After 10 days of lockdown, I began to crave for a slice of pizza or a bottle of coke. What I wouldn’t give for an evening at the arcade with friends. However, a call of help from our maid describing the terrible state her family was in shook me up. It made me realize that not everyone has the luxury of dreaming about popcorn and movies. There are people out there, the daily wage earners, the laborers and their families who cannot afford to put two square meals on the table.
Hoping to help such people, I joined a local volunteer team and began to collect money, buying necessary items and dry rations for those who needed them most.
The Journey – What We Did
Our team bought packets that contained essentials such as rice and oil with donation money, and went to poor areas that hadn’t yet received rations to distribute. We went on 11 trips in all, and distributed about 100 packets on each trip. Witnessing the situation of the people and listening to their stories served to reinforce my desire to do this. I appealed to my family and friends to help me in this endeavor and got an enthusiastic response. I collected 95,701, buying enough packets to feed over 200 families for a week! It was all worth it for the sight of kids flocking around us when we brought out packets of Parle-G, and their joyful faces when they ate them.
We Did It Together – The People Who Helped Me
My parents helped me a lot in doing all of this. They accompanied me on the distribution trips and supported me in the decision to begin volunteer work. Many of the contributions came from people my parents contacted. None of this would have been possible without them. I am also thankful to the RSS Team as we coordinated with them in this. They helped with transport, and they designated the locations in need of help. I am thankful to my team members from the volunteers too, as they helped me settle in when I first went and were very pro-active in their work. They made doing this easier and much more enjoyable.
The Future – A Reflection And What Comes Next
At first, I was hesitant to go out in the lockdown, but I soon learned that it is the experience of a lifetime. I met some nice people in my fellow volunteers, and I learnt how to maintain appropriate sanitary measures as well, which is an essential in these troubled times. I for one am glad I decided to do this and will continue to look for opportunities to help those in need. To anyone who wishes to try volunteering, I would say it is definitely something you will not regret. The smiles of the people are quiet addictive.
– SUYASH JAIN
Grade 9A IGCSE