JOY OF GIVING WEEK 2013
BITS Pilani K. K. Birla Goa Campus
In association with
“What we spend, we lose. What we keep will be left for others. What we give away will be ours forever.” David McGee
The Joy of Giving Week is our nation’s festival of giving! With growing participation every year, this week
has sparked an emotion in many and brought smiles on the faces of millions. It is a festival where people
from different walks of life come together to give back to their society and share happiness with people. It
is also an opportunity for people to realize the importance of taking such initiatives and connect with the
community more effectively.
This year, the week was celebrated in BITS, Pilani - K.K. Birla Goa Campus facilitated by Nirmaan Organization’s Goa chapter with over 9 events, including the Old age home and Orphanage visits, Meal of Joy and
Cloth Collection drives in and around the campus, each of which celebrated the noble spirit of giving.
The smiles of the inmates of the old age home and the children of the orphanage that we visited, give us a
reason to smile everyday. The mesmerizing experiences that we had in celebrating the week will surely be
cherished by each and every one of us.
We have tried to share our experiences by describing all the events held in the week in this newsletter. I
hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed celebrating it.
The Joy of Giving Week kicked off
with the Meal of Joy. Scores of
students came forward to serve
the people who serve us daily.
The mess workers, cleaning staff
and security guards were served
lunch in the mess.
The volunteers enjoyed serving
the food. A first year student said,
“This feels great. It’s nice to see
people smiling and knowing that
you are the cause.” Another volunteer said that such an event
should be organised more frequently. He added, “I got my hand
burnt while serving the food and
now realise that the workers here
serve food unconditionally. We
now respect their effort and the
dignity of their labour.” One of them said, “These workers serve us throughout the year, this is the least we could have done to thank
them.” The mess staff had their share of joy. They could not help smiling. “It feels great to be here, with all these people. This is the first
time we are having lunch with so many people in the mess.” Another mess worker said, “The food was good. We really loved the gesture.
Thank you for all your efforts.”
The gardening staff and the workers in Visitors’ Guest House, who had already had their lunch, were not neglected. The volunteers carried the gulab jamuns and ice cream to their spots, making sure the joy was spread everywhere. The Nirmaan volunteers and organisers
were thrilled with the turn up for the event and it was expected that similar energy and participation would be seen throughout the
It was 8th of October, the day of the much awaited Joy Fest. With a
number of performances lined up, it was bound to be a grand event .
The day started with 'Father Agnel's Orphanage' children dancing to
the beat of Bollywood songs followed by short informal games in
which the winners were awarded chocolates. The children also got to
see the helicopters fly over them, courtesy of the Aerodynamics club.
We were also joined by the inmates of an old age home - Our Home,
The Music Society and the Dance club of our college displayed their
talents on the stage, followed by the kids of Hamara School who performed a group dance and an awesomely synchronised pyramidal
dance. The audience also enjoyed the tunes of violin played by these
One of the Father Agnel's girl mentioned, "It is a great coincidence
that I have my birthday today and have never enjoyed with my friends
as much as I have today. It is the best birthday gift for me."
The day ended with volunteers interacting with the children, clicking
photos, and sharing anecdotes with the elderly. It couldn't have ended on a better note. The organisers thank the Department of Backstage, the Music Society, the Dance Club, the Department of Creative
Works, and the Aerodynamics Club for making the event a huge success, and the Department of Photography for covering the event.
The morning of the Old Age
Home visit wasn’t a regular, lazy
Sunday morning. In fact, it
turned out to be very special. As
it was a first time for most of us,
we could only imagine how these
grandmothers and grandfathers
would be, and how the place
would receive us. During our
journey, Varsha advised us to be
very compassionate and caring
We were in for a pleasant surprise when a lot of smiling old
faces came down to see us. We
made them comfortable and
started talking to them. Most of the women there were spinsters, and were at ease when they spoke to us. Almost all the inmates
seemed to be leading a happy life there, as they called each other their brothers and sisters. It was very touching to see this kind of
selfless attitude among these old people. They were constantly checking on each other, asking if they were fine and whether they had
One lady never seems to go off my mind every time I think about the visit- a camera shy Martha. She had gone through a lot of hardships
in life, yet, always wore a smile on her face. She told me that she enjoys doing embroidery and loves talking. We even came across some
dancing talent there. “Jack in the box” as he is fondly called, is one of the best dancers I have seen till date. Another lady by the name of
Veina Monteina also got cheers from us for her graceful dance moves.
On the whole, it was a very rejuvenating experience. It set me thinking how in spite of all their hardships, these people remain ever so
cheerful and spread so much joy. Special thanks to our photographers for the day- Sarath Menon and Kunal Baweja for clicking moments
to be cherished for eternity.
A large group of students from our campus paid a visit to Fr. Agnel’s Orphanage in Verna, Goa. All in all, it was a magical experience for the kids of the orphanage, as well as for the students who chose to spend time with the kids.
The visit began with a drawing competition, sponsored by Classmate and organized by the students. The kids spent an entire hour lost in their world of colours, creating beautiful pictures. The kids’ drawings were filled with the innocence and charm of childhood. They found the topics for the drawing competition - “My Favourite cartoon”, “My Dream” and “India As I see It“ very exciting.
For Std. 8-10, we organized a slogan writing competition, for which the topic
was “Saving Animals”. It was a major challenge for us to choose the top 3 in
each category, as every child’s drawing had its unique perspective towards the
topic. Yet, the winners were chosen, and were awarded gifts. The drawing competition was followed by an interactive session with the kids, which included
playing musical chairs, Antakshari, and dancing. It was an amazing experience.
Some of the older children went out to play basketball with the members of the
BITS Goa Basketball team, and were very happy to learn a trick or two on how to
play the game. As the visit neared its end, all the children had smiles on their
faces and so did we. After all, that’s what Joy Of Giving Week is all about.
The Evening of Joy was held as part of the week and was one of the major events in the week. Kids from Father Agnel’s orphanage visited the college campus and had a wonderful time. Activities were organized for their entertainment and learning. An origami workshop
was held by Kala, the arts club on campus, for kids belonging to the 10-13 age group. They also learnt how to make different attractive
Our volunteers were awestruck on seeing how quickly they grasped the technique of making various shapes. By the end of the activity,
the children were coming up with their own nice little creations, which was very heartening.
For kids aged between 13-15, a computer workshop was organised, teaching them the basics of Paint and Microsoft PowerPoint. Computer education is a very important requirement today, and this workshop was conducted keeping that in mind. The kids were very
inquisitive and showed the urge to learn, and it was very satisfying for us, as volunteers, to teach them.
Mr Gautam Krishnan, one of the faculty of our college, took a career counselling session for the kids over 16. He interacted with the
children and kept them thoroughly engaged in a discussion about various career options they can choose from when they grow up. He
even talked about the great inspiring personalities that have graced our past and present times, and told the kids that they too, one day,
could become someone who everybody would look up to. It was a very informative session for them, and they got an insight into the
vast world of opportunities that lay ahead of them.
A dance workshop was held for them as well by the Dance club of our college, and they were only too delighted to dance along and
learn steps they had never attempted before, which was very evident from their excited and smiling faces.
The kids had a great time on campus, and all those who volunteered to help for these events couldn't have been more satisfied to see
the smiles on the faces of the children. None of the kids felt like leaving when the evening finally came to an end. None of us realised
how quickly the time flew past as we enjoyed a memorable evening.
As part of the week, we also thought of
giving back to our environment by planting
trees. We got the kids of Zari to plant
close to 40 saplings, so that they also cultivate a sense of environmental protection
and take such initiatives themselves in
future. Mr. Imran, a senior member of the
maintenance unit on campus, and Mrs
Alka Damle, member of the Jagrut Nagrik
Manch and a noted social activist, based in
Vasco, helped us in arranging for saplings,
mud, bricks and labour in order to carry
out a successful tree plantation.
Another initiative was taken to involve the community with us and our work. We got the people together and painted a wall inside the
temple complex in Zari. It proved to be a very successful way of working with the community to achieve something constructive. We
also wrote slogans on the finished wall, emphasising the importance of education and cleanliness. The kids of Zari were all excited to get
atop the ladders, splash the paint on the wall, and were the happiest of the lot when the wall was finished. It was a very colourful experience.
A massive Cloth Collection Drive was conducted by
Nirmaan Organization — Goa chapter, across the
state of Goa. Clothes in usable condition
were collected from the campus residents and from
various schools and corporates across Goa.
of cloth was collected through this initiative. 7
schools and 3 corporates also supported this initiative and collected a total of 1.5 tonnes of clothes.
SESA Goa, the travel sponsors for the event, also collected and donated around 1 tonne of clothing.
In our campus, cartons were placed in the common
rooms of all 14 hostels throughout the week where
students could donate their old clothes and books.
Even the faculty members enthusiastically participated in the drive and donated various items such as
stationery and toys, so that they could go to those
who are in need of these things. Clothes collected for
children were sent to Goa Welfare Charitable Trust
and the rest of the proceeds were given to GOONJ
Organisation, which has expertise in processing and
distributing the clothing through its universally appreciated
It was a highly successful event well managed by all
the volunteers. Even the faculty members appreciated the exemplary job done by the organizing team.
A faculty cricket match was held in the
memory of the late Prof. Suresh Ramaswamy.
Student volunteers made arrangements for the
game including the equipment. It was a 10
over game, and it was real fun to see our
teachers try their hand at batting and bowling.
They themselves had a great time and we were
flooded by questions of when we would arrange a similar contest for them in the future.
Dr. Raghu was the winning captain of the day,
while Dr. Sachin Waigaonkar was proclaimed
Man of the Match for his exploits with the bat.
This new idea was quite successful.
Over 1000 handwritten messages
were delivered to the faculty and
students of the college to their hostel
rooms and chambers. It was a pleasant surprise for the receivers to wake
up and find out what all people had
to say about them.
This event presented an opportunity
Wish Tree was a new concept for our
for all the BITSians on campus to
campus. It was aimed at collecting
share their talents and knowledge
contributions from the faculty for
by spending an hour of their time
causes requiring monetary support.
with the Zari kids coming to the
Wishes for specific causes catering to
classes conducted by the Nirmaan
educational requirements of school
Many students volunteered to par-
Volunteers got together and made
kids, empowerment of the SHG wom-
ticipate and taught the kids various
notebooks out of unused paper,
en, and a school for the blind based in
interesting things like Magic Tricks
collected during the end-semester
Panjim, were written on slips of paper
and Vedic Maths among other
collection drive. They even decorat-
on the tree and anyone who could
ed the notebooks with drawings and
help the wish come true with sponsor-
All in all, it was a heartening experi-
designs of their own. A total of 92
ship from his/her side had to just
ence for the kids who enjoyed every
notebooks were bound which were
pluck the slip and sign. The concept
bit of the activity and cheered us all
distributed among the school kids in
was much appreciated and more than
₹ 20,000 were raised.
Rangoli made by Ankur Omar and team inside
the institute building during the time the week
was on, kept the festive mood going.
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Syed Shamoail Haque