my voice modulation. Although, I did not win the competition, the genuine appreciation from my friends and teachers helped me realize that I am not all that bad at drama and stage speaking. If I put more efforts into this activity, I would surely be able to completely get rid of my stage fright and increase my confidence level drastically.


This activity proved to be really challenging for me because in the beginning I was really bad at acting and one of the main criterias of this competition was showing emotions matching to that of the character’s. However, from a friend, I got to know that practising in front of the mirror and recording yourself are some very good ways to improve your acting. This is how I overcame my weakness and was able to deliver a pretty impactful monologue.
At the end of the competition I felt really proud of myself as I had done something which I was way out of my comfort zone. It was definitely a great experience for me.

Harness your passion- Dance (Garba) _5-7-15 to 5-10-15_Activity


One thing which I am always ready to do is to dance. One thing that I will never stop loving is dance.

Learning a new style has always been my area of interest. As one the Indian Festival (Navratri) was coming, I got an opportunity to learn Garba- an energetic folk dance of Gujarat.

I have always seen people doing Garba and also tried itdsc_0056 myself. Therefore, I knew some basics of it.The moment I started learning, I started loving it more. We learnt different numbers of Garba, 32 which has thirty- two steps and 12 which have twelve. As I knew some basics, at the start it became for me to learn but later on as the steps became longer, it became difficult to mesmerize them with perfection. After learning the majors, we started to dance on fast beats which were challenging at the start but eventually I accepted and adapted the course.

I actually developed the technique to flow with the flow, like the lachak (suppleness) which was not an easy part for me. I learned that by practising the dance style on a daily basis. I was enjoying every moment but then diminishing marginal utility happened. And I was losing interest in the latter weeks. Although I made sure that I learned variations in hand moments which kept my interest; helping me to stay committed to attaining practices daily.

The after effect of learning Garba was the one that was like a cherry on the cake. We organized a Garba Fest in which I could implement my new learning and it helped me to cherish every moment to the fullest.

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