Umm…I don’t know how to start but there’s something that really made me to write today. It was 14th day at SIMS and 13th day of orientation. This particular word “Orientation” is something, of which, everyone is daunted by including me day in and day out. But there is a crux here i.e. orientation has brought a no. of changes in me. Now, I have started to win against my alarm clock, can eat at any pace as the situation demands, have learned to prioritise and many more. I still can’t believe that 14 days have passed with orientation and my mentors pushing me against my will and developing a new me and teaching me something new every day.
Today, once again orientation gave me an opportunity of experiencing something very unique which I believe I was not going to experience for a quiet long time if not today. Today, my whole batch was made to visit either orphanage or old age home. I went to an old age home named Vithu Mauli Vrudhashram managed by Mr. Ramesh B. Jadhav for almost 20 years since 1999 when his mother expired and he came up with this idea. I never cried or even whimpered over a social issue other than showing my sympathy for it. But today I got chills when I saw those abandoned parents sent to a place which is not meant for them, at least until they have family.
Family…huh...how clichéd this word seems to be today. Perhaps because People have changed the meaning of family, have changed the meaning of values, have changed the meaning of responsibility and of course meaning of “सेवार्थ” towards parents. There were 24 people who didn’t give a concern about their bathing, clothing and even food other than the childhood and upbringing memories of their children and the distressful thing above all of this was that all of them were suffering from one or other type of mental stress and illness accompanied by other problems but no family member was there to take care of them and I pity on them as they left that support who taught them to stand at a time when that support needs them to stand.
My voice quavered when my batch was singing for them to make them feel good and it was something that I never experienced. one of my batchmate cried after listening about them to which I questioned her that why she was crying at that time because it is happening at a large scale today to which she replied…how can they do that?
I guess it was I who was asking myself…why had I almost cried?
The answer is clear now…how can they do that?
Roll no.: D-05
What’s your name? I asked in a gentle and low tone, and no reply came at first, then I insisted a bit and he said “Gulab Rao Uttam Rao Kale”, this is the man I met in Vithumaulivrudhashram that we visited today as a part of our institute social responsibility.
It was an old age home and had around 15 people, located in Kondhwa, Pune.
He was a bit hesitant at first, but when I sat by his side, quiet for some time and allowing him the space to be comfortable, he just opened up, He told me that he had come from Nanded(a city in Maharashtra) just 4 days back. He wakes up at 4 am in the morning, yes you read it right 4 am, then he does a little bit exercise and reads newspaper.
After reading newspaper, he will have breakfast and then just spend time in the Vrudhashram, that it, that’s how it will be for years for him. With hardly people to talk.
I could clearly feel that he had not spoken to someone so intensely for last few days, his wife had left him here, and he had 3 daughters, two married and one studying. He was basically abandoned by his family, and it was heart breaking to see him talk about them, he continuously talked about his family, and I knew how badly he was missing them.
He was a cheerful personality, but behind the wide smile, I could feel the pain he was going through, they say we all feel our life is tough until we meet someone with a tougher one.
I gifted him a plane, the one I had handmade with paper and decorated with sketch colour, he accepted it with a broad smile and I felt a sense of achievement, something I would never be able to articulate, he was smiling and continuously waving at me, when we left the place.
This visit to Vrudhashram has completely changed my perspective towards life, sometimes having somebody to talk to is the only thing you need. What’s the use of all these luxuries when you don’t have anybody to share it with, when you don’t have anybody to laugh with and when you don’t have anybody to cry with.
I know visiting a place like that for few hours will not make a huge difference in their life, but the memories that we created today, we remain in my heart and hopefully in the heart of Gulab Rao for ever, and sometimes that is the only thing we need.
And yeah, he said, we can call him Gulabo ☺.
By: Gaurav Singh, D-32
Human emotions are best kept when it's with you, deep down below. Sometimes we tend to look out into these and find how emotional we are as Human beings when we find someone or some people to connect and listen to their stories.
Our such visit was at an old age home named Vithu Mauli Vrudhasharam in Pune.
Old age home is the aged people unfortunate and unexpected destination despite delivering all fortunes and expectation of their beloved son or daughter. Old age Home is the very good success formula of today's nuclear family believer and killer results of old aged sentiments. The young generation frankly decides for the exclusion of old aged methodology of joint family and advocates of old age home. Young generation feels old age people a burden. It is because the traditional values and sociability have been changed drastically in today's time. The old age group is now feeling this embarrassing blow. The aged people are spending their twilight years in isolation, pain and misery. All these collectively are responsible for old age home concept.
What we learnt from there was to give something back to society at any given point in our lives, whether be it in College or working or after retirement. The act of giving something gives an utmost feeling of happiness and many of the times it can't be described into words.
The happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others.
Thank you, SIMS for giving us that opportunity.
Shubham Singh (C59 )
“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give”
I really don’t know how to explain the feeling of soulful happiness that we received on the Monday morning in a small orphanage at Dighi, Pune. Never knew that one smile can make your day.
We, along with our two faculty and two senior mentors left the campus early morning and reached our destination “ DNYANDEEP BALGRUHA “ around 8:30am. When we entered the orphanage, we were welcomed by their guardian ma’am who took us to the children. The entire building was covered with beautiful wall paintings and we were astonished when we came to know that one child from the same orphanage has made these paintings on its own. We also came to know that he won a cash prize of three lakhs rupees for his painting. We then went to the third floor of the building where the children were waiting for us. The sun was shining bright but not brighter than the faces of those beautiful children which were lighten up when they saw some fifty students with the same shirts on. We were introduced to the children by ma’am but later we went ourselves to meet the children. There were mostly boys of 5-10 years old. Some elder boys were also there. We came to know that half of the children have went to school while this batch will leave later for school. We played with them, clicked their pictures, asked them about their hobbies etc. Then few older children perform some beautiful dance performances for us. Those dance moves were amazing. We came to know through ma’am that these children have participated in many competitions and have won many prices for the orphanage. We ourselves performed some dance and music for them. Later on, we distributed food packets to them that was sent by the institute. Then when we were about to leave, all of us danced and bid farewell to them.
One thing I learnt from these beautiful children is that, we don’t have to search for happiness. Our happiness lies inside of us.
MONALISA MOHANTY (C-31)
Today on the 18th of June 2019, my group and I were taken to an Orphanage (I wish to keep the name of the orphanage confidential) in Dighi, Pune. The moment you enter the orphanage, you tend to feel both happy and sad at the same time, I could feel my heart beat against my chest. The children here were really talented; some of them good at singing and some good at dancing! Simply observing their talent makes you feel happy and you wish you could spend much more time with them had it been possible. Our college had arranged some refreshments for the kids there and we had some snacks post the singing and dancing.
There were children from the age group of 1 to 8 and young adults from 14 to 18. When we reached there, we were briefed by the care taker of the orphanage on how things work there and how many children were currently putting up there. Soon after the brief we started interacting with the kids and I took 5 boys to a corner of the room and gave them basic lessons on Boxing and Self Defence. Since I have been lucky to be associated with the sport of boxing for the last 9 years, I thought to myself that it’ll be a great idea to sow some seeds and put forward my knowledge about the sport for them to grab, as much as they could in those 2 hours. So I started and slowly the ‘boxing corner’ was crowded with kids and my classmates. There was one young fellow who loved what I had to offer and was asking me multiple questions regarding boxing, he also has the title of champion for the best dancer in all orphanage’s in Pune. I thought I might cry before leaving but it turned out that we all together had a great time singing, dancing and boxing that we forgot where we were and turned it to a family outing. I have promised my ‘boxing student’ that I’ll get a heavy bag (Punching bag) for their orphanage. So, for now, can’t wait to get back there and see the smile on their faces when I get them ‘The Gift.’
Today I must say was the special most day of our entire orientation. Thanks to the wonderful initiative by SIMS to reflect upon the Institution’s Social Responsibility. We were divided in groups and taken to different locations for the activity. My group was allocated the location of an NGO named ‘Maher’. It is an NGO founded by Sister Lucy Kurien and based mostly in and around the areas of Pune.
It was a long ride I must say, but the picturesque views of rural Maharashtra made the journey a beautiful one. As soon as we entered the premises of Maher, we were warmly welcomed by the residents of the NGO. There were beautifully drawn rangolis on the floor and numerous smiling faces all around. The kids and women staying in the home introduced themselves with Marathi welcome songs, something which deeply touched my Bengali soul. Suddenly the barrier of language was no more and I felt like knowing those people for ever.
Many of the residing elderly women had serious mental illness, which made it difficult for them to speak or properly express themselves, but we all could still understand their emotions. We could sense hoe happy they were seeing us there. I first tried to converse with a teen girl named Jaya. She wanted to share a lot of things with me too, but unfortunately she could not express much about herself because of her faulty speech. But when I started singing for her, her eyes lit up. I sang ‘Jane tu ya Jane na’ and she couldn’t stop clapping for me. It was a surreal experience I must say.
Then a little girl came on stage, and took away our breath with her adorable cuteness. She is one of the most cheerful and lively child I have ever seen. Instead of being shy and afraid of so many strangers, she astonishingly befriended with every single person in the hall. After trying to personally talk and cheer up the women, as the music rose higher, the entire hall was filled with dancing people. It felt like we all were celebrating love, together, equally.
After the wonderful interaction session, we were briefed about the history of Maher and the various projects it is accomplishing. The touching story and the selfless vision behind setting up an NGO like Maher left all of us in tears. After this we all went for a visit to the shop which sells all the goods handcrafted by the residents of the home. We were astonished, how perfectly sustainable this industry set up by Maher is. All the goods are crafted out of recyclable materials.
On Tuesday 18th June 2019 I had the opportunity to visit Maher which is an orphanage founded by Sister Lucy Kurien. The facility would be completing 24 years this year and has 46 houses housing almost 850 orphaned kids. I was not ready for the emotions that was going to hit me hard. The orphanage was very clean and the area I visited had a play room with toys here and there. As we entered the orphanage, we saw the residents waiting for us with a sweet and heart touching welcome song which they sang for us using a combination of words and actions. There were more girls than boys, a proof of the fact that girls in India are not favoured. There we residents ranging from the age of 6 years to almost 40 years. It showed the bias of Indians against girls. The children were looked after by “tai” as they fondly call their caretakers. They were taking good care of the residents. But after all they were not their parents. A great sadness set into my mind and even at age 25 years I realized that I was so lucky to have loving parents. I may not have been an ideal son but the love for my parents was genuine. Even today I feel the attachment for both my parents, though it’s a fact that we don't meet that frequently. But I am happy for the love and affection that my parents feel for me, and I for them.
Coming back to the orphanage, I was pained to see the people without parents. I pray to god that each of the child should get adopted in a good home and get the love of parents. I took a small girl in my arms and I felt so happy. I thank god that I am surrounded by people who love me and care for me.
I think that all should visit an orphanage and see the beautiful children who are thirsty for our love. Let us all try to do something for these lovely angels. Visiting them will rid us of all tensions and frustrations and will give a new meaning to our lives.
I feel that donations made to orphanages would go a long way in the management of such institutions. It is also a way to show our love and affection for these beautiful kids. Let us give back something to the society.
ISR ACTIVITY ON 18TH JUNE 2019
Today as part of our institutional social responsibility we were taken to a place which runs under the name of MAHER. It is a home away from the original homes of people who are abandoned by their blood family members. It was really an emotional experience which I had with them. We were all welcomed by a song sung by the people living there and that really made me feel special. This was the first time in my life that I have ever visited a place like this and it was really an eye opening and learning experience for me to meet people who have a will to survive even after going through so many hardships and difficulties in their lives. These were the people who never actually got that love from their own people but when I met them I felt that they had so much of love and kindness for others.
The residents over there were so friendly and mingled with everyone instantly and started playing and dancing with us joyfully. Many of my batch mates also got emotional by seeing the atmosphere of that place but then we were made to understand that instead of crying we should put in efforts to bring happiness in other people’s life because the moment we realize that others are happy because of us , that will be the moment when can actually be happy. Overall, the time that I spent there made me realize the important of life and having gratitude for what we are blessed with. Also, never to loose hopes and give up on life no matter whatever problems we are facing in life as life is bigger than our problems and there is always a way ahead of the problems and a journey waiting for us to embrace. Life still goes on. Also, there is no harm in spreading love and joy to others as it can make a huge difference in other person’s life and it will hardly cost us anything.
Shiksha Sinha (B-58)
June 18, 2019 is forever marked in my life. I visited an orphanage home for the first time. I can’t say I was very excited to visit an orphanage, as I felt weak even when I thought about orphans. But as we started our journey from SIMS my team was very excited to meet these kids. We all had our insecurities but we were positive.
As we reached the orphanage and saw their living conditions, it felt bad. They didn’t had a family. Their home didn’t look like a normal home. There were bunk beds which were not very tidy. Although the walls were painted beautifully. The place felt less of sad and more of happy. As I climbed up the stairs I had mixed feelings about this visit. We finally reached the top floor of the orphanage where kids of almost all ages from 7 years old to 19 years old were sitting. They were curious about the outsiders visiting them.
Initially we had no plan of what were we going to do with kids. But as a team we decided first to break the ice. We spoke to kids about cricket, studies, dance and music. The kids were highly talented and we were learning new things and games from kids. By the time first hour passed we bonded with the kids well. We requested the kids to dance and sing we then danced and sang with them.
It was in the end when I felt crying at the top of my heart, as a 6 month baby was introduced in the last hour. But I kept my calm picked up him in my arms and made him fall him sleep in my arms. It was the best feeling. I knew that life might be hard for them but they’ll get through life.
Monetary profits are always desired but have you ever experienced the satisfaction by bringing smile on someone’s face? I experienced this today in the Institute Social Responsibility Activity, organised by SIMS, as a part of our orientation programme. I had never been to go to old age home before this, yes, a few times I had been to orphanage but never this place.
We were taken to ‘Vitthu Mauli Oldage Home’ in Pune. There were a lot of people who were abandoned from their home. I felt really disgusted on the fact that their family members had left them helpless without even thinking, what kind of trauma they would be going through realising that besides having everything in life and bringing up their children with all prestige, what they got in return? being banished by their own kids and family members. Well god keeps an eye on whatever we do their children would get punished, they might be rich in monetary perspective but according to me they are really poor on the concept of humanity.
Each of them had a different story one being actor and ended up being mentally sick, one having huge empire of properties still abandoned by kids, few just family didn’t wanted to take care of. Really humanity has died!
Well what I got from that place was happiness of bringing smile on the face of each one of them. We sang songs, melodies, danced with them.
Each one of us was happy enough to see them dancing and singing enjoying with us. Even those who were not laughing after being so reluctant surrendered and had a huge smile on their face.
What this really made me realise is to stay grounded no matter how much height of success you cover, respect and feel love for loved ones and take care of them. Your success is counted upon only when you as a person, as a character, as a human being are good. And I will truly be indebted to my college Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies for providing this wonderful opportunity to bring a smile to these people and truly live to the college’s motto of Make a difference!!
Chirul Jha ( D-24 )
Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies (2019-21)
How do you deal with an emotional roller-coaster that twirls up a wide range of emotions within your heart and soul? When everything and everyone around you is overly emotional and empathetically overwhelming?
Humans are social animals and we know it for a fact that we tend to respond better when we feel loved and protected. It deeply saddened my heart to see and feel the pain and the cruelty with which we treat our own. Their faces, so innocent and full of life mocks the whole institution of having a family ;a blood family. But then we as good and kind individuals tend to cater to those who truly require it and it makes us believe that there is still good among us.
The Marathi term ‘MAHER’ translates to mother’s home and it so literally provide one to those who have suffered the trauma and pain. Set across the beautiful fields in outer Pune, this institution has been up and running for about a good 24 years now and it shows the desperation with which good people really want to help out those who need it the most.
They provide shelter, food, medical support, education and vocational skills training to abandoned individuals, orphans and old aged individuals. And the work they do is really appreciable. I never thought that I will be moved to this extent but the minute I realized the gravity of the whole circumstance, I could not help but broke down and felt a heavy sense of sympathy towards each one of them. After talking and dancing with them I felt that lives of such people can not be overlooked and they deserve a place right within us and we should pledge to do so.
RAHUL KHARAT (B 49)
Today we visited the Bhatkya Vimukta Jati Shikshan Sanstha Asham School in Wagholi, Pune, as part of an ISR activity conducted by our college, Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies. We left around 7:45 am and one sleepy bus ride, followed by a trek under the scorching June sun later, we reached the orphanage. Upon reaching, we were all first taken to the common activity room where the head of the institution addressed us about the nature of their operations- the background that some of these children belong to, the boarding and educational facilities provided to the children. Sir told us about the institute’s effort in providing the children with quality education, his eyes glimmering with pride as he announced the 100% percent pass rate of their first batch of students having given the 10th board exams this year. I was truly amazed on hearing this and am thankful to SIMS for giving me this opportunity to be a part of this wonderful initiative and experience.
We then headed over to the children’s residential buildings for an interaction session with them. We met the younger girls in their room, some sitting on top of their bed bunks at a safe distance from us newcomers, and the others quick to approach us with curiosity. Many girls had a key hanging on a chain around their neck- which I later found out was for trunks that two-three sisters shared amongst themselves. One little girl named Vaishnavi deftly opened her locker and proudly showed off her school bag to us. I was truly amazed at this wonderful initiative by our college and had a wonderful experience
My classmates began making the girls dance around in a circle, sang songs for them and took photos with them. I found myself gravitating to a little girl sitting quietly in a corner. She was shy at first, but after warming up to my presence, she told me that her name was Rani. I immediately felt a connection to her reserved nature, she reminded myself of a younger me. I asked her if she just wanted to hold hands and watch the other girls dancing, she obliged with a smile and we quietly sat on her bed.
She told me about her other siblings in the orphanage, I showed her photos of my dog and found out that her uncle lived in Mumbai. Talking about her family would make her look sad so I kept trying to change the subject. I felt humbled that she chose to open up to me. My heart doubled in size when she asked me when I was going to visit her again. I said soon, probably in a month’s time. And I sincerely hope that I’m able to keep this promise and visit my new-found younger sister Rani again.
Illisha Kala (E-32)
Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies ( 2019-21)
I’d like to start with a picture of Manisha tai, just before and after I called her ati-sundar (beautiful), probably one of the best timed pictures I’ve clicked.
This pretty much sums up my trip to Maher. For me, it was about trying to make them feel loved and try brining that honest smile which comes from the eyes, on their faces. I can’t thank my alma mater SIMS enough for facilitating this visit and making me aware of this very important aspect of our lives –to have empathy and compassion for the less fortunate in our society.
Ever since I was a kid, my parents have been taking me to orphanages and old age homes, but this time it was different. The feel, the atmosphere, the entire place felt different. I went about talking to all the ladies, danced with a few, sang with a few, discussed movies and joked around with a few.
There were a lot of women who heard the compliment, “aap toh full Hema Halini jaise sundar dikhti ho aunty”, some blushed to it, some called me beautiful, but the highlight was Asha aunty, who replied, “yeh kuch nahi, tujko muje mere jawani ke dino me dekhna chahiya tha”, and I was in splits.
I then came across these two 6 year old boys, Aditya and Ajay. Unlike most of their friends who were at school, they had a day off. So, I thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea to teach them a couple of football tricks, but on a condition, that they would grow up to be Arsenal fans.
The boys somehow understood my below average Marathi and above average love for Arsenal, and I taught them to do a cheeky little Cryuff Turn.
My final companion was this cute little boy who would refuse to tell me his name, but would also refuse to get off my shoulders. Just carrying him on my shoulders around the ashram, made him smile and laugh, making him happy made my day.
This trip was emotional, wholesome, and made me realise the importance of gratitude, and made me feel grateful coz we are truly blessed.
I’d like to sign off by saying that this won’t to be my last trip to Maher, as I’ve promised that little boy, “mi lavkarach parat yenaar”.
Rohan Rajeev (A-25)
Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies (2019-21)
NAME: Priyadarshini nayak
ROLL NO.: D-50
I’m finally at SIMS and it’s been 3 days since admission and I’m already having a great experience here. Though initially, I was quite skeptical about the intense orientation program that they have but now going on with the flow makes me feel like I have unleashed my potential and I’m sure there is even more that I can do. The concept of fitness before everything at SIMS is their USP and that is something which I’m most attracted to. When I entered SIMS, I instantly felt a surge of energy in my soul and it just drives you to “Never Give Up!”
On inbound activities day was a complete package of action and fun. At first, my division got segregated into 6 groups and then each group had to perform their respective activities among their group members. We, first started with the Operations Activity where we got an insight on quality management and increasing efficiency by visiting our mess and creating an improvised layout of it. Next, we had Sports Activity where we learned sportsman spirit by not only playing hard for our own team but also cheering up the other teams. The third activity we had was a Marketing Activity where we made posters and gave a presentation in front of the complete division which helped us not only fight our fear of public speaking but also enhanced our creativity. Then came the HR Activity which was quite interesting as it gave us an insight of organizational framework and preparation of job descriptions. Last but not the least, my personal favourite, Finance Activity where we had to make a budget plan for a startup and calculate the profit statement and BEP. This helped us to learn to analyze a company from its financial aspect and study the basic financial terms. I believe today’s entire process taught us decision making and team work.
I personally feel every day at SIMS is a new adventure as we get to do new activities and learn new things which ultimately makes the entire program so exciting that I just can’t think of what’s waiting for us in the future. My overall experience till now is really amazing as well as amusing.
“When I entered SIMS, I instantly felt a surge of energy in my soul and it just drives you to “Never Give Up!”