Gozoopers spent their Saturday teaching at the SSRVM school
Knowing that you are a part of someone else’s growth is a humbling experience. Witnessing the change in front of your eyes and marking the progress, more often than not, leaves you speechless.
A student from the Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Vidya Mandir School in Dharavi that our founder, Mr. Rohan Bhansali, has been tutoring for the past few years could barely string a sentence together, when they first met. But on Saturday 23rd January, when some of us accompanied Rohan to the Dharavi school, we were left inspired. Inspired by how far ahead the boy had come.
At Gozoop, we have actively decided to undertake a CSR initiative every month, where every individual team has an assigned period and they carry out a CSR activity of their choice, which is open to the entire organization to participate and contribute towards. January’s #1SmallStep initiative was assigned to the founders. Rohan, saw this as the perfect opportunity to take us there and make us as actively involved as he is in tutoring the kids.
A few of us gathered and went to the school which is located in the interiors of Dharavi. The overwhelmed kids did not expect so many new teachers and were caught pleasantly off guard. The school had already identified a batch of students that required our attention and assistance. “What we did not expect though”, says Sai, one of our Happiness Officers, “is to be taught by them rather than teach them.”
Some of us took to helping out with Mathematics, while the others stuck to English. The kids won us over completely with their mischievous activities and innocent smiles, so much so that, some of us signed up to show up every week to teach the students. Vallabh, Sr. Media Spends Executive says that, “Knowing that we could impart knowledge to children who came from such miserable backgrounds but still had the thirst to learn more was a very heart-warming experience.”
As the principal pointed out, it is not always about the monetary assistance that they require. Though the school did have a very humble beginning, under a tree with only two students, quality volunteers who could make time for these children is what they really want. The school has come a long way and has since gained an SSC certification. This too came after a strong fight and continued persuasion. It was all worth it when the students passed with a 100% success rate in 2013, though. Some of us were lucky enough to be there when that happened as well and we marked the occasion with MOD, one of our clients, where each student got a yummy donut!
What will stay with all of us though is not the time that we spent there, or the small classrooms but how confidently the boy introduced himself with utmost confidence and impeccable English speaking skills in front of all his teachers and strangers he barely knew. “We witnessed how someone’s time and care actually shapes someone else’s future so beautifully”, says Bansi, our first ever Happiness Officer.
It’s a look good idea to let go of looking at CSR simply as a monetary legal obligation and instead focusing on taking tangible action to make the world a better place; #1SmallStep at a time.