Imagine a scorching temperature of 47 degrees and miles to walk. Alternatively, imagine an all time low of 3 degrees with as many of those several miles to cover. If you had to choose one, which one would you pick? Perhaps neither. For neither of these prospects are pretty to consider, but the sad reality today is that both of these scenarios hold true for thousands of children in India. School is a distant dream for many and for some it is just the distance which makes it impossible for them to go to school.
Miles and miles to walk to just get to their school. Yet, thousands of children trod down the dirt roads and they do so because they believe in the beauty of their dreams! 6 years old Nitya dreams of opening a bangle shop for her father. Having seen him go door-to-door every day to sell bangles, her only hope for her father is to be able to open a shop for him – just so that he doesn’t have to walk.
“I have bangles of every color”, rejoices Nitya as she dons multi-colored bangles on her tiny wrists. “I will study hard and earn a lot of money to help papa”, says she. She has come to believe in the power of education and that education alone will be the game-changer. Truly enough, the only way for her to get to the finish line is through receiving an education. However, when these children struggle to even get to school each passing day, this path becomes a bit too hard to cover.
In a small effort to ease their every day struggles, Smile Foundation came up with a unique concept – ‘Build A Bike’. Under this, we engage corporate volunteers and employees in the strenuous task of building a bicycle from scratch! They participate and compete in this physically and mentally tasking challenge to create bicycles – all to gift a better future to children.
Our recent ‘Build A Bike’ challenges with Intel and Adobe were a testament to the strength and indomitable spirit of the employees. Even as they were drenched in sweat, the feeling of doing something bigger than themselves kept them going. “It was a truly engaging and a rewarding experience”, noted an Adobe employee.
As the employees finished building brand new bicycles, they then went and gifted them to children who undertake long distances to get to school. The feelings and emotions of the children is perhaps best known to them, but one thing we all learnt is that we’re just getting started and getting to school would no more be one of all the struggles lesser privileged children face!
Together, we are working to see #EveryChildInSchool, and if you would like to partner with us for ‘Build A Bike’ challenge, then please visit www.smilefoundationindia.org/csr.html
(To know more about our initiative #EveryChildInSchool, please visit www.smilefoundationindia.org/me)