About his experience from the start till Bhumi Robo Fest 2016 in his own words,

Friends, Volunteers, Fellow Bhumians, it gives immense pleasure in sharing my experience @ Bhumi Yantra.
Well inspired by all your stories. I wish to share mine too on this occasion.

It all started one day when a depressed, lonely person (unrecognised at work, lost insight, etc) staring at the monitor with lots of Excel sheets opened (recollecting what has he done for himself for the past 4+ years at work) – a voice whispered nothing. His conscience out of anxiety started searching for meaning to add to himself. This anxiety turned into curiosity (thank God before turning into fear), he started to search Self-Help & Confidence & Life & Happiness, nothing helped.

One fine day a pic of kids with huge smile on them caught his attention. It took him back to his childhood (so much happiness, innocence, simplicity) – a question arises “where did I lost/left them”, no answers again. Well he started clicking on some similar websites – many had a link saying Volunteer Register, with very few rows of data to be filled for registration. With lots of mixed feelings and greed he registered in all of them. One of the registrations – went ahead and even gave him options to select on which day will they be available for a Orientation (“interesting” – run through his head), this took him by confidence that they should be doing something worth it and made him to take a leap from his Comfort Zone (commonly used word).

On the day of Orientation – simple, organised & lively environment. When time came to selecting the lane which he had to travel and give a commitment for a Year. He literally had to choose between Science (_which he had been learning for about 8+ years_) & Yantra (_gut feeling or a hunch_). Well he meets a person who works at Nokia – like someone who is ready to show him the way to his destiny. After a few mins of Intro & Self-taught, he decides to attend the pedagogy & training (really didn’t knew what exactly the word pedagogy really meant un-till he went back home and googled it). He did attend two weeks after.

Well at the training – beds with angry birds on it & completely scribbled (filled) white board & lots of boxes on both corners, made me nervous. Well one by one started entering, few spoke frankly, few spoke with silence, all with half smiles till lunch. Well the whole scene changed after lunch – full smiles, cracked jokes, opened minds. Well indeed the classes went well being from a Science background – he was exposed to a lot of new skills. After that a week passed by.

Just an another normal day back from office – turned on data pack and a notification popped up you are added to a new Volunteer group. Anxiously opened the chat and found “you will be added to a new group for your classes”. As expected he was added to a group named Yantra 16.1 Avvai. Few day went by then came his first class – with lots of taught & questions within he reached Avvai, Adyar.

First class – knew none of the volunteers, knew none of the kids, was afraid whether I knew myself or not. Started interacting with Kids and volunteers & started a Ice breaker & played with kids & had a small chat after the class (OMG – is this for real).

Second Class – started feeling responsible for the kids, few volunteers were very much interested in getting something done for the kids.

Third Class – Three Energetic Volunteers actually who changed “*HE*” to “*I*” in this story & who indeed gave a meaning for the word “*Volunteer*” (of which I used to remember just another word used to raise your hand if someone calls for some task).

Well from then onward’s I don’t remember “Him” nor which class was it. I just remember Sunday is a wonderful day. Well as for the classes, Kids Kids Kids. Saying about the Kids – will take more than what I already wrote. Well none of it matters after you read the remaining part (As the saying goes “nothing is better than the climax”).

From day 1, Kids never kept their Wits and Jokes to a restriction, what ever you do – you can be sure they are going to make fun out of  it anyway, they are just going to listen to you till – the first person says “its boring”, its very hard (merely impossible) to get the noise below 85 decibels (well you have to go above it to get their attention), Kids love animations, Kids love to hear stories, Kids follow groups (one happy – all happy) (one sad – all sad) [*you just have to make sure who that one is going to be*], well Kids at Avvai love to sit idle & talk (stand up – sad face, hands up – sad face, turn left – sad face, write down the points – v.sad face, all shout – v.v.happy face). well all these may sound criticising about kids, but actually what made me find my happiness and peace in.

Well I am not over yet, Last few classes the early doing of the kids did decrease and kids were more, energetic (well coming to the practical classes). Kids started taking us for seriously, Kids answered more energetically, then is when i noticed Kids smiled more than they laughed, Kids never gave up till the last, Kids wanted to make it happen, Kids were very sensitive, give an idea to the Kids – they are already thinking on it, what I understood is each kid has a wonder in them.

Well all these happened so fast, side by side all volunteers contribution was awesome. Well I loved my role through the whole time.

Few day before before BRF, hurry in building ROBOTS, getting the inventory, getting the kids to gain confidence in themselves, splitting the work within the group and managing to complete the full robo part, helping other groups, that is when kids started expressing themselves – showing their ownership on their bots, showing their rights on their teams, showing their anger if someone else passes a comment or even criticises on their team, showing their involvement learning at the last movement (just like everyone does).

Day before & On the day of BRF: All volunteers helping out each other, getting the max done asap, banner, selfies, spicy spicy vada pav, arranging tables, arranging bots, calculating the distance of bots, analysing where the bots needs to placed (based on the availability of power), selfie portrait painting, decoration planning, bench arrangements – awesome awesome.

Coming early to the venue, completely nervous, eyes blanking out and going out of focus for the first few mins, started joining other volunteers and seeing if they need anything, was happy and proud that all volunteers were helping like and as if it was their own bot is being displayed. awesome organisation – actually felt like a smooth sail. I owe my regards to everyone who took a step – it meant a lot to me.

Then the Kids arrive with huge expectations (could literally see them in their eyes), few were frank and expressed, “anna who are coming today”, “anna is the bot ready”, “anna where is the battery”, “anna other bots also super, will we win the Prize”, “anna i am scared”. “anna i forgot what ever you taught me”, “anna car is not going properly”, “anna i dono whether i can present it”, well to be frank i too had few and many other words running in my head, made sure it should not reach the Kids (somehow managed to be confident – knew that Kids were very much depend on us).

Day went by, Kids got confidence, Kids learnt a wonderful lesson they can build anything, kids got tired after lunch, Kids were more like having a casual day off, when coming to the end certificate distribution, again awesome organisation their (we didn’t give a second taught for the kids). Then things started getting a little dramatic and emotional. Few started crying, few started saying “this is the last Sunday we will see you”, “from next week you wont come to visit us”, “will you come to visit us during festival”, “will you remember us or will you forget us, we will always remember you” and many more. Few Kids asked we need a group photo for remember us, few kids wrote behind my Nakshtra ID and also demanded me to write or sign behind theirs.

A Sunday passed by, one more is about to, I just ask myself when will my centre co-ordinator is going to post about the next class & when will my centre HR is going to get the volunteer attendance in the group & when will I make the content for the upcoming class & when will I give the inventory list to my centre inventory co-ordinator & when will my centre operations co-ordinator is going to get thing all aligned for yet an another successful class that we can proudly announce in our group (Yantra 16.1 Avvai).

I joined in search of myself……………..
I got to know other and I did my best………..
I found myself.

P.S.: I might have shared small small events, well they actually played huge in transforming myself.

P.P.S.: This will never be forgotten. Thank you everyone who had a role to play in it.

Change Today….. Change Tomorrow…..


Thanks Krishna

Categories: Volunteer talks

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