One is never too young to start being a good Samaritan and giving back to those in need as is being demonstrated by eight students from elite schools of Mumbai who have raised a substantial amount to fund health camp being conducted by Smile Foundation, an NGO for less privileged students.
Dhirubhai Ambani International School student, Siddharth Makharia, XIth grader spends his weekends organizing football tournaments; Krrish Jain and his sister Diya, XIth graders from Cathedral School organize basketball matches, Shiv Kampani also from Dhirubhai Ambani school hosts robotic workshops for young children, Elisha Parikh, an VIIIth grader sells her fresh bakes during these different games and workshops, while the younger lot Azad Parikh, Avantika Kampani and Devarya organize weekly housie games for the community.
These eight kids have come together under the banner – HelpOut –to help the children from the underserved communities get access to better quality education and health.
“This year, they have raised close to Rs 80,000 to support a health camp for the children and families of the school in Ladiwali, Karjat. This is being conducted with qualified doctors and staff of Smile Foundation,” said Rakhi Makharia, Siddharth’s mother.
“They don’t go door-to-door for raising money, instead use innovative ways to involve the community to create these funds. So, in the end, everyone has added value to the fundraising effort,” she said.
“I’m so glad I am a part of HelpOut as it’s a great platform for us to contribute to the society in our own small but effective way,” said Diya, 15.
Elisha said, “I contribute to fundraising with my baking skills. For many of the events, I have baked several cakes, cookies, and cupcakes, which have sold rapidly. I am happy I am able to do something for people around us.”
“These are a bunch of extraordinary school going children, who believe in service before self. Earlier this year, they approached Smile Foundation with the idea of doing a health camp for school children in Ladiwali School,” said Santanu Mishra, Co-founder and executive trustee, Smile Foundation.
“We were surprised that this enthusiastic bunch of teenagers already had raised money and thought of organizing a health camp they just needed an organization to partner with. We are convinced that children are the future and have a strong sense of empathy. We just need to nurture this and encourage them to enable them to give back to the society,” he said.
The health camp for children and their families will include doctor consultation, medicine distribution, basic pathological tests, anemia screening, awareness camps and health workshops on sanitation and hygiene.
In the last two years, the teenagers have together raised about Rs 400,000 from these ‘weekend activities. They have “adopted” Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) run school in Karjat village, where they distribute free books, bags, stationery and also furniture to help the school children and management.