My closest friend Sanovar is in town from University in Manipal and I went to her mum’s office IN GK, where Sanovar is volunteering. Her mum works as a facilitator and placement co-ordinator for ETASHA. As I was yapping away to glory to Mini aunty (Sanovar’s mother) Ian, who also works there, overheard me talking about my love of photography and talked to me about a volunteering opportunity…..and me being me, readily accepted this wonderful chance to combine my passion with working with ETASHA. I talked to Sukrit, a childhood friend=P) and he also wanted to work with ETASHA, so the two of us are now volunteering there.
I introduced Sukrit and Ian to each other….and just to be very clear I am not perennially on facebook (See Sukrit’s earlier blog!)=P!!! Sukrit, Ian and I chalked out our plans and all the projects that we had to work on… Sukrit and I were asked to accompany Madhu aunty (one of the facilitators) to an English speaking class at Madanpur Khadar to click pictures…and being willing volunteers we duly went.
On reaching Madanpur Khadar we met approximately 10 students whose average age was 17. Some of them were full of life and confident, others on the other hand were shy….Madhu aunty taught them adjectives and we helped her…and the students there began to use words being taught in the class !!! We took videos and pictures during the class while the class was in session. Afterwards we accompanied the students and Madhu aunty on a visit to Haldiram, which is designed to help build the trainees confidence, as most had not been in a place such as that before. They were given a budget of Rs 65 within which they had to order!!! So, Madhu aunty and Sukrit and I got to work and helped the students in deciding what they could order within their budget. In the process of helping out the students we totally forgot our objective of to CLICKING PHOTOGRAPHS ! We were caught up in the moment and forgot our mission!
The next day we gave a detailed report to Ian what we did at Madanpur Khadar and told him about the mishap with photographs. I was worried that I would be scolded for not remembering to click photographs as I’m always boasting about my wonderfully awesome memory but thankfully Ian was very cool about the whole thing as it was our first day….though we had to re-schedule the shoot. The same day we also met Ms.Meenakshi, the president of ETASHA….
We informed her about the great experience we had and discussed new projects that we had to work on. Today we’re off to video interview Vipin, a trainee who has been placed twice by ETASHA after completing the CSWC programme 18 months ago. His first job was as an office assistant for Rs4000, but now he is earning over Rs10,000 per month in his second role. Check out our facebook page and Youtube for the soon to be released video!