“Some moments are nice, some are nicer, some are even worth writing about.” ― Charles Bukowski, War All the Time
CAS PROJECT – BAL MELA
The event was ‘Bal Mela’, bal referring to ‘children’ and mela meaning a ‘fair’. Bal Mela was scheduled on Saturday, 13th February 2016. Knowledge is not only to be acquired but to be shared as well. This event was organised with a motive to give exposure of various activities related to arts and sports to the underprivileged children. Children from all communities came to enjoy around 40+ activities which were arranged for them. We witnessed miles of million smiles and happy faces, that brought satisfaction and smile on our faces too.
Proposal Stage: Every year the school aims to conduct this event. A rigorous process is followed by the school authority to decide on the suitable candidates to lead the event. The same was followed this year. All the candidates filled the form and on the basis of the candidates responses, and also considering their past experiences, the best ones were selected. The second stage of the selection process was the interview with the respected authorities. I was really nervous before and during the interview. However, it all went nicely. Soon I got to know that I was selected as the event coordinator, along with my two other friends. I was really excited for the new opportunities ahead and at the same time, was happy to take this leadership role. However, along with the authority came responsibility.
Planning Stage: Khushali, Naomi and I had work like planning the activities, allocating those activities, selecting the volunteers, planning the schedule, ordering the resources, inviting government schools, NGOs, etc. we had to decide the menu and arrange the food for around 1500 children (following the school’s food policy while deciding the menu was an ethical action), and the list of responsibilities seemed to go on forever. The event that made me feel like a leader with tons of responsibilities on my shoulders. Luckily, I had two partners to share the burden with. The coordination was maintained at the best level between the three of us. We belong to the same grade and we know each other very well, this proved to be an advantage for us during the course of the event as we knew each other’s strengths and weaknesses, hence, it became much simpler to work synergically and to deal with all the crisis that came our way, together. As even without saying, the work was done and each member was informed and simultaneously was updated.
In the past years, I have been taking a part in the organising committee of this event, by being a volunteer for various activities and therefore I had some knowledge about the technicalities of how the event works and progresses. We took to reference from previous years documents and had a talk with last year’s coordinators of the same event, and along with the guidance from the school authorities we started with our planning. We figured out the things that we need to change from the last year’s format and also tried to work on the feedback given last year.
Appointing duties to student volunteers was a difficult task, as we had to ensure that our personal biases towards our friends didn’t affect the allocation. Ethics played a role here as we had to maintain the equality in the process and also had to make sure that the roles were divided purely on the basis of one’s potential. This event taught me the importance of working collaboratively and the need to be patient and tolerant because we had a team of nearly 100 volunteers. If anything goes wrong, then there is no scope of learning and for improvement. We were truly disappointed when some of the volunteers didn’t turn up on of the event., and some even backed off at the last minute. It was very difficult for us to find volunteers. However, I believe that it was the OC team’s commitment and perseverance that made the event a big success. I have learned to work under pressure.
All the three of us have an inclination towards the field of arts. This time we decided to change the logo of the event. The logo for this event was being redesigned after a long time. We were very proud of the new logo, as well as were curious to see the logo being printed on a huge banner and to see the reactions.
Execution: Two days prior to the event, unfortunately, I fell ill. I was not able to contribute much to last minute preparations, however, I tried my best to do all the work that I could by sitting at home. On the D-day, as soon as I reached school, nervousness had taken over me. Everyone was doing the work assigned to them, all the three of us were running all over the school to check that everything was on place. As the children started arriving, the laughter and excitement was all in the air. I could not forget the pleasing view of children dancing, playing sports, some enjoying in the giant wheel, while others using their creative minds to paint, make a mask and others waiting patiently to get a tattoo done. Nobody seemed to be tired at the end of the day. I was all energetic and was ready to dance as soon as I heard the music. I was in an awe by seeing how talented all those kids were. Another ethical aspect was that we had to make sure that all the kids get an equal opportunity to experience each activity. Also, ensuring that we don’t hurt the sentiments of the kids, either by behaving inappropriately or by saying something which would hurt them.
Learning: The event required a lot from me, from multitasking, effective communication, patience, cooperation, leadership and management skills, punctuality, to staying calm and not losing my temper. I learned a lot and have developed as an individual. We are all privileged to experience the joy of living, this event taught me the joy of giving and sharing. Happiness is not found, it is created by yourself. And what I got to know is that happiness is a thing which if shared with others, increases and not decreases. The event was an opportunity for us to provide space and resources to the underprivileged children to enjoy the joys of their childhood.