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Mobile Creche Visit by the ISC Students
The students of class XII of the Hiranandani Foundation School, Thane, set out to visit the mobile crèche in the vicinity, on the 12th of December, 2014. What began as a project, for the subject of SUPW (Socially Useful Productive Work), turned out to be an enjoyable learning experience for the bright young adolescents of HFS, Thane.

Departing from the school premises at around one o'clock in the afternoon, the students reached the crèche after a brisk walk in the northern direction, for about 7 minutes. Nestled amidst the construction site of the upcoming Rodas Housing and Development Project, the crèche houses about 200 children of the workers of the nearby sites, who spend their day at the venue and are cared for and tended to, by the management.

On reaching the crèche, the students of HFS had to wait for a while, as the children had gone to have their lunch. But the wait was found to be worth it, when they finally came to meet the "Bhaiyas" and "Didis" from HFS. Accompanied by the 3 class teachers of class XII: Mrs. Mariam George,Mrs. Srilekha Debnath and Mrs. Padmaja Nair, the students had taken with them cakes, sweets and stationery articles for their little brothers and sisters at the crèche.

As the students of HFS began interacting with the children, who were shy at first but eventually broke the ice with them, there was a shadow of realization, of the plight of our less fortunate brethren, on each face. While some of the students had volunteered to handle the distribution of the goodies which were sponsored by the contributions made by the students themselves, others took to talking, playing and interacting with the children of varying ages.

The highlights of the day were "Santa Claus" and the "Amazing Magician"- both of who were students of HFS. With Abhishek Chauhan as the Santa who took the little children their cakes and sweets, and Jaideep Mann who played the role of the Magician, the children were both amused and bemused by the shows put up by the visiting students.

The phenomenal and touching day ended with a dance performance by the girls of the Commerce and Humanities Sections, on the popular song, "India wale". At the end of the dance, the children of the crèche too joined in, and it was soon a full-fledged party. Thanks to the speakers lent by one of the students and the music carried by the students of HFS, the entertainment was unrestrained, for both- the students of HFS and the children they were visiting.

As one of the students who visited the Mobile Crèche with my schoolmates, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude towards my school for allowing us the opportunity to visit the crèche. The experience made me realize that we might think that we know of the pitiable conditions of those around us, but that may not necessarily be true always. Personally, I had never imagined that just by being there for people, one could spread a smile. Another very important thing I carried back home from the visit was an astounding personal discovery.

Initially during the visit, I had a little trouble in communicating with the children, as many of them only spoke Marathi, and very little Hindi. I, on the other hand, did not know how to speak in Marathi and could only speak Hindi. Therefore, while my friends who were fluent in Marathi went on to talk to the children, I could only stand around and watch them, occasionally trying to say something to some of the children. But eventually, one little boy who had been looking at me for a while, came and took me by the hand and led me to the playing corner of the crèche. Though I went willingly, I was a little nervous about what I would say to him, were he to ask me something.

On reaching the play area, he let go of my hand, ran up to the slide and once at its summit, grinned and waved to me. I had no reason to suppress the smile that seemed plastered on my face since then, throughout the visit. This was that boys nameless little act of love; yet it made me realize that love and compassion need no language. Lingual barriers rise only when people try to confine human nature; and this little boy, whose name, I later learnt to be Manoj, taught me something no textbook had managed to, in my seventeen odd years on this planet.

When we started preparing for the project, I had begun my participation with the intent of getting the SUPW done. But as we began practicing our dances, songs and other cultural activities, I realized that this was one of the ways by which I could remember the last few days of my school-life. But little did I know that the day that began like any other, would leave me richer by a valuable experience and lesson that I could carry with me, for the rest of my life. That day taught me that no matter what, real eyes see through to the goodness in another, and that if we see a man without a smile, the least we can do, is to give one of ours to him.

SMRITI MENON
XII C

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Hiranandani Foundation School
Wood Street, Patlipada,
Off Ghodbunder Road,
Thane (West), Maharashtra, India
Tel: +91-22-25867300
Email: hfsthane@hiranandanischools.edu.in
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