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New Year Celebration - Sweater Distribution

When asked for joining new-year celebrations on 31st Dec or 1st Jan, I opted out without second thought. 31st, of course, was working late night, thanks to the quarter closing thing at office; Though I had the best plans for the next evening.
As very rightly put forward by Ajitha, while we celebrate the dawn of a new year, there are many who pray that the new-year nights be warmer; as they have insufficient warm clothes to protect against the chilly nights of 2014 end. Hence we started on a mission of making the new-year pleasant for a few needy ones, a mission to bring a slight change in celebrations in order to bring huge respite to some.
This noble idea of distributing woollens to street dwellers saw such huge response that the organisers had to put in a lot of effort to shortlist people based on their location, transportation, etc.
The plan was to divide into 5 groups, (3 for the morning & 2 for the evening) and cover the stretches of BTM-Banashankri market, Madiwala-Silkboard, Majestic-Magadi road, Marathalli-Sarjapur and Tin factory-K R Puram.
All said and done, the morning groups gathered at their respective meeting points at the said time (no late-comers despite partying the last night.. hats off). The Intro was followed by the attendance and the special briefing for the event. After collecting the gifts, we set-out on their vehicles with bags full of “warm wishes” to spread a few smiles on their respective stretches.
Though highly anticipated, the beginnings by 1st batch were not as good as expected after the super-successful Christmas event. The fact that it was Sankatahara Chaturthi meant all street dwellers had gone to the temples for the prasadam being distributed, and the only ones left on the streets were too inebriated and tipsy. Too bad for a start.
Though we did keep looking under the flyovers, over the footbridges, in the bus stands and hence distributed over 20 sweaters and around 50 food packets before calling it a day and head to Cubbon Park, the meeting point before dispersal. Post a leisure walk in the park, the 3 teams shared their feedback, some food and headed home with a bag full of satisfaction. And throughout the whole day, The best gesture we got: there were many who declined taking a sweater coz they had one.. RESPECT.
So the 1st batch had done its job and it was time for the 2nd batch to take up the baton. After meeting and dividing the gifts into 2 parts, we had a small intro-cum-briefing session at KR Puram and then started off on our bikes, one half towards K R Puram, the other towards Marathalli. Scouring both sides of the road, the pavements were as empty as my wallet the day before pay-day! 
It wasn’t before 10:00 p.m. that we spotted this man sleeping on the roadside, covered from head to toe in a bed-sheet. He startled to life at the slightest touch from one of us and the frail look on his face said it all. We gave him a sweater, a cap and a food packet. He kept thanking us as he wore the sweater, the cap and it was as if the warmth he felt was showered on us; the smile on his face, the lone tear in his eyes, that’s sure to give us goose bumps every time we think of him.
Moving on, we gave sweaters, caps and food packets to a few more people when we stumbled upon a rag picker. These are the guys who push their vans all night and carry the garbage we generate the whole day to give us a cleaner city, every day. On enquiring about his sweater, he said he had none. Without second thought, we gave him a sweater (that he wore) and a pack of biscuits (which he kept aside for his child at home.
It was almost 11 when we decided to head back after having distributed some 15 sweaters and food packets. The 2 teams did their respective feedbacks and returned home with pockets-full of blessings.
It was a very special and amazing event for all the volunteers. Just an example, we were so engrossed that we clicked almost zero pics during the event, hence am short of pics to put up here. Don’t blame me!

Written By     : Ankit
Organized By : Ajita
Date of event : 1st Jan, 2015
Place              : Bangalore
Pictures          : BTC FB Page
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