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We were at war. With the kids. Literally. -By Shimpy(Volunteer)

Hamid was inconsolable. He wept without interference and despised me for my action. His mother made an effort to control him with all her power but the kid was determined to take revenge on me.

The incident reminded me of Sunday, year 1996 — I had cried my heart out in agony. I gave disdainful stare to my mother when she entrusted me with a strange looking man, who tried to bait me with sugar syrup. I was devastated and hated my mother. She doesn’t care for me enough —  I thought. I had presumed that the bearded man was going to harm me. After all, in all his vivid imagination, what else could a 4-year-old child think of?

All I remember now is, that bearded-man held me with utmost care and gently put two bitter drops on my little tongue. After he had poured the liquid, I was partly convinced that the man had little or no intention of hurting me. However, I continued my melodrama in order to avoid further trauma. I was later treated with sugar candies which I immediately gulped and bid goodbye to the peculiar man. While bidding goodbye, I showed him my tongue. Yeah, I was badly behaved kid. But, I can completely empathize with the bearded-man for, I too had turned villain for a kid named Hamid.

Last Sunday, all the bittersweet memories of my childhood came alive, when I participated in a Pulse Polio Immunization Campaign. The Government organised Pulse Polio campaign was facilitated by We Are Ready(WAR) under Volunteer For A Cause, VFC

For those, who aren’t aware of VFC, I would like to sum them up as a group of enthusiastic young adults, who are commited to indulge themselves in welfare of society, voluntarily. Every week, our dynamic volunteers help organise regular social events, for instance — educating underpriviledge kids, road safety awareness, involving elders in fun activities, feeding or bathing dogs etc. The Pulse Polio Immunization campaign was one such event.

The distinctive nature of this cause rocketed our volunteers count to 43. The excitement and thrill was evident at everyone’s face on the day of campaign. The Second round of Pulse Polio Immunization campaign was held on Sunday, 30th April 2017. We all gathered in a govt hospital near BTM Layout, Karnataka, where we were briefly introduced to our roles. We were required to show our dutiful presence at our respective booths from morning 7 a.m to evening 4 p.m. The responsibilities of VFC volunteers involved Immunising children with two drops of polio vaccine, marking their hand to ensure their presence, marking in a sheet which took count of number of kids covered, and monitoring the vaccine vial. Only the kids below 5 years of age were vaccinated.

Our soldiers distributed across seventeen booths near BTM layout and started the vaccination around 8.30 in the morning. We were indeed at war, with the cherubs. Parents rushed to their nearest booths along with their children. The schools and busstops were over jammed. Everyone wanted their kids to be vaccinated at the earliest without much inconvenience.

Our volunteers did extraordinary job in the campaign. Besides volunteering for the cause, it was fun to connect with the children. The children innocence soon won our heart. Some kids obediently took the drops while others were frigtened and worried.

Few kids gave helpless glare to our volunteers. Some volunteers promised to dance for the kids if they willingly take the vaccine. The guiltless kids were ecstatic and happily took the vaccine from our cordial volunteers.

Parents expressed their gratitude and appreciated the efforts of our volunteers. At the end of the event, 43 Volunteers, across 17 booths, were able to cover 2117 kids in the locality. Volunteers were immensely satisfied. Some volunteers were on cloud nine and couldnt help forget about the event.

Aftabh Khan, who is pursuing bachelor of business management, is not able to forget about the day. “The best way to get the kids, take the vaccine, is to involve them in some kind of activity, so that they forget about the vaccination. This way kids were really happy taking the drops.” —  He recalls joyfully.

Varsha amusingly says — “I was threatened to be killed by one kid”.

Subrat Panda, originally from Odisha, employed as software engineer in Bangalore, believes that the cause like this change you as a human being. In his own words — “Rather than lazying around on weekends, I choose to volunteer for the cause. It makes me feel useful to the society. It also makes me feel proud of myself.”

Suren, Nitesh, Awdhesh, Darshan and Amar who have been part of VFC for quite a long time, dedicate their every weekend in one or other cause and manage all other volunteers.

Swami Vivekananada once said — 

My hope of the future lies in the youths of character, intelligent, renouncing all for the service of others and obedient — good to themselves and the country at large.

The work done by these young adults are beyond appreciation. As the tagline rightly conveys — It isn’t easy but it’s worth doing it. These young adults are from all over India having different background. Subrat Panda works as software developer, Ashima Iyer is a medical student, Prajakta Tantri is married, I am a north India and Aftabh Khan……You got the idea. right? We all speak different language, we all come from different culture but we all speak one common language. Humanity. Humanity connect us all together. Every volunteer is an inspiration for they choose to dedicate their precious time in social cause.

Volunteering is of paramount importance. As a responsible youth of India, I believe, we should all come forward and take part in social welfare programme like this. We should help the needy because we are all capable of doing it. It doesn’t require you to move mountains. Just your willingness to assist and aid and as a matter of fact, I believe, youngsters these days, are more passionate about well-being of our society. I know you all want to do it. The question is —  Why don’t you start it? What are you waiting for?

Let’s all pledge to make an effort towards making India a dream nation, a nation our great leaders always dreamt of and a nation our future generation deserves to be in.

……Jai Hind…..


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